May 21, 2019 | From City of New Orleans

Mayor Cantrell Signs Sister City Agreement Between New Orleans and Cap-Haitien

NEW ORLEANS – Mayor LaToya Cantrell today signed an agreement to become a “sister city” with Cap-Haitien, located on the north coast of Haiti.

“The origins of this relationship and shared history are born from the independence of Haiti and the doubling of the New Orleans population comprised of an exodus of free people of color, French colonists and slaves from Saint Domingue/Haiti upon defeat of the French rule, resulting in the Louisiana Purchase,” Mayor Cantrell said, in reading the agreement. “New Orleans is Haiti’s first Diaspora. New Orleans and Cap-Haitien (formerly Cap Francais) are twin sisters separated by birth. Today, many residents of New Orleans and the whole of Louisiana trace their ancestry to Cap-Haitien and other parts of Haiti. In recent years, many visits have been made and friendships built.”

“By this agreement,” Mayor Cantrell said in conclusion, “we celebrate a common heritage and seek to reinforce strong ties and secure a relationship that will persist into our futures.”

Mayor Cantrell signed the agreement along with Cap-Haitien Mayor Yverose Pierre, who spoke glowingly of the two cities’ relationship.

Other speakers included Alexis Neives, Commercial and Industrial Attaché for the U.S. Embassy in Haiti; and Vladimir Laborde of Haiti Inc.

Some of the features of the agreement include:

  • Academic cooperation between the respective cities’ universities and other educational institutions
  • Cooperation and exchange between local development agencies, chambers of commerce, and tourism departments
  • Opportunities for exchanges of art and cultural products between the cities’ respective museums and galleries, and other cultural institutions
  • Opportunities for municipal exchanges, including economic development in the areas of tourism, agriculture, infrastructure, city management and waste and water management – as well as emergency preparedness, disaster management and climate change.

Other honored guests included District B City Councilmember Jay H. Banks; Dr. Camellia Moses Okpodu, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Xavier University; Lisa Alexis, Director of the City’s Office of Cultural Economy. Invited guests included Régine Chassagne, co-founder of the band Arcade Fire and co-founder of the Haitian-themed group Krewe of Kanaval.

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