Local Government & First Nations Engagement
Engagement by local governments both locally and regionally can help build relationships with First Nations, benefit both communities and enhance reconciliation.
Local government and First Nations engagement is part of a neighbour-to-neighbour relationship. Engagement can happen on a broad range of mutual interests including land use, economic development, services and infrastructure, or simply to bring often historically-divided communities together.
Through engagement, many local governments and First Nations have developed service agreements, protocol agreements and memorandums of understanding to achieve mutual intgerests.
Positive engagement between local governments and First Nations can also facilitate stronger relationships, open dialogue, and improved understanding between communities to promote reconciliation and build a foundation for future relations.
Local government engagement with First Nations differs from the provincial government’s constitutional duty to consult on potential impacts to indigenous interests. That said, engagement can be a valuable way to explore opportunities for cooperation and collaboration, and minimize potential disagreements which is all part of building positive relationships between neighbours.
Engagement can also help facilitate the timely processing of local government requests for provincial statutory approval of:
- Municipal and regional district boundary changes and restructures under the Local Government Act
- Islands Trust official community plan bylaws and certain zoning bylaws under the Islands Trust Act
- Resort Municipality of Whistler official community plan bylaws under the Resort Municipality of Whistler Act and for other mountain resort municipalities if required by Letters Patent
Learn more about engagement between local governments and First Nations: