Unique Features of this Partnership
Edmonton is Canada’s fifth largest city with a population of 972,223, and Enoch Cree Nation with a membership of 2,566 Enoch Cree Nation – City of Edmonton partnership represents the first CEDI partnership in a large urban context (in CEDI Phase I, the largest municipality was Ville d’Edmundston with a population of approximately 20,000). Together, this partnership has established a Collaborative Working Group, which takes an incubator-approach, co-chaired by staff champions from each community. Enoch Cree Nation and the City of Edmonton participated in CEDI 2016 – 2019.
Areas of Collaboration – Joint CED Themes
- Boundary Interface Protocols and Strategies (BIPS) to coordinate planning on the shared border between Parkland County, Enoch Cree Nation and the City of Edmonton
- Cultural tourism and conservation through the proposed Big Island Provincial Park in southwest Edmonton
- Exploring a transit connection between Enoch Cree Nation and City of Edmonton and Enoch Cree Nation inclusion on Regional Transit Services Commission
- Harmonizing planning for sports and recreation facilities
- Exploring collaboration on Affordable Housing
- Community Educational Videos on History, Present and Future of Enoch Cree Nation – City of Edmonton Partnership
- Established Working Group Terms of Reference
- Culturally significant and public signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) (March 2017)
- Agreement for City to provide mosquito control services at Enoch Cree Nation (Spring 2017, renewed annually)
- Joint Workshop to explore collaboration opportunities in sports and recreation and green energy (December 2017)
- Joint Workshop with local subject-matter experts to explore collaboration opportunities in permanent supportive housing (PSH) (April 2018)
- Recommitment to the MOU celebration, including both councils, youth councils and the public (April 2018)
- Edmonton Metropolitan Regional Board invited Enoch Cree Nation to be part of its emerging Regional Transit Services Commission (April 2019)
- A final CEDI Joint Workshop to address three areas of collaboration and to celebrate the Enoch Cree Nation and City of Edmonton partnership (March 2019)
- Enoch Cree Nation credits, in part, the CEDI process with the approval for additional water capacity from the City of Edmonton needed to flow water to the new waterline, reservoir and pumphouse. This will provide clean drinking water servicing 500 homes, Enoch’s brand new school, health center, youth center, convenience store and many other facilities. It will also enable Enoch to move forward with their plans for a 300 acre Industrial Park
- Production of three community educational videos on the history, present and future of Enoch Cree Nation – City of Edmonton partnership
- Stronger Together, Part 1 (Past): As long as the sun shines and the river flows
- Stronger Together, Part 2 (Present): We are all Treaty People
- Stronger Together, Part 3 (Future): ᐘᐦᑯᐦᑐᐏᐣ Wahkohtowin
In the Media
- The Edmonton Journal, March 9, 2017, “Urban reserve on the table as Edmonton signs friendship agreement with Enoch Cree Nation”
- APTN, March 11, 2017, “Enoch Cree Nation set to develop urban reserve in Edmonton after signing partnership deal”
- Edmonton Journal, Sept 8, 2017, “Mayor's plan for provincial park in southwest Edmonton backed by Enoch Cree Nation” (also covered by CBC and GlobalNews)
- Edmonton Journal, Feb 28, 2018, “Michelle Wilsdon, an Enoch First Nation councilor, is hoping land near Big Island can become a Provincial park.” https://youtu.be/cFZ3pn0uUmE
- Edmonton Journal, April 8, 2018, “Enoch Cree Nation and city celebrate partnership”
- Edmonton Journal, April 23, 2018, “Councillor wants city to explore transit service to Enoch Cree Nation”
- Toronto Star, April 28, 2018, “Enoch Cree Nation wants to partner with Edmonton for bus service to the community”
- CBC, May 2, 2018, “Councillors propose transit link between Edmonton and Enoch Cree Nation”
Why Work Together?
"Our people are Maskekosak – Enoch Cree Nation members first, but we still also feel that we are Edmontonian’s. The MOU and the partnership [with City of Edmonton] give us more ownership together in a mutual beneficial way. Our teams do work together, and I like the exposure they get at the municipal level at those tables for development. This gives investors a lot of certainty, a lot of comfort knowing that we can build relationships with other jurisdictions."
– Chief Billy Morin, Enoch Cree Nation
"We have been neighbours with Enoch Cree Nation for more than a century, and yet its only in the last few years that we have started to act like neighbours. I think the most important thing about the work we did is that we built relationships, we built friendships and we built trust."
– Mayor Don Iveson, City of Edmonton
"We went into this CEDI program thinking there would be a project (a road, a building) then we realised we aren’t getting to a project, but our project would be our relationship and our way of working together – and that was ok. Sometimes this work, if you focus too much on something specific, you may not see that this work is a generational shift and change, culture change, changing the way we work together as neighbours."
– Morgan Bamford, Indigenous Relations Consultant, City of Edmonton
"The CEDI partnership has enabled us to get to know each other and learn about how each government (our First Nation and Edmonton) works. That collaboration is extended by the efforts made by our Chief Billy Morin with Mayor Don Iveson, our government staffs, our councils whom are now interacting and involved with each other, to where such had not happened before. Our group is successful because we created an environment of trust, understanding and collaboration. We are stronger because of making the effort to know each other beyond our formal meetings, to have a real relationship, where crossing paths is no longer a happenstance of strangers. We now recognize each other as colleagues with a better understanding what the other does. We are working on the steps that we need to take to lead towards a better future for us as neighbors together."
– Corina Hollingworth, Executive Director of Planning and Development, Enoch Cree Nation
This partnership has graduated from the CEDI program. Enoch Cree Nation and City of Edmonton continue to prioritize the joint community economic development initiatives identified during their participation in CEDI. In addition, they are collaborating in innovative ways; in fall 2019, Mayor Don Iveson and Chief Billy Morin co-hosted the first ever Northern Alberta Mayors and Reeves Caucus with Treaty 6 & 8 Chiefs at Enoch Cree Nation. This gathering included an Alberta-based CEDI Phase I partnership, and invited regional participants to identify immediate steps that they could take with neighbouring communities to establish relationships, and work towards greater collaboration.