The Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association convention is happening in Regina Feb. 2 to 5, and this year will see a particular Battlefords flavour to the event.
The city of North Battleford is involved directly in a couple of presentations. One will be a panel discussion on Day 1 of the conference on Sunday involving signatories to the Sacichawasihc Relationship Agreement.
At council Jan. 13, Mayor Ryan Bater said the panel discussion would include himself and First Nation chiefs who signed on to the agreement including Chief Brad Swiftwolfe of Moosomin FN, Chief Kenny Moccasin of Saulteaux FN and Chief Wayne Semaganis of Little Pine FN .
Also, on Feb. 4, all the governments that signed onto the agreement — City of North Battleford, Town of Battleford, Moosomin, Sweetgrass, Saulteaux, Little Pine and Lucky Man Cree Nation – will be presented their first place award from the Saskatchewan Municipal Awards.
Their winning practice, according to the Municipal Awards’ news release, was that they “developed an agreement that gives municipal and Indigenous governments a way to work together in a spirit of reconciliation and collaboration through the building of government-to-government relationships.”
“We are being recognized at a provincial level for the partnerships that are being developed,” Bater said at council Jan. 13.
In addition to being among the recipients of a first-place Saskatchewan Municipal Award, the town of Battleford is involved directly in one of the resolutions coming before the convention. The town has sponsored a resolution on revitalizing historic downtowns.
The issue is of importance to Battleford due to the proliferation of historic properties throughout the town. Town council discussed the proposed resolution at its meeting Oct. 22, was submitted to SUMA and will now go to the floor. The aim is to restore the specific heritage funding that had been cut by the province in previous years.
The resolution cites the success in the town of Maple Creek, which was awarded the 2019 Prince of Wales Award “for its exemplary and effective revitalization practices and demonstrated results in bringing heritage to life.” Economic spinoffs were cited, as it was noted there were 18 new businesses in downtown Maple Creek since participating in the province’s Main Street program.
The resolution called on the Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association to “advocate the Government of Saskatchewan to work with SEDA to develop programs with sustainable funding to assist municipalities in rehabilitating their downtowns and historic spaces and buildings.”