Land Use Planning
Land Use Policies for Beausoleil First Nation
Our approach to the landscape is through conservation planning principles. Incite Planning had been working with Beausoleil First Nation to help resolve of many interrelated land-use issues. One is the intensive use of the community’s traditional territory by the wider society. It has increased the need for a rigourous response by the First Nation. Thus, we were part of several community meetings to listen to members concerns and discuss the results our research, regarding this topic. We have prepared a Duty to Consult and Accommodate Handbook and background materials for staff, C&C, and community members.
We have also looked at ways to address property issues between neighbours within the community. This involved researching dispute resolution methods and writing a Dispute Resolution Policy to resolve conflicts arising from the individual use of land.
Incite Planning was involved in efforts to protect Ice-Aged Grass (Aristida basiramea) . We researched all the available background documentation on this endangered species. Assistance was provided to the consulting biologist and the community’s Environmental Specialist trainee, to monitor some of the sub-population habitats. As part of the national Recovery Strategy prepared for Gchi-gete’ii Mkomii-miishkoons (Forked Three-awned Grass/Aristida basiramea), we drafted a Recovery Action Plan according to its particular biological and ecological characteristics, and the culture and intentions unique to this locale, including a stewardship of conservation land agreement form for property owners. It was Strategic in approach, assigning tasks and targets, and followed Community Development principles, with community members vetting the plan.
The issue of the Council acquisition of lands held under Certificates of Possession is a delicate matter. We revised and updated a dormant policy and manual that addressed the transfers of land between the First Nation and its members. The resulting Land Acquisition Policy included a community consultation process and briefs to Chief & Council.
Land Use Strategy – Moose Deer Point First Nation
Before creating Incite Planning, both partners were extensively involved in the Sustainable Development effort to socially unify physically separated settlement areas of Moose Deer Point. We were at the negotiation table with the federal government, the Ministry of Natural Resources, Ontario Parks, The District of Muskoka, and the Township of Georgian Bay to find a solution to the longstanding issue of the land base. By providing professional and technical advice, and drafting ancillary documents, we were able to reach an agreement that would accommodate the interests of the First Nation, immediate neighbours, and ecological functions of the land itself.
The process required an Environmental Study Report, for which we selected the consultants and coordinated the project. To increase the level of discussion between the Townships, the MNR, the District and the First Nation regarding land use issues of mutual concern, we assisted in the drafting of the O’Donnell Point Notification Protocol . We made comprehensive revisions to the initial draft of the land use plan, according to Conservation Planning principles, and by honouring the First Nation’s tradition of holding all of its land in common. These revisions were presented to the community, its leadership, and the negotiation table, as the: Pottawatomi of Moose Deer Point First Nation (Mitawbik) Land Use Plan .