Shuswap Indian Band and District of Invermere
Shuswap Indian Band and District of Invermere working group.
Shuswap Indian Band and District of Invermere Friendship Agreement Group.
Unique Features of this Partnership
Together, elected officials and senior staff from Shuswap Indian Band (SIB) and District of Invermere (DOI), and the Columbia Valley Community Economic Development Officer create a small, yet dedicated Working Group. For decades, a community to community relationship was not existent and now, these communities have created an enthusiastic partnership committed to the social, cultural, environmental and economic benefits of working together. Following a thorough project selection process, this partnership chose to explore community connectivity to symbolically and physically connecting their communities over the Columbia River with a safe and accessible pedestrian bridge. They signed a Friendship Agreement, completed a Joint Strategic Plan for the next five years and hired a Partnership Coordinator to support their partnership post-CEDI participation. Shuswap Indian Band and District of Invermere participated in CEDI between 2018 – 2021.
Areas of Collaboration – Joint CED Themes
- Joint Active Transportation Network Plan
- Joint engagement with Provincial Ministries on potential co-management of park and related tourism initiatives
- Joint environmental stewardship and wildlife rehabilitation efforts
- Shared cultural and historical learning
- Joint Workshop to learn about each community’s history, culture, governance and economic development priorities, and to build the government to government relationship (February 2019)
- Band Council and Municipal Council Resolutions passed committing to CEDI until 2021 (March 2019)
- Issued a joint press release announcing the partnership with regional media coverage (May 2019)
- Jointly developed scoring criteria and completed a joint project assessment exercise to score and prioritize joint community economic development initiatives (September 2019)
- Joint Workshop to explore active transportation network plans, to create a shared vision and objectives for a Shuswap Indian Band – District of Invermere Joint Active Transportation Network Plan (November 2019)
- Established a draft Joint Strategic Plan for Joint Active Transportation Network Plan (November 2019)
- Successful joint applicants of the Province of BC, Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure for the BC Active Transportation Network Plan Grant (February 2020)
- Formalized Joint Strategic Plan for Joint Active Transportation Network Plan with Council feedback (March 2020)
- Joint (online) Workshop to collaboratively draft a Friendship Agreement for Shuswap Indian Band – District of Invermere (May 2020)
- Created a call for local artists to submit artwork to accompany the written aspect of this Friendship Agreement. A winning art submission was selected as a partnership logo and integrated into the Friendship Agreement (July 2020)
- Signed the Friendship Agreement in a safe and socially-distanced way on the banks of the Columbia River. The signing was livestreamed so community members could safely participate (October 2020)
- Completed the Joint Active Transportation Network Plan, including community engagement, with support of Urban Systems, which was endorsed by both SIB and DOI councils (January 2021)
- Joint Workshop to share the Joint Active Transportation Network Plan with twenty-two local and regional stakeholders interested in regional active transportation and trail development (February 2021)
- Created a five-year Joint Strategic Plan for SIB – DOI partnership (March 2021)
- Developed a role description and hired a local ‘Partnership Coordinator’ to support the SIB – DOI partnership post-CEDI program participation (April 2021)
- Joint Workshop to celebrate the SIB – DOI partnership shared accomplishments to date and completion of the CEDI program, and create a draft work plan for 2021 (April 2021)
- Band Council and Municipal Council Resolutions passed endorsing the Working Group Terms of Reference and Joint Strategic Plan (June 2021)
In the Media:
- Columbia Valley Pioneer, May 22, 2019, "Act of Reconciliation"
- e-know.ca, May 15, 2019, "Band and DOI partner for economic development initiative"
- e-know.ca, October 2, 2020, “Shuswap Band and DOI to sign friendship agreement”
- Toronto Star, October 23, 2020, “Friendship Agreement finalized”
- Union of British Columbia Municipalities, “Pathways to Collaboration Case Study on Shuswap Indian Band and District of Invermere”
Why Work Together?
“I am pleased to participate in this important initiative with Mayor Miller and the District of Invermere. This has been so important, not only in working with the Municipality of Invermere to share our culture and the exchange of governance, but to be working together on a common goal to address our economic challenges that will strengthen our relationship and the regional economy, and move our communities forward.”
– Chief Barb Cote, Shuswap Band
“I am confident that our common goals for local economic development and social wellbeing will foster benefits that extend to many other aspects of community building, and CEDI is giving us the framework to work together to achieve strong local results. I look forward to working with Chief Barb Cote and the Shuswap Indian Band for the benefit of both communities.”
- Mayor Al Miller, District of Invermere
This partnership has graduated from the CEDI program, and are well-positioned with a Joint Strategic Plan, draft work plan for 2021, solid Working Group with Terms of Reference, Friendship Agreement, Joint Active Transportation Network Plan and third-party support from the Partnership Coordinator, for a long-term and successful partnership. SIB and DOI will continue to advance the Joint Active Transportation Network Plan and pedestrian crossing over the Columbia River, and other initiatives identified in their Joint Strategic Plan.