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Collaboration
through
Connection

The Indigenous Prosperity Centre (IPC) is committed to the self-directed economic vision of First Nations and Indigenous Peoples on Southern Vancouver Island and throughout British Columbia.

IPC is a non-governmental, non-partisan organization, housed within the South Island Prosperity Partnership, a non-profit agency dedicated to fostering a more resilient, inclusive, innovative and sustainable South Island economy.

In response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action, and guided by an Indigenous Advisory Board, the IPC furthers Indigenous economic reconciliation by celebrating Indigenous economic leadership and wise practices, and building bridges between Indigenous and non-Indigenous partners to create prosperity for Indigenous people and collaboratively transform the economy.

Collaboration
through
Connection

The Indigenous Prosperity Centre (IPC) is committed to the self-directed economic vision of First Nations and Indigenous Peoples on Southern Vancouver Island and throughout British Columbia. In doing so, the Indigenous-led IPC strengthens the entire economic ecosystem — because a truly successful economy is an inclusive economy.

Economic reconciliation is for all peoples of Canada

Economic reconciliation aims to create meaningful partnerships based on a holistic, values-driven approach to attaining community economic prosperity. Our economy cannot move forward until it fully includes First Nations and Indigenous Peoples.

“Economic reconciliation is a form of reconciliation in action.”

Christina ClarkeExecutive Director, Indigenous Prosperity Centre

Our Purpose and Path

Economic reconciliation needs Indigenous thought leadership — for the benefit of this Southern Vancouver Island, B.C. and all of Canada. Indigenous Peoples bring multiple strengths and unique knowledge with which to reshape and build a robust economy.

The Indigenous Prosperity Centre will:

  • promote Indigenous-led prosperity tactics and strategies that balance community wellbeing and values
  • promote and protect Indigenous-led innovation while supporting the stewardship of ocean resources
  • create meaningful partnerships and mutually beneficial opportunities based on a values-driven approach to attaining shared community economic prosperity
  • augment and amplify economic and workforce development activities at an individual Nation level while providing essential services to smaller Nations and off-reserve Indigenous Peoples

Call to Action

The call to action for the Indigenous Prosperity Centre was raised by the Rising Economy Taskforce’s Indigenous Economy Committee and emphasized in Reboot: Greater Victoria’s Economic Recovery Plan, a multi-sector report released in November 2020.

That call to action has become a reality as the IPC begins fulfilling the vision of supporting Indigenous communities to achieve self-defined economic resilience.

“The pandemic has highlighted the need for the Indigenous economy — its workers, businesses and members — to diversify and increase resilience.”

Rising Economy TaskforceIndigenous Economy Committee Report, Aug 2020

Areas of Focus

Thought Leadership, Engagement & Understanding

  • Act as a connectivity hub for information-sharing for Indigenous people and non-Indigenous businesses through workshops, forums, virtual talks, marketing, engagement and events.
  • Promote Indigenous economic development success stories, blue economy innovation and Indigenous economy perspectives.

Entrepreneurship, Innovation & Research

  • Access and develop opportunities in the ocean and marine sector — a key area of economic activity for South Island First Nations. Areas of interest include data collection; environmental monitoring, AUV, ROV and robotics, marine waste management, aquaculture and marine tourism.

Partnership & Training Development

  • Facilitate, connect and grow Indigenous partnerships, the blue economy ecosystem and business networks.
  • Provide non-Indigenous business owners with opportunities to increase their understanding and implementation of Indigenous economic reconciliation while increasing Indigenous innovation capacity in the ocean and marine sectors.
  • Coordinate innovation-supporting initiatives and specialized training, such as micro-credentials and tech skills, for workforce and entrepreneurship development.

Pathways to Procurement

  • Find, share and advocate for opportunities for Indigenous businesses.
  • Support Indigenous businesses to successfully bid and secure contracts for the growth and development of their businesses.
  • Provide an Indigenous lens to inform procurement processes.

Executive Director

“We have all the ingredients for a thriving economy and true prosperity, defined in the broadest sense to include well-being for everyone and our environment. To get there, we need to work as One. As we bring our strengths together, across all sectors, in an ecosystem that supports innovation, collaboration and inclusion, the Indigenous Prosperity Centre will create a connection point for Indigenous business and communities.”

Christina Clarke

Christina Clarke is Executive Director of the Indigenous Prosperity Centre, a not-for-profit committed to the self-directed economic vision of First Nations and Indigenous Peoples throughout Southern Vancouver Island.
Before joining the IPC, Christina spent 27 years with the Songhees Nation, serving as Senior Finance Manager, Executive Director and finally as inaugural CEO of the Songhees Development Corporation, overseeing three companies and partnerships in Tourism & Hospitality, Property Holdings, Cannabis Retail and Marine Industry.
A graduate of the University of Victoria (UVic), Christina honours her NunatuKavut (Inuit-European) ancestry through her Mother and is proud of her first generation Irish Canadian Father. She looks forward to facilitating the economic goals of First Nations and Indigenous people as co-creators of an inclusive economy.
Christina is a board member of the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce and a former board member of the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority and South Island Prosperity Partnership. In 2022, she was appointed to UVic’s Board of Governors.

Communications Specialist

Tarrin Sam

Tarrin Sam is a proud member of the Lekwungen First Nation, hailing from the Sam family, and is studying for her Bachelor of Business Administration - Marketing at Camosun College. She joins IPC from her previous position as Communications Coordinator for the Songhees Nation, where she gained invaluable experience in communications, media, and Indigenous engagement. Tarrin is committed to creating meaningful and lasting change in the region and eager to help the Indigenous Prosperity Centre reach its goals and make a positive impact in the communities it serves.

Research Coordinator

Isiah Desjarlais

Hailing from the Tsartlip First Nations in the W̱SÁNEĆ territories, Isiah grew up close to his mother, grandparents, and uncles. Isiah spent his initial years of post-secondary studies at Camosun College focusing on Marketing, and saw a new opportunity at the Royal Roads University in the Innovation and Sustainability program. A revolutionary program setting a new standard in Business education with a project based curriculum, Isiah worked diligently to complete his undergraduate Bachelor of Business Administration degree. He gained hands-on experience with diverse projects and teams that has led him to his new position with the Indigenous Prosperity Centre as the Research Coordinator. He is well-versed in developing research strategies that align with stakeholders' needs and goals and his experience working with cross-functional teams demonstrates a collaborative mindset and an ability to lead and mentor small team’s.

Isiah has great intrinsic motivation in working with the Indigenous Prosperity Centre and he is excited about the opportunity to contribute to current and new research initiatives that will empower Indigenous economic growth. He is enthusiastic about the opportunity to join the Indigenous Prosperity Centre's mission and contribute to the positive impact it strives to make.

Advisory Board

The Indigenous Prosperity Centre Working Group, together with South Island Prosperity Partnership, supports the collaborative vision and development of the Indigenous Prosperity Centre.

“Economic reconciliation is a considered approach to creating equitable, just and sustainable opportunities for all Nations and Indigenous Peoples.”

Dr. Susanne ThiessenIPC Working Group

Dr. Susanne Thiessen

Assistant Professor, Indigenous Community Development, University of Victoria; Board Director, South Island Prosperity Partnership

Eva Shaffer, Marine Liaison and Communications Officer, T’Sou-ke First Nation

Eva Shaffer

Marine Liaison and Communications Officer, T’Sou-ke First Nation

Ron Rice - Wush'q, VNFC Executive Director

Ron Rice - Wush'q

Victoria Native Friendship Centre Executive Director

Kear Porttris

Director, Indigenous Relations, QM Environmental; Board Director, South Island Prosperity Partnership

Territorial Acknowledgement

We are grateful to be doing our work on the territories of the Coast Salish and Nuu-Chah-Nulth peoples.

These are the Lək̓ ʷəŋən speaking peoples (Xwsepsum [Esquimalt] and Songhees Nations), the W̱SÁNEĆ peoples (SȾÁUTW̱ – Tsawout, BOḰEĆEN – Pauquachin, W̱ JOȽEȽP – Tsartlip, W̱SIḴEM –Tseycum Nations, and MÁLEXEȽ (Malahat Nation), Scia’new Nation (Beecher Bay), T’Sou-ke Nation, and Nuu-chah-nulth speaking peoples, Pacheedaht Nation.

We respect and honour the Indigenous peoples who have thrived for millennia as the innovators, traders and stewards of these lands. We deeply value this connection.

We gratefully acknowledge the support of our founding partners: