PITT MEADOWS, BC – Last week, Mayor Bill Dingwall and Katzie First Nation (KFN) Chief Grace Cunningham celebrated the collaborative relationship between the two communities with a joint presentation at the First Nations Housing & Infrastructure West Conference in Vancouver.
Both partners work hard to build a shared understanding of one another’s culture. This is fostered through mutual participation in community events and ceremonies and learning about one another.
“The KFN was an integral part of the City’s inauguration ceremony and City officials attended the inauguration of KFN Chief Grace Cunningham,” says Mayor Bill Dingwall. “Recently, there have been significant moments which opened the door to the aboriginal culture for me. I have had the honour of participating in an intimate Blanket Ceremony and Brushing Ceremony as well as learning the importance of the eagle to the First Nations’ culture.”
The presentation outlined four pillars that both communities use as touchstones: relationship building, formalized agreements, joint governance and collaboration and staff-to-staff collaboration.
Mayor Bill Dingwall and Chief Grace Cunningham highlighted the many ways that the two communities work together to prioritize the relationship and to better understand each other’s culture. Both parties actively engage in joint governance, share information, participate, recognize and celebrate together. The presentation also profiled three well-established agreements including: communication protocols and the provision of water, sewer and fire protection, in place since 2016.
“Pitt Meadows is committed to continuing to foster meaningful and respectful relationships with the KFN,” says Mayor Bill Dingwall. “Council members and staff frequently attend Council-to-Council meetings to discuss areas of mutual concern such as: traffic issues, opportunities for additional shared servicing, the environment and mutual participation in community planning processes.”
Recently, the City of Pitt Meadows and the KFN councils’ have united on regional transportation issues and lobbied for a secondary access to KFN lands from regional and/or provincial roads. As well, they discussed and applied jointly for Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) grants.
“When we collaborate and move in the same direction, we can support each other more effectively, says Mayor Bill Dingwall.”
Staff-to-staff collaboration has included:
- continuous collaboration to support emergency management and preparedness.
- staff-to staff-discussions regarding establishing a dog control service.
- land use discussions including discussions about the Official Community Plan update, land use tools for zoning, building permitting, subdivision and associated processes.
- staff-to-staff discussions about land assessment processes, taxation, collection and the best practices.
For more information please contact:
Manager of Communications & Community Engagement
City of Pitt Meadows