On Sept. 15, 2014 Mayor and Council signed a Protocol Agreement with the Nak’azdli First Nation, outlining mutual respect between communities, acknowledgement of Nak’azdli Traditional Territory, and a quarterly meeting schedule between the two local governments. To celebrate the historic agreement, a Block Party event was held on Kwah Rd, a road which outlines the jurisdictional boundary between the municipality and First Nation. The event included many local food tables, traditional games, music by Nak’azdli and Fort St. James performers, speeches from Chief Fred Sam and Mayor MacDougall, and 100 ‘wish lanterns’ sent off at 8p.m. to signify the positive hopes and desires residents have for the two communities. As a whimsical addition to the event, magic show passing through town joined the block and brought with them some interesting lizards for the public to check out. An estimated 300 – 400 attendees were present from the two communities.
(Exerted from the Agreement)
Whereas the Parties:
a. acknowledge that both communities are situated on Nak’azdli traditional territory and that with this acknowledgement comes respect for the land, people and unique histories of that territory; and
b. recognize that each council has unique responsibilities and authorities for their respective communities, within their respective areas of jurisdiction; and
c. recognize the need to collaborate on matters that impact the other, and that a collaborative relationship with each other must be founded on the fundamental principles of trust, honesty and mutual respect; and
d. wish to develop a shared vision that celebrates diversity, promotes healthy communities and supports the principles of sustainable development; and
e. wish to establish a strong government-to-government relationship for the purpose of sharing information, improving communications, and working together on joint initiatives.
NOW THEREFORE the Parties agree to:
a. Engage in co-operative action and invest in building the intergovernmental relationship at all levels (elected officials, administration, staff and citizens); and
b. Develop joint service agreements that are mutually beneficial; and
c. Recognize this Protocol as a living document that will be renewed regularly to reflect emerging priorities of the intergovernmental relationship; and
d. Implement this Protocol in the best efforts of each council and staff member of the respective Parties; and
e. Appoint representatives to participate on the Partnership Steering Committee—to meet quarterly; and
f. Engage in annual Council to Council meetings to develop the intergovernmental relationship and move forward on joint priorities. The first of such meetings will be held no later than June 30, 2014.