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Communities, First Nations share ideas, opportunities


Community and First Nations leaders have met in a unique Community to Community forum to explore how they can work together to create co-operative structures for shared ideas, opportunities and initiatives.

The forum was held in Mount Currie last Saturday, March 9, and was deemed a success by all who participated.

Attendees included Lil’wat Nation Chief Allen Stager; Whistler Mayor Hugh O’Reilly; Mount Currie Band CEO Lyle Leo; Pemberton Mayor Elinor Warner; Chief Darryl Peters from Douglas First Nation; Samahquam Councillor Bill Schneider; SLRD Administrator John Gairns; and many members of the Village of Pemberton and Mount Currie councils.

The intent of the forum was to foster greater communication and synergy between all communities in the northern Sea to Sky region.

The prevailing message from all reflected that: "Together we are a stronger community." and "Through communication and trust we can become better neighbours and better communities."

By the afternoon, a list of priorities had percolated to the surface from ideas and opportunities that were discussed throughout the day. The primary goals of the group include:

• Hosting a Youth Forum for the region, including how youth can participate in the 2010 Olympic bid process.

• Exploring the shared recreation and tourism opportunities made possible through the "Gateway Project" that Pemberton has underway.

• Developing a pool of shared resources and knowledge including an inventory of emergency, fire and rescue equipment and exploring shared safety personnel training opportunities.

• Celebrating the co-operative successes of the region through greater community and media messaging.

• Ensuring that all of the member communities are informed and involved in the 2010 bid process.

• Working collectively as a larger community to ensure greater success for all.

The participants will meet again in August to continue the process.

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