“Honouring our ancestors through our elders & recognizing our future through our youth.”
For companies that want to work on traditional or treaty lands, building a respectful, effective First Nations community engagement strategy is key. A good first step is to find out what is important to the community you want to work with – fund raising for youth initiatives, community infrastructure or community events are a few common initiatives in First Nation communities.
Sponsoring and attending annual events shows a long term commitment to the community. The annual BC Elders’ Gathering is a strategic event to sponsor and attend because Elders can have a powerful voice in community decision making process. Their one concern is the future of their people, their language, traditions and land. As Brad Boyes, Director, Annual BC Elders Gathering Society, says “The Elders are who government and corporations should be meeting with. There’s no volatility there, they only care about the future of the people. These are the true decision makers in the province of British Columbia.” 
The BC Elders’ Gathering is a volunteer run event completely devoted to honouring First Nation Elders. The Gatherings provide a rare opportunity for people of a similar age to meet and mingle, share ideas, socialize, enjoy some pampering, learn new crafts, enjoy each other’s traditional languages, dances and songs, as well as dancing and sightseeing. It’s all about showing respect, appreciation and ensuring the senior members of the community have a wonderful experience. It's not a political event, but that doesn't mean politics are not discussed.