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A Generational Investment: Haíɫzaqv Acquire Shearwater Resort and Marina – Coast Funds

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Opportunity Through Eco-Cultural Tourism

Fisherman’s Bar and Grill serves up traditional Haíɫzaqv foods like canned salmon and rice, alongside Canadian pub favourites. (Photo: Shearwater Facebook page)

With the purchase finalized, the Heiltsuk Tribal Council is adapting Shearwater’s business model, incorporating Haíɫzaqv traditions, stewardship values, and hospitality.

Jaimie Teagle, a Haíɫzaqv member, was recently hired as the Chief Operations Officer at Shearwater and is building on the work begun by Clifton, a council member who served as COO for the first year following the acquisition.

Drawing on her experience in business management and the support of her community, Teagle is working to create a new kind of tourism experience at Shearwater – one that highlights the strength of the Haíɫzaqv people and their intricate relationships with the lands, waters, and wildlife in their territory.

Through the summer and fall of 2022, Teagle and her team are working to launch new eco-cultural tourism packages, replacing the sport fishing offerings Shearwater was once known for, and attracting visitors who want a more authentic experience of the coast. In the short term, changing the way the resort conducts fishing is needed, as the community works to build a tourism model that can sustain the Haíɫzaqv way of life, and the ecosystems the community relies on.

We want to have visitors come to see us, be curious, have open minds, and talk to us about who we are as Haíɫzaqv.

“We’re sharing our story and welcoming visitors to our beautiful home on the central coast,” says Teagle. “And while they’re here, we’re making sure that every guest enjoys a good Haíɫzaqv hospitality experience.”

Through their eco-cultural tour packages, Shearwater guides will bring guests out on the water to view wildlife in a respectful way, and onto the land to learn about Haíɫzaqv history, hear from local storytellers, and see petroglyphs and pictographs in culturally-safe areas.

group of people stand on a lush shoreline next to a tour boat, with mountains in the background
Through newly launched eco-cultural tours, Shearwater guides are bringing resort guests out on the land and water to view whales and bears, see ancient petroglyphs and pictographs, and learn about Haíɫzaqv people and stewardship traditions. (Photo: Shearwater Facebook page)

“[Clients are] interested in seeing whales, sea lions, killer whales, grizzly bears, and learning about the local areas,” says Brown. “There’s a lot of interest already [and we’re] making sure we find the people interested in that and making sure they come to us.”

Teagle and her team are working with BC Ferries, Indigenous Tourism BC, and other tourism agencies to attract visitors from British Columbia and Washington state, as well as travellers from further afield in North America and Europe.

“We want to have visitors come to see us, be curious, have open minds, and talk to us about who we are as Haíɫzaqv,” says Humchitt. “This place offers a connection that’s rooted in Haíɫzaqv [people and culture], and in the lands, waters, and animals in this territory.”

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Indigenous tourism was the fastest-growing sector of the tourism industry, generating $705 million a year and employing more than 7,400 people, according to Indigenous Tourism BC.

With travellers eager to explore after two years of lockdowns and travel restrictions, Teagle has assembled a team to support the operation of the resort, marina, and all of the other businesses acquired through the Shearwater purchase, including an RV park and campground, fuel stations for boats and seaplanes, a shipyard and machine shop, a pub and restaurant, charter boats and water taxis, as well as a grocery store, liquor store, post office, laundromat, and hardware store. Importantly, the shops and lodgings at Shearwater are powered with renewable energy: 97 per cent of Denny Island’s electricity comes from the Ocean Falls hydropower facility.

“As we were putting the deal together, we were thinking about the number of jobs we could acquire and the training we could do to get people into positions [at Shearwater],” says Brown. Acquiring Shearwater and expanding its eco-cultural tourism programming created several job opportunities in hospitality, tourism, marine service, and in operations.

“I’m so happy with the team we have,” says Teagle. “We’re learning from long time Shearwater staff members that have seen the highs and lows that come with a tourism business, while creating opportunities for our community members to take that leap of faith and move into new roles.”

With so many Haíɫzaqv members and others coming to work on Denny Island, the Heiltsuk Tribal Council needed to increase housing options for staff. With financing through the Coast Funds economic development fund, the Tribal Council is looking into purchasing a floating accommodation barge which, once renovated, will provide safe, clean housing for staff members.

two women walk through an ancient rainforest
Shearwater now offers eco-cultural tours, giving guests an opportunity to learn from Haíɫzaqv guides. (Photo: Shearwater Facebook page)

To support community members in taking on these new roles, the Tribal Council is partnering with Vancouver Community College, Quadrant Marine Institute, and the Mid Coast First Nations Training Society to offer on-site training and a $2,000 stipend for Haíɫzaqv members who want to earn trades certifications and apply their skills to a career at Shearwater.

It’s much more than buying a company…it’s employment, it’s economy, it’s tourism through a Haíɫzaqv lens.

“Even if they don’t work at Shearwater, those skills can be used anywhere in the community,” says Teagle. Marine training will help community members who want to support the Nation’s Guardians, start their own businesses, or even to maintain their family’s boats.

Through their partnership with Vancouver Community College, the Haíɫzaqv are co-creating a Haíɫzaqv Culinary Arts course to share knowledge on gathering, harvesting, and traditional food preparation. It’s one example of how the programs are “community-led and community-based,” says Humchitt. Another benefit? By offering training at Shearwater, “members don’t have to leave [the territory] and can be home at night.”

Through these opportunities and partnerships, Humchitt says the Heiltsuk Tribal Council is helping to close the socio-economic gap in a safe way that welcomes community members, honours Haíɫzaqv traditions, and builds capacity for the community to succeed as a whole.

“Our community is super excited about this acquisition,” said Chief Councillor Slett at the celebration for the acquisition. “It’s much more than buying a company…it’s employment, it’s economy, it’s tourism through a Haíɫzaqv lens and helping to share our story.”

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NorZinc agrees sale to investment fund with Dehcho mine in doubt – Cabin Radio

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NorZinc, the company trying to develop the Dehcho’s Prairie Creek Mine, has agreed to sell itself to a private investment fund as its debts mount.

In a news release on Friday, NorZinc said it had no reasonable alternative. The buyer, RCF VI CAD, is a Delaware-registered branch of Resource Capital Funds, which already held 48 percent of NorZinc’s shares.

The sale agreement, which must be ratified by shareholders in the coming months, comes as RCF provides NorZinc with an additional US$11 million loan “to address the company’s near-term liquidity needs.”

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RCF is offering NorZinc shareholders $0.0325 cash per share, a slight premium on the 45-day average of $0.0314. On Friday afternoon, shares were trading at $0.035 each on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

The fate of the Prairie Creek Mine is unclear.

NorZinc bills the mine, on a parcel of land entirely surrounded by the Nahanni National Park Reserve, as “Canada’s next high-grade zinc, silver and lead mine.”

But finding anyone with the money to get the mine built has been difficult.

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In theory, the mine could be operational by 2025. Regulatory permits for a mine to be constructed were received earlier this year and a winter road to the mine site has been in development.

On Friday, however, NorZinc said it had debts of more than $6 million, was at “material risk” of defaulting on that debt without a sale to RCF, and had “explored all viable strategic alternatives” to a sale without success.

The news release made plain that Prairie Creek is by no means certain to go into production, despite president and chief executive Rohan Hazelton’s statement on Friday that he and the company “remain bullish on the long-term viability of the project and the positive impact it will have on the local region.”

Several paragraphs later, the news release stated: “The company requires significant funding to advance its Prairie Creek project – particularly at this crucial point, as major work on site and access development is in progress.

“The company currently has limited cash and negative working capital to fund the necessary capital projects … has been seeking funding to support its long-term business plan since early 2021, and has been unsuccessful to date.

“It will be several years before the Prairie Creek project reaches commercial production, if at all.”

NorZinc has tried to drum up interest in Prairie Creek by pointing to zinc’s addition to Canada’s critical minerals list – a list of minerals “considered critical for the sustainable economic success of Canada and our allies,” according to the federal government.

But the company has faced trouble building its winter road and has not always enjoyed healthy relations with nearby First Nations.

In a letter to regulators earlier this summer, Fort Liard’s Acho Dene Koe First Nation highlighted the proposed mine’s potential impacts, such as increased heavy traffic and metals runoff.

“Our position is that our concerns have not been heard, have not been considered, and have not been accommodated,” the First Nation wrote.

“We look at how this project has been proposed and can’t help but feel there are better alternatives to the successful construction and operation of the Prairie Creek Mine.”

The Nahɂą Dehé Dene Band, in Nahanni Butte, stressed in a letter of its own that the mine site and proposed access road are entirely within its traditional territory.

Elder Jim Bedsaka said that while the community of Nahanni Butte supports the mine, the community had been “getting a lot of interference” from other communities claiming rights.

“We should be the one who approves it.” he said at the time. “There are so many little concerns outside of the community slowing down the project. We have money now. Let’s, if we can, approve it.”

The company, it transpires, did not have enough money to keep going without outside intervention.

“While we believe this asset has an exciting future, given the current capital markets, debt and equity position of the company, we believe this is the best alternative for the company and its shareholders at the present time,” Hazelton said of the proposed sale on Friday.

“We are proud of the recent milestones achieved in permitting and Indigenous community agreements that have advanced Prairie Creek development.”

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Three Rules For Successful Bear Market Investing – Forbes

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The markets are ugly: through the first three quarters of 2022, the S&P 500 is down nearly 24%, and the bond market, usually a safe haven when stocks are dropping, has shed 13%. Plus, the US economy seems destined for recession (we might be in one already), inflation continues to be stubbornly persistent, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, in addition to being a humanitarian tragedy, is causing dire economic effects.

All this bad news and accompanying market volatility increases our fears of uncertainty making us feel anxious and stressed. It’s not fun. Yet, investors aren’t powerless in the face of uncertainty; we can control our behavior. Below are three rules to help weather the bear market (defined as a market decline of 20% or more) and have better investing practices.

Rule #1: Adopt a Big Picture Perspective

I vividly remember New Year’s Eve 2019 because I was on a ski vacation and attended a party at a beautiful condo in Vail, Colorado. At the party, I struck up a conversation with a college student interested in investing who, once realizing what I do for a living, asked what I thought the stock market would do in 2020. My answer was that it would probably be up, but it might also be down (that’s my prediction every year, which you can access here: 2020, 2021, 2022). The student thought my answer was hilarious (probably helped along by beer), and our conversation moved on to other topics.

I think about that conversation a lot. What if on that New Year’s Eve I had a crystal ball and knew that a pandemic was about to sweep across the globe, killing tens of millions, shutting down vast swaths of the economy, and creating supply chain disruptions that would last years? What if I knew that Russia would attack Ukraine, that inflation would spike to over 9%, and that the Federal Reserve would increase the Fed Funds Rate by 3% within six months? If I had known all that in advance, what would my prediction for the stock market have been? It probably wouldn’t be that even after a 24% decline in the first three quarters of 2022, the S&P 500 would still be up 16% compared to December 31, 2019! You read that right. Even with everything that has happened in the past (almost) three years, the market is up 16% (dividends reinvested). And the market is up 41% compared to December 31, 2018, and 164% since December 31, 2009. The lesson to draw is that even if you knew advance about what would happen in the economy, it wouldn’t tell you what the stock market will do.

Whenever you feel anxious about your investments, reflect on how well you’ve done over the past five, ten, 20, and 30 years. As I advised in a recent article, don’t focus on the high watermark of your portfolio. Instead, pull back and adopt a long-term perspective.

Rule #2: Don’t Look at Your Portfolio

Successful investing requires adopting a long-term perspective, but frequently checking your portfolio, especially when it’s down, makes that challenging; it’s like trying to see something in the distance while wearing reading glasses. Seeing the value of your investments drop can make it feel like you are under attack, making it seem like you need to take action. Yet making portfolio changes in response to emotions is not a best practice; numerous studies have found that trading activity leads to lower returns.

My advice? If you work with a financial advisor, let them monitor your portfolio and advise when you should take action. If you manage your own investments, only look at your portfolio at regular intervals, such as quarterly or semi-annually.

Rule #3: Just Keep Buying

Now is a better time to put money to work in the market than a year ago because prices are lower. Lower stock prices are welcome news if you are a long-term investor and plan on adding to your portfolio. Because market bottoms and tops cannot be called accurately, the best strategy is to keep buying as the market gyrates. Invest as the market declines and invest as it rebounds. It’s a simple concept but not so easy to execute when it feels like the worst is yet to come. Plus, the stock market often rebounds while economic news is dire, so don’t let bad financial news keep you from investing. History has shown that when markets are volatile, the best course of action is almost always to ignore both the markets and our portfolios.

An effective way to overcome emotion is to set up your accounts, so money is automatically invested (like how 401[k] plans work).

Conclusion

Unfortunately, suffering through bear markets is the cost of being an investor. You can’t reap the benefits of investing without paying the cost. For years, investors have worried that the stock market’s strong returns and high valuations aren’t sustainable and that a bear market must be looming. Now the bear is here. Take a deep breath, broaden your perspective, don’t look at your portfolio, and keep putting money into the market.

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Targeted policies needed to boost investment in climate change fight – UNCTAD

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Attracting international private investment is crucial to closing financing gaps to better respond to countries’ specific needs in climate adaptation and mitigation.

© Shutterstock/Michel luiz de Freitas | Policies to curb climate change through foreign direct investment have focused primarily on the renewable energy and electricity sectors.

Ahead of the next UN climate change conference (COP27), UNCTAD has underscored the growing urgency of shoring up investment to combat the existential threat facing humanity.

A special edition of UNCTAD’s Investment Policy Monitor released on 29 September calls for effective measures to mobilize private sector investment and foreign direct investment (FDI) in key sectors related to climate mitigation and adaptation.

“Innovative ways and means are needed to foster public and private partnerships, improve the enabling policy frameworks and build capacity for preparing pipelines of bankable and impactful projects in developing countries,” the report says.

Previous estimates indicate that annual climate adaptation costs in developing countries could reach $300 billion in 2030 and, if mitigation targets are breached, as much as $500 billion by 2050.

All climate measures need equal policy attention

The report analyses investment policy trends related to climate change sectors between January 2010 and June 2022, during which 103 policy measures were adopted worldwide.

It finds that policy initiatives to promote climate change mitigation and adaptation through FDI focused primarily on the renewable energy and electricity sectors, which account for 60% of the total measures.

Although renewables play a key role in the transition to a low-carbon global economy, the report emphasizes that other mitigation policies – such as energy and resource efficiency technologies and other environmental technologies – also need to be promoted.

“Moreover, climate change adaptation-related sectors need to be defined on a country basis as vulnerabilities and priorities differ nationally and locally,” the reported says.

Varying concerns among countries

The report highlights differing concerns between developing and developed economies.

In the developing world, 30% of the investment policy measures related to climate change sectors aimed to liberalize water and electricity sectors, mostly through the unbundling of the energy market or the privatization of state-owned enterprises.

An additional 43% of the measures sought to promote investments in those sectors through incentives and investment facilitation – such as incentive schemes aimed at reducing the carbon footprint of the energy sector and that of industrial and agricultural production.

Overall, developing economies adopted investment incentives to attract FDI primarily in renewable energy (42%), environmental technologies and green industries (37%) and electricity and water (21%) sectors.

Tighter FDI access to developed economies

The report shows that in developed countries, three out of four policy measures had to do with introducing or widening FDI screening mechanisms, confirming the trend towards heightened national security concerns observed by UNCTAD in recent years.

“The global environment for international investment changed dramatically as a result of the war in Ukraine, which occurred while the world was still recovering from the impact of the [COVID-19] pandemic,” the report says.

“This trend is likely to continue in light of the energy security concerns raised by the war in Ukraine and its impact on energy supply and prices,” it notes.

Tackling climate investment challenges

The report shines a light on the challenges of channeling mitigation investment into developing countries and upscaling adaptation investment through viable business models.

It advocates for strategies that comprehensively address energy issues such as security of supply, efficiency, affordability and environmental sustainability, while addressing the development of climate change mitigation and adaptation sectors and technologies.

“Climate change strategies should embed investment promotion as a key component and communicate the government’s priorities in the medium and long run,” the report says.

“In parallel, the targets arising from the comprehensive climate change strategy should be embedded in investment promotion strategies to inform the activities of the actors involved.”

To increase investment in climate change mitigation and adaptation key sectors, countries need to consider new instruments and targeted policies to attract low-carbon investment.

The report recommends that countries consider providing political-risk insurance to de-risk climate FDI, adopting climate impact assessments when reviewing investment projects and developing facilitation services that specifically target climate FDI.

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