ANTIGONISH: Two local communities are partnering up.

Last week, Antigonish Municipal Council voted to “enter into a community-to-community relationship with Paq’tnkek Mi’kmaw Nation in the spirit of lasting friendship and collaboration, economic prosperity and building community.”

Antigonish County Warden Russell said the municipality is forming a Community Economic Development Initiative (CEDI) with the Antigonish County First Nation.
Council passed the agreement during its regular monthly meeting last week.

On Thursday at the Paqtnkek Community Gymnasium, Paq’tnkek and the municipality, along with the Eastern Strait Regional Enterprise Network, are coming together to work with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) and CANDO on the CEDI.

Boucher said the partnership is fostered through the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.

“We are very happy to have gone this far in the negotiations with [Paq’tnkek] and also hopefully this will further the cooperation between Paq’tnkek Mi’kmaw Nation and the County of Antigonish,” said Boucher. “We are definitely looking forward to it.”

Boucher said highway developments will like be a topic in future discussions with Paq’tnkek, noting they were trying to form the agreement up to this point.

“We will go forward with signing this agreement heading on down the road and probably [the highway] will end up coming into the picture in the future,” said the warden.

The resolution will see Boucher and Chief Paul James Prosper as the two joint CEDI champions. The signed agreement lasts until March 31, 2019.

Parts of the agreement include the county participating in workshops with Paq’tnkek between November 2016 and March 2019, facilitated by CEDI staff, which will be a combination of relationship-building and strategic planning workshops. The agreement also calls for follow-up support visits with CEDI staff between November 2016 and March 2019.