The city of Edmundston and the Madawaska Maliseet First Nation are brainstorming ways they can celebrate their new partnership. The two have joined forces to make big things happen in their community.
Edmundston Mayor Cyrille Simard says, “I think it’s the best opportunity we’ve had in recent years of having a shared vision of exactly what we’re trying to achieve, in terms of economic development, in terms of youth retention.”
The pair is taking part in a joint community economic development initiative sponsored by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and the Council for the Advancement of Native Development Officers. They took part in a two day workshop in Edmundston this week discussing their challenges and will work to develop an action plan for the future.
Morgan Bamford, program coordinator for the First Nation Municipal CEDI says, “in the long term there can be all kinds of great benefits – things like more employment opportunities, greater investment in the community, improved infrastructure.”
Patricia Bernard, chief of the Madawaska Maliseet First Nation says, “we can pool together not only our financial resources but our intellectual resources and our locality is just set up for that.”
The city and the MMFN were one of only six pairs of communities that were selected nationwide out of 280 applicants – they were selected because they already unofficially share a number of services and collaborate on several projects.
“We feel we’re lucky, we made the luck because we went forward with it I wouldn’t say we were aggressive but we really took out the opportunity” said Simard.
Simard believes this partnership will allow the pair to go farther and get results quicker.
“When we grow, they grow, and when they grow, we grow,” said Bernard.
This is a project that they’ll be working on for the next two years.