The Purpose of the Songhees Development Corporation is to operate profitable business ventures, generate surplus income and create a supportive environment for entrepreneurs.  Using best practices for business governance, Songhees Development Corporation seeks alignment with Songhees Nations values and priorities. 

Songhees Nation Value Statement

Eyēʔ Sqȃ'lewen, with One Heart and One Mind, we commit to Help one another, to Forgive one another and to Love one another with Respect, Honesty and Courage. 

In a business context, these values are applied as we choose who to work with, how we work with one another and how we resolve challenges.  In all business dealings we are respectful, honest and courageous. We choose partners who share our values. We build trust and establish long term relationships. We resolve concerns directly and assume the best intentions of one another.

Songhees Nation Strategic Priorities and Goals

Self Government

Songhees Nation is a responsible, accountable self-governing community, with the legal authority, leadership, and capacity to determine and pursue its own interests

Language & Culture

Songhees Nation is a united Community with a flourishing language and a reverence for its unique identity, heritage and traditional practices

Economic Development

Songhees Nation is financially self-reliant and prosperous.  The Nation actively participates in the regional economy

Land, Property & Housing

Songhees Nation has a sustainable land base meeting current and future needs for cultural, residential, recreational, commercial and community land use

Education, Skills & Employment

Songhees Nation has an educated population with a skilled workforce and full participation in the labour market

Health & Social Development

The lək̓ʷəŋən People of Songhees Nation are mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually healthy

Songhees Nation Economic Development Objectives 

  1. Songhees Nation generates surplus income to support community priorities and invest in the future
  2. The Nation owns and operates a variety of successful business ventures and invests in business partnerships 
  3. Songhees Nation fosters a supportive environment for entrepreneurs and community-based business ventures

Economic Development Strategies

  • Implement a multi-year integrated planning and reporting framework that aligns annual budget and business plans with short and long-term strategic priorities 
  • Establish a business governance framework with an independent Board of Directors accountable to the Nation’s membership through Chief and Council
  • Develop business governance capacity in the Songhees Community with opportunities to serve on advisory committees, focus groups and board of directors
  • Focus on strategic partnerships and maintain relationships with collaborative partners 
  • Leverage membership in regional economic development agencies including South Island Prosperity Partnership, Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce, Destination Greater Victoria and Indigenous Tourism BC   
  • Establish entrepreneurial business networks and mentoring, offer entrepreneurial training programs and celebrate success to inspire others
  • Promote and support businesses owned by Songhees Community members

Board of Directors

A majority independent board of directors with skills and expertise to lead Economic Development for Songhees Nation ensures appropriate distance between business and Nation governance. A Songhees Business Governance Guidebook will establish best practices and clarify roles and responsibilities for Staff, Board Members, Chief and Council and Community Members. 

Board Chair Ron Sam is Chief of Songhees Nation and serves as Council representative with extensive board experience and expertise in all aspects of First Nations/ lək̓ʷəŋən history, culture, legislative frameworks, treaty negotiations and the social and economic conditions of the Nation.  Ron has been instrumental in developing partnerships and inspiring collaboration region wide.

Doug Crowder is an Independent Director with certified board governance training, extensive board experience, and a career in Finance.  Doug has knowledge of industrial business operations and commercial development. He served on the Songhees Nation Finance and Audit Committee and his former employer Ralmax, is a partner with Songhees and Esquimalt in Salish Sea Industrial Services ltd.

Dave Ganong is an Independent Director and real estate specialist, with 38 years experience in real estate finance, brokerage and development.  Dave is currently President of Canada ICI Capital Corporation which specializes in construction and term financing for all real estate asset classes.  Dave has extensive board experience.

Greg Booth is an Independent Director and First Nations Economic Development specialist.  Greg is currently Director of Indigenous Economic Opportunity with the Ministry of Jobs, Trade and Technology advising executive and political leadership on First Nations and Indigenous peoples economic and business interests and development opportunities.  Greg leads the Indigenous Business Investment Council secretariat. 

Rob Dick is a Songhees Member who currently works for Telus as Sales Manager, New Development. Rob and his family are active in fitness and organized sports.  Rob is interested to learn more about development and how best to utilize land for the benefit of members. Rob comes from a family with strong teachings. Rob’s father Skip Dick is a cherished elder of the Songhees Nation with a long career in community leadership and advanced education.

A Youth Director (non-voting) will be recruited from the Songhees Membership to bring the perspective of future business leaders and build internal capacity.

Community Advisory Committee

An Economic Development Community Advisory Committee will receive frequent updates and serve as a focus group for new initiatives.  While working closely with the Songhees Development Corporation, the Advisory Committee advises Songhees Chief and Council who set the economic goals and priorities for the Nation.

Corporate Executive Officer

Christina Clarke was asked to lead Songhees Nation economic development as CEO of the Songhees Development Corporation after 25 years serving the Nation, including six years as Executive Director. Christina has a BA from UVic in History and Anthropology and a Certificate from the Tulo Centre for Indigenous Economics at Thompson Rivers University.  Christina promotes indigenous participation in the regional economy through service on the Board of Directors of the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority and the South Island Prosperity Partnership.