A council to council meeting between Westbank First Nation and Peachland will be set up for sometime early spring, Peachland council decided at their last regular meeting.
Westbank First Nation’s Chief and Council wrote to Peachland’s Mayor and Council just after the election in October to extend an invitation for a meeting and their correspondence was discussed briefly at last week’s meeting.
Mayor Patrick Van Minsel described Peachland’s relationship with Westbank First Nation as “an important one.”
“My suggestion is to our CAO maybe to have it somewhere in March, early spring, so it gives us a little time as a council to come together ourselves,” said Van Minsel.
In their letter, Westbank First Nation leaders referenced a 2018 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between the two council to represent the mutual commitment to establish a working relationship.
“The MOU was intended to establish a lasting, working relationship in the best interests of both communities, based on mutual respect, honour and recognition,” the letter reads.
“This framework for relationship building is further strengthened through our annual Council to Council meeting.”
Coun. Keith Thom noted that eight years ago when he was previously on council, they met with WFN and at that meeting Peachland council received a gift but their First Nations community partner did not.
Van Minsel said this would be addressed and there would be a gift to present this time.
“This is something cultural and we need to do this,” said Van Minsel. “It is important that we have this relationship with them because we have to work together with them on many items.”