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Doig River First Nation and the Peace River Regional District are drafting a memorandum of understanding that will elaborate on land-use for additions to reserve properties.

Doig River First Nation acquired several properties within the regional district. These properties are in the process of gaining reserve status through the federal addition to reserve process.

“It’s two forms of government trying to come to agreement upon many different variables,” Owen Bloor, a land use planner with Doig River First Nation, said. “So, although it’s a slow process, we’ve had a couple of really good meetings.”

The process to form an MOU with the PRRD began with an all-day workshop in May that brought elected officials and senior administrative staff from both Doig River First Nation and the PRRD to learn about each other’s governance, services, and land use expectations.

Topics discussed included overall development goals and goals for specific pieces of land, service delivery structures, bylaws and bylaw enforcement, and dispute resolution, among other things.

The two systems of government — Doig River’s First Nation government and PRRD’s colonial one–have cultural gaps that the meetings and the MOU itself intends to address, Bloor said.

“In the overall scheme of Canada, it’s still very much a new concept,” he said.

Further activities on the acquired lands, according to the PRRD in a release, will include several developments that will improve the socio-economic status of both the Doig River First Nation and the wider region.

“Once the MOU is in place, the teams will work to reach long-term solutions that will strengthen the collaborative and working relationship between both governments,” the PRRD said in a release.

The government-to-government meeting and development of the MOU will light the way for future cooperation between the leadership of both governments, as well as future Doig River First Nation developments within the District.

Drafts of the MOU will be published as the process continues.

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Grace Giesbrecht

Grace Giesbrecht is a news reporter for who recently graduated from Trinity Western University with a bachelor of arts in Media + Communications. She was born and raised just outside of Fort St. John. She began reporting for her university’s student newspaper and interned with Ottawa Life Magazine where she developed a passion for asking questions, telling stories, and the written word. In her free time, you can find her drinking coffee, snowboarding, or reading novels.