The coastal town of Powell River shares several similarities with other rural communities in BC. Powell River was established and grew next to a historical First Nations community – in this case on the traditional territory of the Tla’amin Nation. The town’s economic growth and expansion was primarily due to a heavy reliance on the forest industry. And the community has experienced significant economic and employment transitional issues related to its major forest sector employer – a pulp and paper mill. However, Powell River is also quite unique in terms of the level of partnership and collaboration between the municipal government and the neighbouring Tla’amin Nation. The strongly proactive approach Powell River and Tla’amin have taken to manage the development and transition of their communities and economies is exceptional.
In the following webinar video, Hegus (Chief) Clint Williams and Chief Treat Negotiator Roy Francis are joined by Powell River Mayor Dave Formosa, in a conversation that sheds light on the evolution of their communities’ relationship, and suggests ways other rural BC communities and First Nations might move toward enhanced cooperation and collaboration.