2012-10-17 at 6:00 PM
City, Fort William First Nation strengthen bond with signing of declaration
Keith Hobbs (left) and Peter Collins.
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The City of Thunder Bay and Fort William First Nation have a good relationship.
That’s the message both Mayor Keith Hobbs and FWFN Chief Peter Collins said at the resigning of the Declaration of Commitment at the Current River Rec Centre Wednesday. It’s the first time that both city council and Fort William’s band council sat down with each other.
The meeting focused three main issues relating to infrastructure social issues and cultural issues.
The two communities have been neighbours for decades but it was about a year ago that the city and the First Nation community signed the declaration in order to strengthen the relationship.
Collins said there are a number of issues around the GDP lands that they need to take care of including dealing with piping now that the Loch Lomond Water plant is no longer used as a supply source.
But Collins said they also want to bring new economic opportunities to both Thunder Bay and Fort William.
“It’s starting to put meat and potatoes together on a declaration we made about a year ago,” Collins said. ”It means we can start working on some of the outstanding issues that we have between the communities. We’re been working pretty closely together in trying to bring opportunities to this area. As the Ring of Fire blossoms, that’s when you will see the fruits of our labour.”
Hobbs said the meeting will focus on terms of reference and how the two communities can move forward together.
Thunder Bay took home the Strategic Project of the Year award and the Job Creation Project of the Year Award at the North American Strategic Infrastructure Leadership Forum in Denver, Colo. Both the city and Fort William along with CEDC worked on that project.
Hobbs said the award shows the importance of collaborating with Fort William in order to have a solid plan in place when the mining boom happens.
“We’re also working on social issues,” Hobbs said. “We want to develop youth centres and deal with drug use and the problems that are associated with that. This declaration is all encompassing and their issues are our issues. Together I think if we work in partnership things can go a long way.”
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