Preparing a diverse and dispersed community to navigate a complex ratification vote and build capacity to make high-impact decisions together
Preparing for Change Through Community-Driven Collaboration & Capacity Building
After a century-long struggle for justice, Muskeg Lake Cree Nation, a First Nation band government based in Saskatchewan, was offered the opportunity to settle the 1919 Soldier Settlement with the Government of Canada.
Ultimately, Muskeg Lake Cree Nation voted to resoundingly accept the Government’s offer of $127 million dollars, and aligned on the creation of a shared community trust to safeguard $100 million dollars awarded through the settlement, alongside providing each member with a moderate per capita payment.
So how did Muskeg Lake Cree Nation get there?
In collaboration with Muskeg Lake Cree Nation’s leadership, Coeuraj developed and executed an intensive communications and engagement plan across a 6-month time period (2021) to prepare Muskeg Lake Cree Nation for the settlement’s ratification vote, and align the community around a shared, long-term vision of the future that can be enabled through settlement funds.
We custom-built an approach to support Muskeg Lake Cree Nation, and its financial and legal partners, that bridged the need for strengthened trust and relationships, culturally-grounded community planning, improved financial literacy and decision-making capacity, and more.
Key touch points and activities executed across the 6-month sprint included:
- 12+ community (hybrid) meetings delivered to spread broad awareness of vote and implications
- 1 immersive in-person facilitation to convene Leadership’s understanding of community’s core social and economic needs, and engage in future-planning around priorities for investment
- Community-wide digital survey to collect feedback and capture members’ live understanding of ratification vote and process
- Consistent development of Muskeg Lake Cree Nation’s member portal and social media accounts as a means of accessible knowledge capture and community wide updating
- Direct mailing and phone/texting campaign to help reach 2400 band members dispersed across Canada and worldwide, and provide platform for their insights
- Creation of accessible resources unpacking what a financial trust is and how it is managed, alongside clear key messages to build community knowledge around trusts
Today, Coeuraj and Muskeg Lake Cree Nation continue to work together as the community navigates the financial trust, new relationships, and generative opportunities for collaboration.