The Village of Valemount has been granted funding to host a Community to Community Forum with the Simpcw First Nation.

The Simpcw are one of several First Nations that claim at least a part of the Robson Valley as their traditional territory.

The purpose of the forum is to provide an opportunity for dialogue on economic development opportunities, says the Village’s Economic Development Officer Silvio Gislimberti.

Specifically, he says the Village wishes to discuss partnership opportunities on a proposed geothermal power production project and the Valemount Glacier Destinations resort proposal. The Simpcw have already expressed their support for the resort proposal; a potential First Nations resort base has been set aside in the resort’s Formal Proposal that was accepted by the Province this spring. The resort still needs to have its Master Plan approved before construction can begin.

The date of the forum is set for Wednesday Oct. 23rd and Thurs. Oct. 24th, 2013. Gislimberti says that the Village still needs to officially inform the Simpcw that the funding has been approved, and there is no agenda yet because they would like to work with the Simpcw to build the agenda. Crystal Celesta, Executive Secretary for Chief and Council confirmed that the Simpcw has been invited, but attendance has not yet been confirmed.

The Community to Community Forum program is presented by the First Nations Summit and Union of BC Municipalities. It is intended to help bring First Nation and local government elected leaders together to educate, strengthen relationships, and find opportunities for collaboration and joint action. Dialog topics for the forums include economic development, land use planning and service delivery, among others.

The funding is provided by the Ministry of Community, Sport & Cultural Development and Aboriginal Affairs & Northern Development Canada, and must be matched in cash or in-kind by the Village of Valemount.

By: Korie Marshall