For Immediate Release

January 7, 2016

Beardy’s & Okemasis First Nation signs on to Community Development Initiative

Beardy’s & Okemasis First Nation, Treaty 6 – “In signing Band Council Resolution #2015-2016-028 on November 10, 2015, we became the 6th First Nation in Saskatchewan to join the Community Development Initiative – a pilot project through Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada – Saskatchewan Region” explains Kevin Seesequasis, Councillor in charge of Community Development for the Beardy’s & Okemasis First Nation. “Community members will quite literally shape the future of our Nation and further set us on the course toward self-government – I strongly encourage you all to participate. This will be your plan, your vision!

The Community Development Initiative (CDI) is a partnership between Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) and Urban Systems in the development of a Comprehensive Community Plan (CCP). The guiding principles of the CDI are:

  1. Every First Nation is different and has unique goals, strengths, and capacity needs;
  2. The people themselves can improve their community by working together, building consensus on priorities and actions, building on community assets, and developing individual and community capacity; and
  3. Tracking the progress of key indicators will provide individuals with decision making authority with the ability to make informed, objective decisions.

The 4 phases of the pilot project are a) Take Stock (introduce project, site visit and meetings, collect data, community assessment, capacity diagram); b) Engage Community (focus groups, Council, urban centres, community surveys, open houses etc); c) Develop a Strategy (community sustainability plan, capacity diagram, community celebration, launch online dashboard); d) Implementation (access to capacity development funding, fewer proposal and reporting requirements, share progress with community, decision making based on empirical data, self-assessment updated guide).

We’re already in the process of hiring a Community Development Officer, we’ve signed the contract with Urban Systems, we’ve participated in a Navigator Workshop and are hosting another in February, and will begin the Community Engagement phase shortly thereafter. These are the first steps in the development of the Comprehensive Community Plan – our strategy for an integrated approach to support a healthy, sustainable nation.” concluded Councillor Seesequasis.

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For more information on the Community Development Initiative, contact:

Councillor Kevin Seesequasis

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