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City of Powell River Council called on to endorse C3 meetings

Resident asked councillors to enable continued communication with Tla'amin Nation and qathet Regional District
BUILD RELATIONSHIPS: Kim Barton-Bridges appeared before City of Powell River’s committee of the whole to request that councillors support two motions from councillor Trina Isakson, to be discussed later at the meeting, that involve interaction with Tla’amin Nation and qathet Regional District in one case, and a working group in another.

City of Powell River councillors have been urged to support motions regarding community meetings and community working groups.

At the April 2 committee of the whole meeting, Kim Barton-Bridges said recognizing that the BC Legislature unanimously passed the Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act in 2019, encouraging government-to-government meetings, and for the reasons that councillor Trina Isakson had put forward in a notice of motion, council was implored to engage with both Tla’amin Nation and qathet Regional District to build relationships, share information and ensure that discussions that advance decision making are made in duly-called meetings of city council.

“Ours is a small community, which makes it even more important for the three local governments to work together, showing a willingness to work together by voting yes to councillor Isakson’s C3 forum notice of motion,” said Barton-Bridges.

The C3, or community-to-community-to-community meetings, have in past been held involving the three local levels of government.

“The 2003 community accord between the City of Powell River and Tla’amin Nation is a shining example of how we are leaders,” said Barton-Bridges. “More than any one specific action, the most important aspect is being in a good relationship, with open lines of communication between the city and the nation. Our community accord is unparalleled in Canada and many other jurisdictions look to this relationship as a blueprint for what good relationships with First Nations could look like.”

Barton-Bridges said the community accord was re-signed in 2018 after the Tla’amin Nation treaty was implemented in 2016, to demonstrate an ongoing commitment to the relationship between the nation and the city.

“There were changes in city council between 2003 and 2018, yet both councils thought it was important enough to sign and re-sign, respectively,” said Barton-Bridges. “Please let’s keep this good work going and also support councillor Isakson’s motion to establish a working committee.”

Barton-Bridges said there are many benefits to working with Tla’amin in strengthening the relationship between the two communities, not the least of which are economic in nature. She said Tla’amin is a major employer, its members live in the city, and Tla’amin’s successful businesses are thriving and growing.

“In addition to the economic benefits, we are small communities living in a remote and isolated area,” said Barton-Bridges. “It’s a situation that always benefits from good relationships with all residents.

“Not only are Tla’amin the original people of this place, but there are many ways in which our communities interact and can benefit from each other, including through reconciliation.”

Barton-Bridges said these are challenging times for this region. Strong, positive intergovernmental relations have never been more important, she added.

“I urge you to vote unanimously in favour of these motions,” said Barton-Bridges.

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