A two-year project is underway to link First Nations with nearby municipalities.

The purpose of the exercise is to help communities work more closely together on issues of mutual concern.

OCN and The Pas are two of the joint-sites that have been chosen along with a band in northern Alberta.

Morgan Banford is a researcher with Cando, the aboriginal business entity that is facilitating the work.

He says there are many First Nations out there that could be working on projects with non-aboriginal partners; they just don’t know how to get started.

“Because we’re finding right now that a lot of communities, First Nations and municipalities, they may be located directly beside each other but they’re working on different things and they’re not always communicating when it comes to their economic development initiatives, yet they often have a common destiny,” he says.

Banford cites tourism, wastewater projects, environmental initiatives and labour force growth as just some of the areas that could be tackled.