Capacity Building for Competitiveness in Aboriginal forestry Year Two

This project recognizes the significant business challenges First Nations forestry enterprises face which have the effect of limiting the benefits to First Nations from forests (Wellstead and Stedman 2010). There is limited awareness of the conditions that affect the success and failure of Aboriginal enterprises in the forest sector (Trosper et al 2008). Research on economic questions is more limited than expected given the widespread activity taking place, despite the widespread importance of forests to Aboriginal peoples and their long-standing history of resource management and land use (Wyatt et al 2010a). We focus in on a fundamental problem: governance. The research will address this problem by working with FN to identify business objectives and designing an effective business governance structure, drawing on the empirical work of the Harvard Project. In this vein, the outcomes of the study will lead to improved business process, supporting the competitiveness of the partners. Working in a participatory action research approach with the partners, the researcher will test and guide the implementation of an optimal governance structure for the partners– linking it to the unique context of each enterprise. The use of the Native Nations Institute’s governance tool is novel in the Canadian context.

Faculty Supervisor:

Harry Nelson


William Nikolakis


Huu-ay-aht First Nation






University of British Columbia



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