Published On: Tuesday, 13 February 2018

First Nations - Municipal Collaboration Launched in Vernon

First Nations - Municipal Collaboration Launched in Vernon

VERNON - The Okanagan Indian Band (OKIB) and City of Vernon are participating in a joint Community Economic Development Initiative (CEDI), a national program delivered by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) and the Council for the Advancement of Native Development Officers (CANDO).

The band and city are one of 10 partnerships in Canada embarking on a three-year First Nations-Municipal collaboration program. CEDI seeks to improve economic prosperity through joint community economic development and land use planning.

“I am pleased to participate in this important initiative with Mayor Akbal Mund and his Council,” said Chief Byron Louis. “We recognize by working together on economic development initiatives in our traditional territory, we will have the opportunity to identify some challenges and create strategies to overcome them. The result of these efforts will strengthen our relationship and the regional economy.”

As Canada turns its focus on reconciliation, and recognizing that long‐term relationships are anchored in a solid foundation, the CEDI experience opens the way for First Nations and neighbouring municipal communities to create economic and social advantages.

The CEDI partnership will provide an opportunity to increase awareness of OKIB’s history and share this information with others, creating a stronger understanding of the Okanagan Indian Band community.

“I am confident that our common goals for local economic development will foster benefits that will extend to many other aspects of community building. The CEDI program is giving us the framework to work together to achieve strong local results.” said Mayor Akbal Mund.

CEDI enables participating communities to benefit from workshops, study tours, and peer mentorship, which help build strong partnerships and therefore capacity for joint economic development planning, foster strong inter‐community relationships, and improve the quality of life for all residents. By working together, CEDI partnerships explore ways to strengthen their communities, the cornerstone of a strong Canada.

At a recent joint workshop, the City of Vernon and Okanagan Indian Band Councils identified some potential areas for future discussion, which may include Joint Land Use Planning, Tourism, Infrastructure, Emergency Management Planning and Food Security.