Paq’tnkek Chief Paul prosper (left) joined Antigonish County Warden Owen McCarron in planting a black ash seedling following last year's ceremony as a symbol of the growing relationship between the communities.

PAQTNKEK MI’KMAW NATION: On May 14th, First Nation and municipal leaders from throughout Nova Scotia will gather to explore opportunities for joint regional economic development initiatives and discuss the benefits of First Nation-municipal partnerships.

The event, titled “Anku’kamkewey– Stronger Together,” a Regional Economic Development Forum, will be held in Paqtnkek Mi’kmaw Nation and co-hosted by neighbours Paqtnkek and the Municipality of the County of Antigonish. The title Anku’kamkewey translates to “Friendship Accord.”

“This event takes place one year after establishing our Anku’kamkewey/Friendship Accord with our neighbour, our friends and our partners at the Municipality of the County of Antigonish,” Paqtnkek Chief Paul Prosper states. “Our participation in the CEDI program, has developed strong and lasting relations and together we are working toward new development of both economic and social benefits for our collective community.”

Over the past three years, Paqtnkek and the Municipality of the County of Antigonish have proudly participated in the First Nation – Municipal Community Economic Development Initiative (CEDI) program, co-led by Cando and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM). Their participation in the program has focused on building relationships and learning how municipal and First Nations function as local governments and will culminate in this forum.

The forum is both a celebration of the past three years and an exploration of what economic development is still to come, with current and new partners. The day will bring together chiefs, wardens, mayors, economic development, and government officials in one room to build relationships and name both priorities and opportunities for joint regional economic development.

“The past three years have been busy and filled with rich learning,” Antigonish Warden Owen McCarron notes. “We are proud of our partnership and eager to see where it takes our community over time. Chief Prosper and his team continue to do great work and we recognize that working together strengthens not just our individual units but our entire region. This forum will allow us to share our journey but engage in new ideas with our colleagues from across the province to see what is possible.”