Since 2011, the Municipal District has participated with the Sawridge First Nation and the Town of Slave Lake in what is called the Tri-Council. The Tri-Council is a body made up of all the elected officials from the First Nation, Town, and MD. Following the wildfires of 2011, it was important to ensure that recovery efforts evolved in a positive and coordinated fashion.
With the assistance of Alberta Municipal Affairs, the MD and First Nation, the Town adopted the Tri-Council and CAO Secretariat Governance Protocol. This protocol’s purpose is to provide guidance for how the Tri-Council and CAO Secretariat conduct business, and in so doing, ensure consistency, predictability, transparency, and accountability.
The CAO Secretariat is made up of the Chief Administrative Officers of the Town and the Municipal District, and the Executive Director of the First Nation, to act as the administration to the Tri-Council. Novel to the protocol is its use of consensus-based decision making, where consensus is achieved when the elected officials of the Tri-Council (in attendance at a meeting) can “live with” the decision taken or endorsed. As a result of Tri-Council governance, the strategies and projects of the Lesser Slave Lake Regional Wildfire Recovery Plan have been implemented.
Tri-Council is now focused on strategic regional cooperation that serves to capitalize on the Slave Lake vicinity as a regional centre in north central Alberta. The focus is critical to ensure that health, school, government, and key business entities choose to come, stay, and grow in our region. Another evolving purpose is to deal with topical matters that extend beyond municipal/First Nation corporate boundaries, such as emergency management, economic development, and regional wellness activities.
It is important to understand that Tri-Council’s existence does not supplant any of the partner’s autonomy and statutory powers to act as a Municipal District, Town or First Nation. By working together, the region will become a stronger and better place to live and work.
Words from the Tri-Council Architects
Life, Work and Leisure in Lesser Slave River