Community to Community Program

Background

In January 1997, the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) and the First Nations Summit (FNS) jointly organized the first Province-wide Community to Community Forum.  This event brought together First Nation and local government community leaders from around BC to discuss common goals and opportunities for joint action.  Its success was due to a spirit of goodwill and an open exchange of concerns, ideas and constructive viewpoints.  There was consensus among the participants that Community to Community Forums at regional and local levels should be encouraged.

It was recognized that financial support would be one of the key factors in local governments and First Nations getting Regional Community to Community Forums off the ground.  Since 1999, through this program, federal and provincial government funding has been provided to support over 70 Regional Community to Community Forums held in communities across the province.  This year, the federal Department of Indian Affairs (BC Region) and the provincial Ministry of Community, Aboriginal and Women's Services have again provided funding to UBCM and the FNS for the purpose of providing modest grants to First Nation and local governments that successfully apply.

Description

A Regional Community to Community Forum is a jointly organized meeting between elected leaders from neighbouring First Nation and local governments.  The events bring together members of municipal councils and/or regional boards with First Nation band council members and other community leaders.

Purpose

The goal of a Regional Community to Community Forum is to increase understanding and to improve overall relations between First Nation and local governments.  A Community to Community Forum provides a time and place for dialogue on issues of mutual interest and concern.  These issues may relate to economic development, land use planning, natural resource management, service delivery and other areas of common responsibility or interest.

To qualify for funding under this program, a Community to Community Forum must work toward the following objectives:

1)  Educating and informing the participating governments about current issues in relationships between First Nations and local governments;

2)  Providing a forum for dialogue on a specific concern or topical issue;

3)  Strengthening relationships and fostering future cooperative action, by building stronger links between First Nations and local governments at the political and administrative/staff level; and

4)  Determining opportunities for future collaboration and joint action.


Further Program Information

UBCM online library of documents relating to the Regional Community to Community Forum Program:

http://www.ubcm.ca/EN/main/funding/lgps/community-to-community-forum.html

Contact Information

At UBCM:
Harmony Folz
(604) 270-8226 ext. 110
hfolz@civicnet.bc.ca

At FNS:
Colin Braker
(604) 926-9903
cbraker@fns.bc.ca