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Indigenous Planning Advisory Committee (IPAC)

Thank you to our IPAC contributors:

OPPI strives to ensure that the IPAC is represented by 50% Indigenous members, with a goal to be majority Indigenous-led in the future.

Co-chair: Stephanie Burnham
Stephanie is Cayuga Nation, Wolf Clan from Six Nations of the Grand River Territory. While growing up in the community, Stephanie learned the importance of family and staying connected to cultural roots to help guide her career path. Stephanie has worked in the area of Indigenous rights recognition, community development, community and youth engagement and program management for the past 15 years. In August 2019, Stephanie was part of the Six Nations Community Plan team that worked to engage members and complete the Six Nations Community Plan update. Most recently, Stephanie has become a board member for Shared Path Consultation Initiative, a charitable organization that is working to address the challenges and opportunities that emerge where land use change and Aboriginal and Treaty Rights intersect. As a recent addition to Dillon Consulting Limited, Stephanie has participated on various Indigenous engagement components of land use and community planning projects. Stephanie aims to empower Indigenous voices in the area of the planning through her work at Dillon. 

Co-chair: Calvin Brook, MCIP, RPP, FRAIC, OAA
Calvin is a planner, architect and urban designer and co-founder of Brook McIlroy Inc., a multi-disciplinary practice with offices in Toronto, Thunder Bay and Winnipeg. He is a member of the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB) and led Brook McIlroy’s process to be certified by CCAB’s Progressive Aboriginal Relations program. He is a founding member of the Indigenous Place-Making Council, a past member of the City of Toronto’s Design Review Panel and a senior fellow of the University of Toronto’s Global Cities Institute. 

Amy Lickers
Amy is Gayogoho:no (Cayuga Nation) from Six Nations of the Grand River and has a demonstrated history of working in the Indigenous civic and social organization industry. Amy worked her entire career in Indigenous community development, planning, implementation, policy and governance. She is passionate about pursuing initiatives that support Indigenous self-sufficiency, self-determination and sustainability. Amy  graduated from the University of Toronto with a hons bachelor of arts in architecture studies. While pursuing her master of environmental studies, with a concentration in First Nations planning from York University, she took on the role as the Six Nations community planner. Her experience working in her community served her well while working as the director of economic and sustainable community development at the Chiefs of Ontario, where she led First Nation policy advocacy related to energy, housing and economic development. Her work over the last 15 years now guides her as a consultant and business owner. She has been actively engaged as a board member on several Indigenous organizations such as: Kawennio Gawenni:io Immersion School, Six Nations of the Grand River Economic Development Corporation Advisory, and Ojibiikaan Indigenous Cultural Network, which focuses on Indigenous food sovereignty. Amy lives in her home community of Six Nations with her family. As a mother, Amy is driven by the vision of safe and healthy communities for seven generations. She is passionate about supporting Indigenous communities and organizations in establishing the plans and processes that will lead to healthy and safe communities, rooted in culture, for the wellbeing of their citizens. 

Daniel M. Millette, MA, MASA, PhD, RPA, MCIP, RPP 
Daniel has worked on Indigenous land matters for approximately 25 years. He specializes in community planning, housing, land use planning and economic development, with an aim at empowering individual communities. As a Registered Professional Planner (RPP), he has worked throughout Canada and within a variety of land governance frameworks including Treaty and Framework Agreement on First Nation Lands. Daniel enhances his planning outlook through several academic and research initiatives:  as a registered professional archaeologist, he maintains a research program on ancient planning techniques and their relevance within contemporary planning models. At the School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture at the University of British Columbia, he taught architectural theory and environmental design history. He has recently co-edited Ancient Urban Planning in the Mediterranean – New Research Directions. Concurrently, he is completing a monograph on The Indigenous Planning and Architectural Landscape of Canada

Danny Roy, BA Hon, M.Arch, MRAIC, MCIP, RPP
Danny is Cree-Métis and Dene from Sakitawak (Île-à-la-Crosse, Sask.) and a member of English River First Nation in Treaty 10 territory. He is an intern architect (OAA) and Registered Professional Planner (RPP) with the Indigenous Design Studio at Brook McIlroy in Toronto. He holds a master of architecture degree from the University of Calgary and a bachelor of arts honours degree from the University of Saskatchewan in regional and urban planning. Danny was formerly a senior regional and community planner practicing in Saskatchewan and has had the opportunity to work with numerous municipalities and Indigenous communities to help develop sustainable planning frameworks for a number of years. With the Indigenous Design Studio at Brook McIlroy, he leads and assists in Indigenous placemaking and placekeeping projects within master planning and architectural projects. His passion in his work focuses on Indigenous design approaches, community/cultural centre building typologies, and sustainable building practices. 

Heather Swan, PEng, MCIP, RPP, PMP
Heather is a partner with Dillon, a professional engineer and Registered Professional Planner (RPP). Since beginning her career 19 years ago, her focus has included  consultation/engagement, environmental assessments, impact assessment, infrastructure planning, land use planning and traditional knowledge/traditional land use planning. Through this work she has worked with Indigenous communities in Ontario, Alberta, Saskatchewan and British Columbia. She has had the privilege of working closely with the Indigenous community staff, community members including Elders and youth, and Chief and Council. She has worked on land use plans, infrastructure reviews, asset management, pandemic planning, climate change, and various environmental assessments. She has presented at OPPI conferences since 2013 and earlier this year co-wrote a blog post with Stephanie Burnham titled Planning's relationship with Indigenous Communities: Planning Policy and Slow Progress in Changing Times. She also previously participated in the Canadian Institute of Planners Indigenous Community Planning Committee and the OPPI Indigenous Planning Perspectives Task Force (IPPTF). 

Janice Barry, PhD, MCIP, RPP
Janice has been working in the field of planning for over 20 years. She worked as a natural resource and protected area planner with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources before deciding to embark on a career in planning research and teaching. She is currently an assistant professor at the University of Waterloo’s School of Planning. In recent years, her work has focused on conflicts and collaborations between Indigenous peoples and non-Indigenous planning agencies. Although her early research and professional experiences were in natural resource planning, Janice also examines how Indigenous rights and title are addressed in the urban environment. She has written numerous articles on these subjects, including her 2016 book (with Libby Porter) Planning for Coexistence? Recognizing Indigenous Rights through Land-Use Planning in Canada and Australia. She approaches her work from her position as a sixth-generation Irish-Canadian with a deep interest in what it means to live, work -and plan- in the spirit of respectful coexistence with Indigenous peoples. 

Jenna Davidson
Jenna is a planner with the interdisciplinary team at Brook McIlroy, located in Toronto. She is a versatile planner with experience working in parklands, environmental management and natural resource sectors, and a professional focus on urban environments and community impact assessment. Jenna earned a double B.A. in anthropology and environmental studies form the University of Victoria, B.C., and a masters in environmental studies and planning at York University, Ont. She conveys a rigour through research and expertise in ecology and cultural historicism that is inspired by her interest in diverse interconnections between people and place. As a nature lover and outdoor recreationalist, Jenna is a strong advocate for access to public space and parkland, Indigenous-led conservation and protection of environmentally significant areas. She engages actively in Canada’s planning community as a conference speaker, volunteer and member of the Canadian Institute of Planners Social Equity Committee, Sustainable Food Systems Advisory Committee, and OPPI’s Indigenous Planning Advisory Committee (IPAC). 

Mitchell Avis
Mitchell is a white immigrant and works as a planner at Shared Value Solutions, which is an environmental and community development consulting firm supporting First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Nations from coast to coast to coast. His work revolves around empowering Indigenous communities to make impactful changes in areas that are meaningful to them – whether it be governance, environmental protection, economic development, environmental management, or somewhere in between. He is passionate about reconciliatory and anti-racist efforts so all people can reach their full potential, share prosperity and uphold their rights. Mitchell currently lives in Kitchener on the Haldimand Tract, land that was granted to the Haudenosaunee of the Six Nations of the Grand River and is the traditional home of the Haudenosaunee, Anishinaabe and Neutral People. 

Patrick Robson, MCIP, RPP
Patrick holds a bachelor of applied arts in urban and regional planningfrom Ryerson and a master of arts in politics from Brock University. Currently, Patrick is a professor of environmental studies at Niagara College, teaching in the environmental management and assessment, and the ecosystem restoration post-grad programs, as well as the environmental field and lab tech program. In March 2017, he was appointed to the Buffalo and Fort Erie Public Bridge Authority (a.k.a. Peace Bridge Authority). His past work life has included private sector planning consultant work, a planner with the Niagara Escarpment Commission, an investigator with the Ontario Human Rights Commission, and several progressive positions at Niagara Region, including commissioner of integrated community planning.  Highlights of planning initiatives that have garnered awards include developing and then implementing the urban and brownfield redevelopment regime known as "Smarter Niagara Incentives Program, the Niagara Gateway Economic Zone Incentives Program," cross-border planning efforts in the binational Niagara area, Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative planning support, and progressive policies related to agricultural viability. He and his wife, Kelly, are also hop farmers. He served three terms as a councillor in Wainfleet, Ont. and has taught public policy at Brock University. He has also presented at numerous conferences regarding land-use and sustainability issues across Canada, in the U.S. (including one at the Library of Congress), Germany, The Netherlands, Japan and South Africa. Volunteer life includes having served on the board of YMCA Niagara and is currently a member of the Niagara Escarpment Biosphere Transition Leadership Committee as well as on the Board of the Golden Horseshoe Food & Farming Alliance.  

Vince Deschamps, M.Sc, MCIP, RPP
Vince has over 30 years of professional experience across a broad range of sectors in Canada and internationally, with a deep interest in community-based conservation, Indigenous planning systems and biodiversity assessment. Vince is at the forefront of Natural Capital and Ecosystem Service Assessment (NCESA), both as a scientific discipline as well as a means to anticipate and plan for the effects of climate change. He has successfully integrated the NCESA approach in the land use planning process for Indigenous communities in Northern Ontario, as well as natural resource valuations in Canada, Indonesia and the Caribbean. Vince is currently on a two-year assignment as the senior land use planner with the Gwich’in Land Use Planning Board in Inuvik, N.W.T. He makes his permanent home in Guelph, Ont. Vince is Registered Professional Planner (RPP) and a citizen of the Métis Nation of Ontario. 

William Mann
William (Bill) F. Mann is a Registered Professional Planner (RPP), forester, landscape architect and environmental management consultant within both the province of Ontario and in Canada. He holds a bachelor of science in forestry degree from the University of Toronto (1977) with a specialization in urban planning, and a master of landscape architecture degree from the University of Guelph (1980) with a specialization in new town planning. He also holds a graduate diploma in business management from the University of Toronto (1985) and has a master of public administration degree through the University of Western Ontario (2010). William recently finished his professional career of over 40 years of combined public/private experience in the fields of municipal planning and development, and governance and administration, retiring as chief administrative officer for the Town of Milton in August, 2019. William is of Algonkian Anishinaabe descent and is member of the Algonquins of Greater Golden Lake . About 20 years ago, he was introduced to and initiated into the traditions and ceremonies of the Mide’win – the Ojibwa/Algonquin Grand Medicine Society. In this light, Bill’s family is involved in the Algonquin Land Claim negotiations, which are presently occurring between the Canadian federal and provincial governments and the Algonquins of Ontario. Currently, William has joined with three other distinguished natives of national status to form 4 SKIES Energy Solutions Inc., a company designed to work with an Indigenous understanding of natural law, striving to follow the ancient wisdom of our ancestors for a healthier, balanced approach to a sustainable life and environment, including food security. Bill is presently the chief operating officer of 4 SKIES. As a highly spiritual individual, William has also enjoyed an extensive and prestigious 25-year term as a Freemason, which is a fraternity and brotherhood long shared with Indigenous Peoples. He is a member of Oakville Lodge #400 (1995), Ancient Free & Accepted Masons of Canada, White Oaks Chapter No. 104 (1997), Royal Arch Masons of Canada, Salem Council #9, Royal and Select Master Masons of Ontario, Macassa Bay Lodge No. 9 of Royal Ark Mariners (2007) and Sir William York Rite College #57 (2008). He is also a 32nd degree Scottish Rite Mason (2005), being a member of Murton Lodge of Perfection, Hamilton Sovereign Chapter of Rose Croix, and Moore Sovereign Consistory, Hamilton. William is also a past preceptor (2007) of Godfrey de Bouillon Preceptory #3, Hamilton District No 2, of the United Religious and Military Orders of St. John’s of Jerusalem, Palestine, Rhodes and Malta, of the Order of the Temple – Knights Templar of Canada and is currently serving a three-year term as supreme grand master of the Sovereign Great Priory of Canada. William has most recently been honored as a knight companion of the Grand Imperial Conclave of Canada – Red Cross of Constantine, as well as receiving his IX degree, as a member of Sir Thomas Janes College of the Societas Rosicruciana in Civitatabus Federatis (SRICF).  Bill is also author of three highly entertaining and controversial books, including The Knights Templar in the New World, The Templar Meridians: The Secret Mapping of the New World, and Templar Sanctuaries of North America. These three books have been translated into four different languages: Portuguese, Russian, Italian and Croatian. His first novel, The 13th Pillar, was published on December 1, 2012, and brings to light a number of fascinating premises based on the secret exploits of Lewis and Clark. His second novel, The Last Refuge of the Knights Templar in the New World, was released on April 7, 2020. Bill has also appeared on a number of TV documentaries and radio programs highlighting the “hidden history” behind the pre-Columbian exploration of North America and has, most recently, appeared on the hit History Channel series, AMERICA UNEARTHED. His many lectures relating to the establishment of the last refuge of the Knights Templar and the burying of the Templar Treasure and the strategic involvement and intermarriage of Native North Americans across North America have been well-received around the world. Bill resides in Milton, Ont. with his wife, Marie. They have two adult children, William and Thomas. Aside from being an author, Bill is also an award-winning watercolour and acrylic artist and is known for his shamanic portrayals of woodland and Mide’win spirits, which are based on his own dreams and spiritual journey.