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Seeking municipalities and First Nations collaboration to grow the local economy (12/04/2016)

The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) and the Council for the Advancement of Native Development Officers (Cando) are inviting municipalities and First Nations to consider a unique partnership to establish and support economic development between neighbouring municipalities and First Nations.

The First Nations-Municipal Community Economic Development Initiative (CEDI) provides support and resources to establish joint economic development and/or land management projects that will benefit neighbouring First Nations and municipalities of all sizes. As part of the CEDI process, participating communities benefit from workshops, study tours, and peer mentorship programs that will help build strong partnerships which bolster the economy, foster strong inter-community relationships, and improve the quality of life for all residents.

FCM and Cando are currently accepting applications and interested municipalities and First Nations are encouraged to apply on the FCM website. By working together, communities participating in Phase II of the CEDI program benefit from a wide range of economic and social advantages. These partnerships allow First Nations and adjacent municipalities to present a strong and united voice when engaging businesses and other orders of government, increase their ability to access funding from other orders of government, and provide more opportunities for local business development and job creation. CEDI partnerships also help create a stronger regional identity.

"Bringing together municipalities with First Nations neighbours builds the bonds that foster economic cooperation," said FCM President Raymond Louie. "The CEDI model is a proven success, with many examples of joint business, economic development, and tourism partnerships between First Nations and municipalities. I expect this strong foundation will serve as a basis for many more projects in the coming years."

In the initial CEDI phase, six economic development partnerships involving 7 First Nations and 9 municipalities/regional municipalities were formed. The projects ranged from an economic diversification and tourism plan between Kipawa and Temiscaming and the neighbouring Eagle Village First Nation in Québec, to the "Three Communities - One Heart" campaign in Manitoba launched by The Pas, Opaskwayak Cree Nation and the rural municipality of Kelsey aimed at attracting investment to their region. As part of this second phase of CEDI, the reach will double, starting in the first year with 4 partnerships including up to 12 communities.

"CEDI lays the groundwork for strong relationships between municipalities and First Nations that will attract business and tourism investment and benefit their communities for years," said CandoPresident, Kevin Rose. "By enhancing these partnerships, neighbouring communities are able to share expertise, benefit from each other's unique human, physical, and financial resources, and present a strong unified voice when speaking with their federal and provincial partners. "

The CEDI program has also led to the creation of the 'Stronger Together' toolkit available on line at www.fcm.ca/cedi which provides a framework and tools and case studies for any community interested in adopting this approach with their neighbouring municipality or First Nation government.

Page Updated: 22/04/2016