Reclaiming Control: How the Gwa’sala-’Nakwaxda’xw are Determining their Economic Future

Through in-depth community consultations, the establishment of the k̓awat̕si Economic Development Corporation reinvigorated the economic heartbeat of a community.

Decades after a government relocation of two First Nations separated them from their homelands and means of subsistence, the GWA’SALA-’NAKWAXDA’XW NATIONS began developing a plan to return their community to economic self-sufficiency.

Community planning with Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw members. 

Through an in-depth community consultation and planning process, the Nations developed a strategy to support its members through the creation of K̓AWAT̕SI ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION. Within a few short years, the corporation has become an economic force on north Vancouver Island, operating seven distinct businesses and employing, during its peak season, over 130 employees.

By investing in skill development for community members, maintaining a commitment to strengthening culture, and ensuring its businesses enhance the environment, the corporation has become a symbol of the will and strength of the Gwa’sala-’Nakwaxda’xw people, a people who are once again self-determining their economic future.