On March 17, CIER and its partners at the Winnipeg Metropolitan Region and Southern Chiefs’ Organization brought together Chiefs, Mayors, and Reeves from First Nations and municipalities across southern Manitoba. It was the tenth meeting of the Collaborative leadership Initiative (CLI), a shared governance initiative that CIER helped establish over five years ago.
This tenth meeting of the CLI leaders, hosted in Winnipeg, was focused on “Our Shared Future.” At the meeting, CIER asked the leaders to think back on all they have accomplished and discuss pathways for continuing to move their work forward. Some experts spoke about the importance of continuing to work together and demonstrated the “art of the possible”—the innovative solutions that can only be achieved when leaders come together on issues that concern everyone.
The CLI leaders have accomplished a tremendous amount since they began working together (see the CLI documentary here). By building strong relationships rooted in trust and reconciliation, the CLI table has initiated projects that help protect shared lands and waters and advance community wellbeing. This includes natural infrastructure projects that strengthen shorelines and remove harmful nutrients from the water. It also includes mapping projects that build a common database for making decisions on the land and knowledge sharing on key topics such as Treaty Land Entitlement and sustainable economies.
The CLI leaders actively built on their strong collaboration to date as they talked about important work they could advance together, both as a group and within neighbouring communities. They recommitted to the principles of reconciliation and collaboration. Above all, they pledged to continue to work together to keep pushing against the often-ineffective status quo. At the end of the meeting, the CLI leaders pledge to meet again soon.