Potential Partnerships

Potential partnerships are an important part of CEDI’s mission. We invite anyone interested to review the following information and visit this page often so you can keep informed about what we’re doing, and what we’re planning. 

The CEDI Joint First Nations-Municipal Planning Process

Across Canada, First Nation communities and municipalities are strengthening their regions by creating and maintaining partnerships and collaborating on land use planning and community economic development initiatives. Through this process, they are working to reconcile past differences and build powerful new relationships based on mutual respect, understanding and a common vision for their future.

In Cando and FCM’s experience, many First Nations and municipalities would like to collaborate but are not sure where to start. There are significant differences in the communities’ legal rights, jurisdictions, governance, resources, economic conditions, demographics, and cultures.

While collaboration requires an investment of time to build the relationship, it provides significant returns as communities gain access to a broader range of skills, ideas, funding, and assets. The greatest benefit is that First Nations and municipalities have the opportunity to create a new era of cooperation.

If you are looking to build or strengthen a First Nation-municipal partnership, we encourage you to check out the Stronger Together Toolkit and other CEDI Tools


A. Connect

Meet, build a stronger relationship and formally commit to the joint CEDI process

B. Vision

Create a shared vision for the relationship and formally commit to it through a relationship agreement

C. Decide

Decide on joint CED initiatives, develop work plans and set up a governance structure to manage implementation

D. Act

Work together to implement the work plans, strengthen the partnership and build a stronger regional economy

Stronger Together Approach

As part of the CEDI program pilot phase (2013-2016), the Stronger Together approach was developed in collaboration with participating First Nation-municipal partnerships, creating a community-informed four-stage approach to First Nation-municipal partnership development and collaborative planning. The process is designed to strengthen the relationships among the communities through an ongoing cycle of convening, listening and uniting. The circle and braid hold the framework in place and represent how the weaving together of different communities makes them healthier, more resilient and stronger together.

The four stages of the Stronger Together approach are briefly outlined below.

Stage A: Connect: First Nations and municipalities meet, begin to engage in learning with and from each other, challenge assumptions and expand understanding, identify shared community development priorities, and commit to establishing a partnership.

Stage B: Vision: First Nations and municipalities continue to engage in shared learning, identify shared values and vision, engage their communities, and collaboratively define community economic development priorities.

Stage C: Decide: First Nations and municipalities decide on a joint community economic development initiative to work on together, develop a strategic plan and work plans as required, identify funding as required and set up a governance structure to manage implementation.

Stage D: Act: First Nations and municipalities work together to implement the joint community economic development initiative work plan, engage community members, stakeholders, and funders, create partnership agreements as directed by the partnership and joint initiative, and plan for partnership resiliency.

As the diagram illustrates, communities connect and reconnect in a fluid way as new staff members and elected officials join the process, and as the partnership overcomes challenges and works towards shared opportunities. They move through the cycle of (re)connecting, visioning, deciding, and acting multiple times as their relationship strengthens and as their joint initiatives advance. As this relationship becomes a partnership, different projects and priorities emerge.