Joint Inauguration for Creston, Lower Kootenay Band

A joint inauguration for the Town of Creston and the Lower Kootenay Band is the latest milestone in a series of successful relationship building efforts supported by UBCM’s Community to Community (C2C) Forum program.   

The Creston and Lower Kootenay Band have a long history of working together using the C2C Forum program for the mutual benefit of their communities. They engaged in their first official C2C event in March 2005, bringing elected officials together for an evening meal. In 2009, they began to meet on a more regular basis. Since that time, they have held nine C2C forum events, including working dinners, joint council meetings and a community Family Day celebration.

Following his re-election in November 2014, Creston Mayor Ron Toyota approached Lower Kootenay Band Chief Jason Louie with the idea of a joint inauguration to allow councillors from both organizations—many of whom were elected for the first time—to become acquainted with one another. It was also a way to celebrate the inauguration of both councils and their continuing relationship.  

A blend of traditions and customs was demonstrated throughout the proceedings, including an escort by RCMP in red serge, a bagpiper, First Nations drumming and invocations. Representation was shared equally between the Town and the Band.  

“Community to Community events play an important role in the relationship building between senior leaders, council members and staff of both the Town of Creston and Lower Kootenay Band,” said Mayor Toyota. “C2C forums allow for interactions that the parties can build upon to develop or augment personal and professional relationships.”

Successive C2C forums have deepened and strengthened the foundation, allowing Creston and Lower Kootenay Band to partner together in several ways, including:

  • Sharing resources (i.e. staff, policies, and information);
  • Participating in regular community network meetings hosted by the Band;
  • Joint community events;
  • Consulting and collaborating as Creston develops its Official Community Plan;
  • Youth from both organizations collaborating and partnering as part of the Town’s Teen Action Committee; and,
  • Signing a Memorandum of Understanding and Friendship in 2009.

Though modest, the cost-sharing financial assistance provided by the C2C Forum program has helped support the strong partnership that exists between the Town of Creston and Lower Kootenay Band. The program helped bring relationship building to the forefront, reinforcing the importance of a strong and healthy relationship between neighbours.

Background Information

A regional Community to Community Forum is a jointly organized meeting that brings together First Nation and local government elected officials and other community leaders. Since 1999, the provincial Ministry of Community, Sport & Cultural Development and Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada have provided funding for the C2C Forum program. During this time, close to 470 regional C2C Forums have been held in communities across the Province.

The goal of a regional C2C Forum is increased understanding and improved overall relations between First Nations and local governments. To qualify for funding, a C2C Forum must include dialogue between elected officials of neighbouring communities, and work to advance specific deliverables related to outcomes from the dialogue. Any local government (municipality or regional district) or First Nation government (Band or Tribal Council) in BC may apply for funding for a regional C2C Forum. First time and repeat applicants are eligible.

Contacts

Danyta Welch
Local Government Program Services (LGPS) Policy & Program Officer
(250) 356-5193

Bhar Sihota
Policy Analyst (First Nations Relations staff support)
(604) 270-8226 x113

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