BATTLEFORD — Battleford council got their latest update on the activities of the Battlefords Regional Community Coalition Monday.
The coalition includes the Town of Battleford, City of North Battleford and the five First Nation members of the BRCC. At Monday’s council meeting, the town heard a presentation from co-ordinator Tom Howard and Brad Swiftwolfe, former Moosomin First Nation chief who is now executive director for the BRCC.
Howard noted the retirement of their senior strategist Bonnie Evans from the BRCC table in June. Following that retirement, Swiftwolfe was taken on as the new executive director in September.
The BRCC received funding from Brett Wilson’s foundation Prairie Merchant and from Cenovus Energy, which will go towards anti-racism workshops in the region.
Howard said they had mainly drawn from project dollars to fund the organization “and haven’t had a ton of core funding,” except for from the Town of Battleford and City of North Battleford. They have been searching for new funding opportunities and Howard noted two new sources of funding have been made available from the Indigenous Services Canada’s Urban Programming for Indigenous People funding stream.
Howard said they are in the process of applying and are hopeful that will be a source of core funding for the next few years, “which would be helpful for our organization to continue to grow, build ourselves out and develop the capacity to take on bigger project work.”
On the project front, Howard pointed to the emergency response plan project that was funded earlier this year through Saskatchewan’s Targeted Sector Support initiative.
A consultant was hired to develop a plan for the region and recently they conducted a hazard risk and vulnerability workshop for all their communities. It’s anticipated that plan will be available in early spring of 2023.
The other project is Sharing a Vision, a community consultation project focused on health, education and recreation services. A consultant has been hired and preliminary work has been done with service providers in the region, with literature being developed for community engagement which they hope to roll out later this year.
Howard said they are currently working on a communications and engagement strategy for the project, which will consist of open houses in the BRCC communities and some web-based engagement strategies. Howard said this is “really to get a users’ perspective on the current state of health, education and recreation services in the Battlefords region.”