(CURVE LAKE, ONTARIO, November 4, 2019) Lang Pioneer Village was the site of the historic “Ezhi-Wiijikiwendiyang,” also known as the Friendship Accord Signing Ceremony this past Saturday in which the six partners of the Community Economic Development Initiative (CEDI) solidified their partnership. Leading representatives from Curve Lake First Nation, Hiawatha First Nation, the County of Peterborough, the Township of Selwyn, the Township of Otonabee-South Monaghan and Peterborough & the Kawarthas Economic Development penned their commitment towards the fostering of relations.

The event opened up with a traditional song performed by the Red Path Singers, a youth singing group from Curve Lake First Nation as dignitaries, Chiefs and other leaders made their way into the main hall. Former Mayor and Chief, Mary Smith (Selwyn) and Keith Knott (Curve Lake First Nation) then discussed the history of First Nation-Municipal collaboration in the greater Peterborough area before the ceremonial signing took place. Amongst those present were the Honourable Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, Elizabeth Dowdeswell, MP-elect Philip Lawrence, MPP Dave Smith, MPP Dave Piccini and Deputy Grand Council Chief James Marsden of the Anishinabek Nation.

The Accord seeks to provide a framework that will allow each partner the ability to enhance and honour one another’s historical, political, economic, social and cultural relationships. Although the principal emphasis is on building stronger economic ties, the collaboration also aims to educate and engage the public, especially the youth with regards to treaty history and reconciliation.

In 2016, CEDI was established and coordinated through the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) and Cando, a national, membership-based, non-profit indigenous organization involved in economic development with indigenous communities. The program is funded by Indigenous Services Canada.

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If you would like more information regarding this event, please contact Mile Lazarevski.