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Land Use Planning

Land Use Planning Workshop, March 7 2012

In the winter of 2012, Incite Planning was retained by Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada to assist them in their recent pilot initiative with community planning. Eight First Nations from across the country have been invited into this programme: Mount Currie First Nation and Penticton First Nation in British Columbia, Enoch First Nation from Alberta, Brokenhead First Nation of Manitoba and Sand Point First Nation in Ontario, the Innu Takuaikan Uashat Mak Mani-Utenam Première Nation in Quebec, as well as Eel Ground First Nation from New Brunswick and Shubenacadie First Nation from Nova Scotia.

In an effort to learn more about the planning needs and capacities of these Aboriginal communities, AANDC conducted a workshop in Toronto. Incite Planning presented a “Planning 101” module emphasizing the phases of the planning process. We also facilitated a “notes form the field” round table amongst the First Nations who were present. Some were still in the decision phase and hesitant about its importance. Others were eager to enter the implementation phase, as they were fully aware of planning’s benefits. We also provided information on the relationship between land use and economic development, what to expect from planning professionals and the costs of their services.

 Policies for land use issues, 2009 Beausoleil First Nation

In the fall of 2008, Incite Planning was retained to help resolve the interrelated land use concerns of Species at Risk, Land Acquisition, and Dispute Resolution for Christian Island.

Counting “Ice Age Grass”

Our approach was based on the Sustainable Development of this landscape using Conservation Planning principles.  First we revised a dormant policy that addressed the delicate issue of Council acquisition of CP lands. Next we researched the available background documentation on the Endangered Species: Ice Age Grass (Aristida basiramea).  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 this species, 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. Finally, we prepared a Dispute Resolution Policy to address property issues between neighbours.

 Land Use Strategy – Moose Deer Point First Nation, 2002 – 2004

Sustainability takes many forms, and is at the root of most First Nation initiatives. Our work with Moose Deer Point is an example of an integrated approach to the First Nation’s efforts to expand its land base, its governance structures, and its economic options.  Although Incite Planning was not yet a formal entity, it illustrates the depth of experience the partners bring to community planning. At the time, Colette was the First Nation administrator and David was the community’s planning advisor.

Niigon Technologies, Moose Deer Point First Nation

Moose Deer Point First Nation was working to unify a community with physically separated land holdings in one of the most ecologically diverse locations along the Georgian Bay shoreline.  The need for more land led to the formation of a multi-partner negotiation table, including a federal department, three provincial agencies, and two levels of municipal government.  We participated extensively in the discussions, providing supporting documentation, and giving professional and technical advice to secure the First Nation’s interests, accommodate the immediate neighbours, and protect the ecological functions of the land itself.

Economic sustainability was being pursued through the creation of a First Nation enterprise with an industrial partner.  This generated intense interest from the neighbours and increased the need for dialogue amongst the Township of Georgian Bay, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, and the First Nation regarding land use issues of mutual concern.  We assisted with the drafting of the O’Donnell Point Notification Protocol, as a way for all these different jurisdictions to feel their interests and concerns were not being overlooked.

In the midst of this activity, the need for a land use plan arose.  We made comprehensive revisions to the initial draft of the Pottawatomi of Moose Deer Point First Nation (Mitawbik) 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, as well as the negotiation table, and have supported ongoing efforts to remain self-determining over Moose Deer Point lands.

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