Paqtnkek Mi’kmaw Nation, Municipality of the County of Antigonish, and the Eastern Strait Regional Enterprise Network (ESREN)

Paqtnkek and Antigonish

Paqtnkek 2

Chief Paul Prosper and Warden Owen McCarron planted a black ash tree in an area known as Walnek as part of the Friendship Accord signing ceremony.


Unique Features of this Partnership

This partnership has the unique opportunity to be collaborating at the same time that Paqtnkek Mi’kmaw Nation received approval for a major economic development opportunity with the highway Interchange project, a development that will bring positive impacts to the entire region. These partners will participate in CEDI between 2016-2019.

Areas of Collaboration – Joint CED Themes

• Collaborating on energy efficiency initiatives and developing renewable energy capacity
• Convening regional partners to explore regional economic development
• Sharing services and land use planning



• Hosted Anku’kamkewey: Regional Economic Development Forum in May 2019, bringing Mi’kmaw and municipal leadership from across Nova Scotia to explore regional collaboration on economic development.

• Developed and signed an Anku’kamkewey (Friendship Accord). Organized a public signing ceremony including local dignitaries and community members in May 2018.

• Hosted first joint council-to-council meeting, chaired my Chief Paul Prosper in Antigonish County Chambers.

• Worked in collaboration on several joint submissions for projects and programs, including SmartCities Challenge and Low Carbon Communities.

• Held a Joint Energy Efficiency and Renewables Workshop and engaged with national energy experts on developing an joint energy plan.

• Worked collaboratively to develop new Active Living Plans, and recreational programming to ensure inclusion, including Nitap program (a Mi’kmaw word for friend). This program, being modelled elsewhere, brought community members together to share traditional skills and artistry, develop self-awareness, and explore traditional health.

• Presented on partnership at the 2017 Cando Conference and 2018 FCM Annual Conference


In the Media:

• The Casket, May 17, 2019, “Forum focuses on progressive partnership between Paqtnkek, Antigonish County”

• CBC, Jan 15, 2019: “Highway interchange gives Paqtnkek Mi'kmaw Nation access to cut-off land”

• CBC, May 6, 2018: “Paqtnkek and Antigonish County sign 'historic' friendship agreement”

• The Globe and Mail, Mar 5, 2018: “Divided by a Highway, a Mi’kmaw Nation Paves Its Road to Revival in Nova Scotia”


Why Work Together?


"The CEDI initiative provides a new and fresh perspective on how community and economic development can flourish through partnership with our local municipal neighbours. We are a community within communities and through our joint efforts we are exploring new and innovative ways to improve the lives of all our residents."

- Chief PJ Prosper, Paqtnkek Mi'kmaw Nation


"By committing to CEDI the Municipality of the County of Antigonish and Paqtnkek have committed to each other and to recognizing our community as one. Within the first year of the working through CEDI we have and are continuing to develop relationships and both a trend and habit of working more closely together. Russell Boucher our former Warden and I shared a strong desire to explore new ground through this partnership and his enthusiasm and dedication to CEDI and working with Paqtnkek is echoed by myself and Council. CEDI has allowed us to build and strengthen our relationships, our knowledge and understanding of how we govern and how we operate day to day as local governments. That process and base is an important component of reconciliation and will allow us to determine where our collective community goes in partnership through the duration of CEDI and beyond."

- Warden Owen McCarron, the Municipality of the County of Antigonish

"By using the pathways outlined in the calls to action as a guide and keeping Economic Development as a focal point; and with the wisdom and guidance of our Elders, of FCM and Cando we can only succeed. This is a time where municipal leaders have to be open to new approaches, pool resources, and communicate openly. This project is encouraging us to do this with support. We want to make our community, one that includes Paqtnkek and the Municipality of the County of Antigonish a place of peace, and prosperity, a place of respect and dignity, and a place that has a thriving economy. During our initial workshops and meetings together we demonstrated we have the political will, the leadership to do it and that we are committed to working on the rest together."

- Former Warden Russell Boucher, the Municipality of the County of Antigonish 

Next Steps

This partnership has graduated from the CEDI program and through their Joint Steering Committee will continue into the future to work on implementing their economic development initiatives. They are actively encouraging and supporting other communities in Nova Scotia to pursue their own partnerships and collaboration.


Curious about CEDI? Want to know more? Take the CEDI survey!

For More

Marissa Lawrence
Senior Program Officer, Cando
T: (778) 628 2180

Helen Patterson
CEDI Program Manager
Federation of Canadian Municipalities
T. 613-907-6320