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First Nations-Municipal Collaboration Programs

Madawaska Maliseet First Nation and City of Edmundston, NB


  Madawaska Maliseet First Nation City of Edmundston

134 on-reserve, 116 off-reserve

Regional Population/ Service Area

Madawaska County (10 incorporated communities and one First Nation) Population (2011): 33,422

These two communities have found common ground in their shared desire to celebrate and preserve their distinct identities. With the Acadian and Maliseet cultures strong and proud, they are working to develop their part of northern New Brunswick as the Gateway to Atlantic Canada.

Major industries and economic drivers

Forestry, paper and maple industries are strong in the region, along with commercial and public services.

History of the relationship

In the past, the communities coexisted, but are now working together to formalize a relationship based on shared interests and joint economic planning. "Today we are meeting to begin discussing our shared vision for the future and how to plan for it. This is the first time in history that we have done so together", says Richard Lang of the Madawaska Maliseet Economic Development Corporation.

CEDI's focus

The communities identified two priorities:

  • In the short term, they created a joint communications plan aimed at telling local residents and the business communities about their partnership.

  • In the longer term, they promoted economic growth based on three pillars: promotion of local businesses and a business culture; attraction of businesses and investors; and development of regional tourism and branding.


October 2013

Needs Assessment workshop is completed.

February 2014

Relationship Building and Strategic Planning workshops are completed.

June 2014

Chief Patricia Bernard and Mayor Cyrille Simard are featured on a panel on First Nations-municipal collaboration at FCM's Annual Conference and Trade Show in Niagara Falls, ON.

October 2014

The communities attend a workshop to refine and define their joint community economic development priorities.


The communities sign and celebrate a Friendship Accord at a special ceremony attended by then Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, the Hon. Bernard Valcourt.

May 2015

A peer mentor knowledgeable in communications offers support to communications staff from both communities in developing a joint communications plan.

September 2015

After joint community meetings, the partners hire a consultant to develop a joint communications strategy; goals of the strategy are to attract and promote economic growth through local entrepreneurship, and to develop joint regional tourism activities and branding.

Page Updated: 18/04/2016