Canada has been making headlines recently, as a progressive, welcoming country, contrasting recent accusations leveled at other major world powers. Recent development has only reinforced the image of a progressive, equal Canada, with a recent agreement between the city of Edmonton, Alberta and the local Enoch Cree First Nation.
The local city government and the Enoch Cree First Nation, represented by their respective leaders: Mayor Don Iveson and Chief Billy Morin, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding: an official documentation that formalizes the relationship of the city government with that of the indigenous group. This document signifies the agreement of the two parties to cooperate with one another on improving each other; housing, tourism, economy, infrastructure, etc, meaning that local businesses, such as Capital Plumbing & Heating, are expected to aid in this endeavor.
Both leaders have expressed their joy at the signing of the Memorandum, with Mayor Don Iveson stating that the signing is a milestone for both the city of Edmonton and the Enoch Cree First Nation, seeing as it’s the first time the two have formalized the relationship between them. Chief Billy Morin has stated that the ceremony is more than just the signing of a paper. It was the traditional agreement process of their people, complete with a sweat and pipe ceremony last Thursday with the First Nation members. Chief Morrin has stated his appreciation of the gesture.
The agreement is set to pave the way for an Enoch Cree First Nation urban reserve located in Edmonton, wherein First Nation members can build businesses and invest. The details are still being discussed, and the completion of the reserve is still a few years from now, but the beginning of the development is already quite a move. The agreement will benefit both sides for days to come and the urban reserve will be quite the hurdle, but for the mean time, the two governments will be working side by side in improving for the future.
Chief Morin has expressed his belief in the potential of this relationship, stating that whilst there will, inevitably, be hurdles to clear, they simply need the willpower to get past them.
In the future, local Edmontonian businesses, like Capital Plumbing & Heating, may be working alongside Enoch Cree businesses.