Citing “collaboration. respect. peace and mutual prosperity”, Enoch First Nation and the City of Edmonton have signed an historic memorandum of understanding between the two governments. The two will now work together on several projects.
“Our respective leaders are choosing to get out in front and be directors of change rather than sit back like the last 100 years when we kind of just lived beside each other. We don’t want to do that no more,” Chief Billy Morin told the assembly at River Cree.
“We want to work together and move things forward.”
Morin said this is the first time a mayor and city council have approached them to work together.
“Whether it’s on housing, whether it’s on tourism and culture, whether it’s on planning and development issues and infrastructure or transit service the opportunities are the same opportunities that we have with our municipal partners in the region and it’s time to start partnering with our First Nations partners on the same level playing field of inclusion,” said Mayor Don Iveson.
“We are now setting about building a respectful government to government relationship between the City of Edmonton and Enoch First Nation in exactly the same way that we are working to build the same kind of respectful and collaborative relationships with our municipal partners in the region,” Iveson said.
Chief Morin said all kinds of ideas are possible from creating an urban reserve, to building pow wow sites, to working on improving health care. “Can you picture a community health facility better than the dump that is the Misericordia right now?”
“Something that replaces the services that everybody needs in the Capital Region, a place where the 100,000 people in the Capital Region that are aboriginal that can come and heal through our First Nations ways.”
Prior to the signing ceremony the two governments held a workshop on ways to coordinate services.