Joint economic development and land management
In 2010, FCM surveyed its municipal members about municipal-First Nations relations. Members ranked working with common standards and doing joint planning for economic development among the top five ways to improve their relationships and shared goals with nearby First Nation communities.
Since it was launched in 2012, CEDI's focus has been on joint community economic development (CED). This will continue throughout Phase 2 because it's a model that provides opportunity and optimism to the communities involved.
Representatives from CEDI First Nations and municipalities have told us that joint CED, which can include problem-solving around land uses and management, includes these benefits:
- Better community-to-community relationships
- A more attractive climate for investors and tourists
- A stronger, united voice for engaging with businesses and federal and provincial governments
- Less duplication and more efficient use of limited resources
- Access to each partner's unique human, physical and financial capacities, and alternative funding streams
- More opportunities for local business development and job creation
- Coordinated planning efforts to improve land use, land management and environmental/resource protection
Each CEDI community partnership works in its own unique way. The partners jointly decide what applies to their geography, people, and circumstances.
Some CEDI partners have gone on study tours in support of tourism ventures. Others have used peer mentorship to launch their joint work, hired joint Economic Development Officers, or organized regional planning workshops that brought people together who had never imagined being in the same room planning a better future.
The launch of CEDI's Stronger Together toolkit in September 2015 made the learnings of CEDI's Phase 1 available to a wide audience because the way that CEDI does joint CED, contains lessons for First Nations and municipalities across Canada, whether or not they are CEDI partners.
Could the CEDI model be a new way of doing business, based on a new vision for Canada? We hope so.