The simplest gesture sometimes holds great significance.
That was the case Tuesday when Campbell River City council had the good grace to sign an agreement in the council chambers of the Campbell River Indian Band.
The politicians along with the band manager and city bureaucrats were there to put their names on a new 10-year services agreement between the city and the band.
More significant though was the fact the mayor and councillors left the high ground of their own council chambers to honour all members of the Campbell River Band on the home reserve of the We Wai Kum First Nation.
The agreement and the gesture show the two sides can work together guided by policy and goodwill to make this a better community for all.
It’s also a sign of good faith to the Cape Mudge and the Homalco First Nations that the city is willing to listen and bargain as their services agreements come up for renewal.
And the gesture couldn’t have come at a better time. Earlier this year, the chiefs of both the Cape Mudge and Campbell River bands blasted the city for what they viewed as a lack of co-operation and respect for both bands’ respective economic development initiatives.
That was the last thing the city needed, to be fighting with the First Nations communities, when Campbell River is ready to boom with the big new hydro and hospital projects as well as downtown redevelopment.
Everyone needs to be a part of this economic growth and that’s why Tuesday’s signing was so significant.
We commend the leaders of both sides for working through their differences. They have come to a mutually beneficial agreement that paves the way for more co-operative efforts which benefit everyone in this community.