A joint application by the Town of Cochrane and the Stoney Nakoda Nation has been shortlisted for a Community Economic Development Initiative (CEDI) grant to work together.
Mayor Jeff Genung and representatives of the Stoney Nakoda First Nation were recently interviewed by two officials from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) on their proposal. Genung says a decision is expected by Dec. 15.
"It would offer significant resources to bring our communities together on a lot of initiatives, at least regularly establish a framework of meetings, how we communicate, what initiatives do we wish to talk about regularly. and resources for both our community and their communities," Mayor Genung said last night.
"I don't want to jinx it, but I feel we may get it."
Part of his confidence is based upon the unique makeup of the three First Nations within Stoney Nakoda.
"They had not encountered that previously, so that was one of the barriers we highlighted--who do we talk to about what and when?"
He praised Devin LaFleche, town sustainability and transit coordinator, for both applying for the grant and providing him with the tools for a successful interview.
Participating in the interview from Stoney Nakoda Nation were Stoney Tribal Administration CEO Ryan Robb and Bearspaw Chief Darcy Dixon.
CEDI is a unique program that helps neighbouring First Nations and municipalities develop the capacity to jointly implement long-term plans for community economic development initiatives and land use. The program is overseen by FCM and the Council for the Advancement of Native Development Officers (CANDO). It is funded through Indigenous Services Canada.
This is the third phase of its implementation, and eight new First Nation-municipal partnerships will be approved this time around.
Both town and Stoney Nakoda officials have been working towards fostering a closer relationship.