Local CEDI Program Celebrates One Year Of Collaboration & Relationship Building

Group photo of representatives from the Bearspaw First Nation, Chiniki First Nation, Goodstoney First Nation, Stoney Tribal Administration and Town Of Cochrane. The front row of people are all sitting on chairs while the people at the back are standing behind them.

Bearspaw First Nation, Chiniki First Nation, Goodstoney First Nation, Stoney Tribal Administration and Town of Cochrane celebrate one year of collaboration and relationship-building.

Stoney Nakoda Peoples and Treaty 7 Signatories: Bearspaw First Nation, Chiniki First Nation, Goodstoney First Nation, along with Stoney Tribal Administration (STA) and the Town of Cochrane announce their continued collaboration and participation in the Community Economic Development Initiative (CEDI), a national program delivered jointly by Cando (the Council for the Advancement of Native Development Officers) and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM).

March 15, 2023, brought the one-year anniversary of a pipe ceremony that all four communities participated in, signifying the commitment of each community to a new era of government-to-government partnerships with one another. Over the course of the past year, Bearspaw First Nation, Chiniki First Nation, Goodstoney First Nation, Stoney Tribal Administration and Town of Cochrane have lived into that commitment and have continued to meet on a monthly basis via a working group, made of elected officials and senior staff from each community and organization. Prior to the Bearspaw and Goodstoney elections in fall 2022, almost 30 elected leaders and senior staff from all four communities and STA met for a 2-day facilitated workshop in September 2022 to learn about each community’s history, culture, governance, legislation, and jurisdiction. The following quotes were captured during this gathering. 

“If we can come together, government-to-government, under the heading of CEDI, then we are here to participate.” 
- Chief Aaron Young, Chiniki First Nation 

“We continue to learn from one another; the road ahead of us is better than the road behind us. Laying a foundation here for all our communities gives us some hope.” 
- Chief Darcy Dixon, Bearspaw First Nation

“The Goodstoney First Nation is thankful to participate in this great initiative. The Nation is looking forward to sharing, listening, and participating.” 
- Chief Clifford Poucette, Goodstoney First Nation

“We’re excited that we’ve embarked on this journey with the CEDI program, to get to know each other in a deeper way. The outcome we all share is for the betterment of the people that live in our communities.” 
- Mayor Jeff Genung, Town of Cochrane.

Out of respect for the fall 2022 elections, the working group did not meet between October and January. The working group meetings resumed in January 2023, and on March 15, 2023, elected leadership and senior staff from Bearspaw First Nation, Chiniki First Nation, Goodstoney First Nation and Town of Cochrane, and staff from the Stoney Tribal Administration, gathered once again to learn from one another and advance shared areas of interest in community economic development.

The CEDI program is supporting these communities to strengthen their government-to-government relationships, ultimately aiming to improve the quality of life for all in the region. The CEDI program recognizes that First Nations are sovereign nations with inherent rights and title; and therefore, the program also recognizes that First Nation and municipal governments are distinctly different forms of government with unique jurisdictions, governance models, cultures, and responsibilities. The CEDI program strives to support these unique governments to find areas of common interest and opportunity, to build relationships and inclusive and mutually beneficial ways of working with each other.