First Nations in British Columbia are rising above many years of oppression by asserting their rights and title, negotiating economic agreements with governments and industrial developers and building their own business enterprises. But most First Nations have found that title in and of itself, or even access to significant financial resources, is not a guarantee of improved socio-economic conditions.
There are, however, examples of success. First Nation leaders with well developed skills and abilities have driven these successes and demonstrated a way forward. They have provided hope, inspiration and leadership. These examples are what the Whistler institute will build on.