Calgary

Tsuut'ina to host get-to-know-you dinners with Nenshi, Calgary councillors

Calgary city council is going look at ways to improve its working relationship with all Treaty 7 nations, but particularly with the Tsuut'ina First Nation, which borders the city's southwestern edge.

First Nation leadership and city officials hope to improve relations as neighbours

Mayor Naheed Nenshi speaks at an event revealing details of the Tsuut'ina construction project in 2016. (CBC)

Calgary city council is going to look at ways to improve its working relationship with all Treaty 7 nations, but particularly with the Tsuut'ina First Nation, which borders the city's southwestern edge.

The nation's chief and council have invited city council to a series of dinners next month so the members can get to know each other better, Nenshi said.

"From the day I was elected, we've worked hard to build a positive working relationship with them. There's been ups, there's been a few downs, there's been a few stumbles, but by and large, it's much more positive than it was before," he said.

Tsuut'ina Chief Lee Crowchild stands in front of a painting of a Tsuut'ina elder at his office in Calgary. (Jeff McIntosh/Canadian Press)

"And as we're looking at big development on the nation after the construction of the southwest ring road, this is a really good time for us to reach out and say, 'How should we be working together as neighbours?'"

The Tsuut'ina nation is planning an ambitious number of developments along its eastern boundary as the ring road opens up land for new commercial and residential projects.

Working with Canderel, a Montreal-based development firm, the First Nation's plans include three major projects:

  • Tsuut'ina Park is a planned entertainment, hospitality and retail development on about two square kilometres of land located south of Glenmore Trail between 37th Street and Sarcee Trail S.W. It would complement the existing Grey Eagle Resort and Casino in that area.
  • Tsuut'ina Crossing would be built on about 1.5 square kilometres east of the ring road and west of Calgary's Oakridge community, stretching from the south end of Weaselhead Park to Southland Drive. It is to include a research campus at the north end and a health and wellness area at the south end, along with retail, office and mixed-use developments.
  • Tsuut'ina Centre is intended to be a regional retail and commercial centre on 1.5 square kilometres directly south of Bullhead Road and north of Fish Creek Provincial Park, to be integrated with the administrative and community services of the Tsuut'ina Nation.

Nenshi says it's smart to build bridges between city council and the Tsuut'ina council before any problems arise associated with those projects.

A still image from a promotional video depicting a vision for the recreational and tourism-related "precinct" of the proposed development on the Tsuut'ina First Nation. (Canderel/YouTube)

"The next conversation that we're having is really around process. It's around: who talks to whom? How do we get together? When do we get together? How do we make sure that we are working in a respectful but slightly more formalized way on issues of common concern?"

City council will also discuss a proposal at its meeting on Monday on displaying the Treaty 7 nation flags in the council chamber.

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