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First Nations-Municipal Community Economic Development Initiative

Seabird Island Band and District of Kent, BC

  Seabird Island Band District of Kent
Population

569 on-reserve, 299 off-reserve

5,664
Regional Population/ Service Area Fraser Valley Regional District (six municipalities and seven electoral areas) population: 277,593 (2011 Census)

Agriculture and the salmon fishery have been mainstays of the local culture and economy in the Fraser Valley for decades. Now, the two communities that share this river valley have agreed to collaborate on an RV park and other tourism initiatives, while also continuing to manage the river that sustains them.

Major industries and economic drivers

The area's economy has relied mainly on agriculture, tourism and public services. Tourism is thriving thanks to the many rivers and lakes in the area, and Correctional Service Canada remains a major employer in the region.

History of the relationship

In 2009, this pair became part of a Community-to-Community Forum sponsored by the Union of BC Municipalities. Its goal was to create partnerships between local and First Nations governments. The Memorandum of Understanding that stemmed from this project paved the way for the pairs' CEDI partnership.

CEDI Project

Joint priorities identified by the partners include:

  • Creating a river management strategy, which will include gravel extraction, salmon enhancement, and flood mitigation.
  • Developing a salmon hatchery, with a focus on promoting culture, education, and tourism.
  • Partnering to improve emergency access using logging roads.
  • Creating a regional marketing strategy to promote tourism and to attract businesses and investors.  

Milestones

September 2013

Needs Assessment workshop is completed.

March 2014

Relationship Building and Strategic Planning workshops are completed.

September 2014

Chief Clem Seymour and Director of Community Development, Kerry Hilts, are featured on a CEDI panel at the 21st Annual Cando National Conference and AGM in Nanaimo, BC.

 

The communities participate in a joint strategic planning workshop to refine plans in support of a joint marketing strategy.

March 2015

The communities hire the consulting company EcoTactix to work on a joint marketing strategy.

September 2015

Four officials representing both communities present their joint work at the annual conference of the Union of British Colombia Municipalities.

October 2015

EcoTactix (hired in the spring to develop a joint marketing plan) presents results and recommendations to municipal and First Nations leaders.

 

FCM Board member, Sav Dahliwal, presents the communities with an FCM/Cando award to congratulate them on their pioneering CEDI partnership.

 

Seabird First Nation takes the lead in organizing the first annual Agassiz-Harrison Aboriginal Business Forum along with five nearby First Nations. The two-day forum announces to investors and businesses that the region is open for business.

Page Updated: 14/04/2016