Parksville to host First Nations economic conference

Governance and Economic Growth Message

at NEDC Conference

The Nuu-chah-nulth Economic Development Corporation (NEDC) will host the Thriving Nations Aboriginal Governance Conference on Oct. 27-28 at the Tigh-Na-Mara Resort in Parksville.

NEDC will open the conference on day one with Dr. Manley Begay, who will discuss nation-building and share case studies in the morning, with other speakers to follow. Day one will end with NEDC’s annual Business Awards.

Day two will go deeper into aspects presented by Begay, followed again by a lineup of speakers and case studies.

The series of panelists and presenters will be going into great depth regarding leadership, business, strategic orientation, community engagement and ways to stimulate economic growth within the First Nations communities.

Begay is a professor at Northern Arizona University and specializes in Indigenous nation-building, education, and Dine’ history and philosophy. He is also the co-director of the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development.

“Manley has been involved with Harvard study for a number of years. He did a lot of research on why, given the exact same circumstances, some nations thrive and other don’t,” NEDC assistant manager Caledonia Fred said when asked what message Begay brings to this conference.

His message: “What makes communities thrive,” said Fred. “It’s not necessarily just focusing on governance itself, but how good governance can increase all the key socio- and economic factors in our First Nations communities.”

“We’re trying to get away from having theories, to showing real examples and tools of what people use to move them forward.”

NEDC has given business awards out annually for the past 11 years in categories like: Business of the Year, Best Youth Business, Environmental &Sustainable and Best New Business.

This conference is friendly to all and all are welcome to attend, but is mainly geared to the governance and economic growth in First Nations Communities.

Tickets to the conference may be purchased online through the NEDC website, An early bird discount will be available until Sept. 27.

— Submitted by NEDC