Photo: (From Left) Chief Norman Davis of the Doig River First Nation, Doig River Councillor Gerry Attachie, and Fort St. John Mayor Bruce Lantz, sign the first-ever Memorandum of Understanding in the Peace region.
A memorandum of understanding has been signed between the city of Fort St. John and the Doig River First Nation.
The MOU is the first one to be signed in the Peace Region and could open the door for further agreements between the city and other First Nations groups in the area.
Fort St. John Mayor Bruce Lantz says he believes the signing means the city will be able to move forward into the future to create better partnerships.
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Diane Able, a representative of Treaty 8, says they support the MOU and believes it will be a beneficial relationship for both communities.
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Chief Norman Davis of the Doig River First Nation says the MOU will help in the establishment of an urban reserve.
The urban reserve would be an area of land adjacent to the city boundary, in which the aboriginal community would contribute financially to the city and receive the benefits of some of its services.
Davis says this would be applicable for some of the Doig River members who choose to live in the area to go to school or to work. He says this would probably occur by Fall 2011.
MLA for Peace River North Pat Pimm says the signing of the MOU is a step forward for cooperation between the government and First Nations people.
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He added that signing the MOU would help create tangible opportunities for First Nations, as well as for industry and the province.
The Fort St. John city council was in attendance at the signing. As well, other representatives from around the Peace River region attended, including Diane Able, a Treaty 8 representative, the Mayor of Chetwynd Evan Saugstad, and Director of Area C Arthur Hadland.