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First Nations-Municipal Collaboration Programs

Opaskwayak Cree Nation, Town of The Pas and Rural Municipality of Kelsey, MB

  Opaskwayak Cree Nation Town of The Pas RM of Kelsey

3,198 on-reserve, 2,099 off-reserve

5,513 2,272
Regional Population/ Service Area The Pas District population (30 km radius): 15,000

Three communities can work with one heart when they decide to promote their region and address vital development and infrastructure needs. The similar sizes of Opaskwayak Cree Nation and The Pas have created a regional service centre that matters to people in this remote part of Manitoba, 625 km northwest of Winnipeg.

Major industries and economic drivers

Farming, forestry, commercial fishing, tourism and transportation drive the region's economy. The area's main employer is a paper and lumber mill operated by Tolko Industries. In the service sector, University College of the North is a mainstay.

History of the relationship

In August 2014, this three-way partnership signed a Friendship Accord outlining a commitment to work together effectively for the greater benefit of the region.

Important documents

  • Friendship Accord

CEDI's focus

Joint priorities identified by the communities include:

  • Developing joint methods to attract investors.
  • Working to solve joint challenges around infrastructure.


November 2013

Needs Assessment workshop is completed

April 2014

Relationship Building and Strategic Planning workshops are completed.


The partners identify joint initiatives and draft their Friendship Accord .

August 2014

Friendship Accord is signed at Opaskwayak Indian Days; Canada Goose (clothing manufacturer) attends the event; communities want to explore potential for Canada Goose to open a production centre in the region.

January 2015

Canada Goose declines to expand into the region right away, but promises to keep its mind open for the future.

April 2015

The communities launch quarterly Tri-Council meetings.


The communities share land use plans and begin a Regional Economic Analysis Process.  


Two student councils at high schools on reserve and in town sign a friendship accord based on a desire to work together more closely.


The partners identify business and investor attraction as a primary joint strategy. 

March 2016

The communities jointly publish an investor attraction brochure and launch a website for that purpose.

Page Updated: 18/04/2016