Ktunaxa, RDEK to collaborate

The Ktunaxa Nation Council and Regional District of East Kootenay will work together to draft a Memorandum of Understanding this year.

The Ktunaxa Nation Council and Regional District of East Kootenay will work together to draft a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) this year.

The project was supported by the Ktunaxa Nation Council last November, and the Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) board of directors supported moving ahead with the project on Friday, Jan. 10.

“I think this would be a good step forward,” said board chair Rob Gay.

The first steps to draft an MOU between the RDEK, the municipalities within it, and the Ktunaxa Nation Council and its communities were taken in 2007.

However, it stalled when staff brought the project to the RDEK elected officials.

“It got to the point (where) it was time for municipal councils and this board to review. There was a municipal council that was adamantly opposed to proceeding with an MOU at that time. So it was dropped and it never proceeded,” Chief Administrative Officer Lee-Ann Crane told the board on Friday.

Since then, the RDEK and Ktunaxa have continued to collaborate, most recently on an Official Community Plan for Koocanusa. Last fall, the Ktunaxa approached the RDEK about beginning work once more on the MOU, but this time between the RDEK and the Ktunaxa Nation Council only, not the municipalities or bands.

“So the Nation Council is interested; they want to continue to do this. They want to have this MOU,” said Crane.

“It’s a step ahead in the continued efforts to solidify our communication and working relationships both with the Nation Council,” said Crane.

The two governments will work together this year to draft the Memorandum of Understanding around land use planning and development management.