The Paqtnkek Mi’kmaw Nation and the Antigonish County Municipality co-hosted a Regional Economic Development Forum at Paqtnkek Tuesday. The forum, which attracted Municipal
and First Nations leaders from as far away as Yarmouth comes one year after Paqtnkek and Antigonish County signed a Friendship Accord. For the past three years, Paqtnkek and the County have participated in the First Nation-Municipal Community Economic Development Initiative co-led by the national Indigenous community economic development organization CANDO and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. Paqtnkek and county leaders held five workshops to share information on issues including land use and governance.
Antigonish County Warden Owen McCarron says the relationship between the two communities is unique.
Paqtnkek Chief PJ Prosper says it’s hoped the success of the partnership between his community and Antigonish County will lead to further First Nations-Municipal collaborations in the province.
The forum included panel discussions, brainstorming on potential economic opportunities and break-out discussions in areas such as solar energy, shared services, collaborative workforce strategies, youth education and Mi’kmaw, Celtic and Acadian culture and tourism.