Stronger Together: FN Municipal CEDI

Presenting Organization: Cando


The First Nation-Municipal Community Economic Development Initiative (CEDI) is a joint initiative between Cando and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) that enhances the capacity of participating First Nations and adjacent municipalities to engage in collaborative community economic development planning and initiatives. Join the CEDI team and a current First Nation-municipal CEDI partnership to learn about their experience in partnership, lessons learned and their collaborative community economic development efforts. The CEDI team will also provide an overview of the Stronger Together approach and CEDI program best practices and tools. Participants will be invited to work with the Stronger Together tools in their community context, increasing the opportunity to learn from one another’s experiences working with First Nation-municipal collaboration. There will be time made for dialogue, connections and questions.


  • Marissa Lawrence, Cando
  • Lisa Grant, Interim Deputy Chief Administrative Officer for Development, Haisla Nation Council
  • Walsham Tenshak, Director of Economic Development, District of Kitimat

Speaker Bios

Marissa Lawrence

Marissa has worked for Cando as the Senior Program Officer for the First Nation – Municipal Community Economic Development Initiative (CEDI) since July 2017. As a member of the CEDI team, Marissa supports First Nation – municipal partnerships across the country to establish respectful and equitable partnerships and to build capacity to engage in joint planning for community economic development and land-use. Marissa has a rich background of designing and convening community-bridging intercultural dialogue and engagement programming. Marissa holds a BA in Communications, Minor in Dialogue from Simon Fraser University (SFU), Dialogue and Civic Engagement Certificate from SFU, and is a Cando-certified Technician Aboriginal Economic Developer (TAED). She is currently working to attain the Professional Indigenous Lands Management Certificate through Vancouver Island University.


Lisa Grant

Lisa Grant, whose traditional name is Sacainuxv meaning wise one in the Heiltsuk language, grew up in Northern British Columbia and pursued education after a period of working full-time. She kickstarted her educative business journey by obtaining a diploma in Business Administration, majoring in accounting from Northwest Community College. Subsequently, she graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration from Capilano University and went on to complete her Master's degree in Global Management. As of January 2023, she has recently concluded her Master's in Business Administration. Lisa has worked at the Aluminum Smelter, Rio Tinto BC Works and is currently serving as Interim Deputy Chief Administrative Officer for Development at Haisla Nation Council.


Walsham Tenshak 

Walsham is an economic development professional with a brilliant record of working in the non-profit and local government sectors. She currently serves as the Director of Economic Development and Communications for the District of Kitimat. With direction from council and support from staff, Walsham works with industry and businesses to encourage development within Kitimat. Originally from Nigeria, Walsham moved to Canada for a Masters of Art in Development Economics and now calls Kitimat home. Her research and wide array of work and volunteer experiences are an asset to her work. Enthusiastic about the immense potential for development in northwest BC, Walsham prioritizes working with First Nation partners and various stakeholders to realize this potential.