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B.C. First Nations prepare for trade and relations with China

VANCOUVER -- China is knocking on B.C.'s door looking for resources, and First Nations have answered.

The B.C. First Nations Leadership Council, representing numerous native groups in the province, announced a China strategy aimed at growing stronger relations between the two.

Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs says First Nations are experiencing unprecedented inquiries from Chinese companies to develop projects on their territories.

The council has set out a seven-point action plan including promoting trade missions, expanding market opportunities and setting up a China trade desk to help First Nations respond to business opportunities.

First Nations Summit Grand Chief Ed John says the strategy recognizes the importance of informing Chinese investors that aboriginal communities must be involved in the decision-making process.

Yuen Pau Woo, president of the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, says the plan is a significant step forward in understanding the rise of Asia and its impact on First Nations communities.

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