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Danielle Desjarlais and Kateri Lucier-Laboucan, Indigenous Design Studio at Brook McIlroy Inc.

Indigenous Planning Perspectives Task Force Report

Suggested Items in the "Duty to Learn" of the Planning Community

Original draft completed by Mitchell Avis, RPP
  • Understanding of Indigenous worldviews and how they may differ from Western planning practices. History of Planning in Canada: Understanding the inherent and Treaty Rights of Indigenous Peoples in Canada, including the true history of Canada’s relationship with Indigenous Peoples. Understand how settlers have influenced the way Indigenous Peoples live now.
  • Planning Theories, Principles and Practices: Understanding the theories, ideals and principles that historically guided the development of Indigenous communities. Learn how settler planners changed the way Indigenous communities operated and lived. Including the imposition of land surveying in the service of “the taking of lands” and the origins of “colonizing with planning grids.” Understand the impacts of these changes.
  • Governments, Law and Policy: Understand the historical “political” systems of Indigenous communities. Understand the inherent and Treaty Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Understand the Canadian Constitution legal requirements of the Crown to Indigenous Peoples. Understand the government frameworks imposed on Indigenous communities through the Indian Act. Understand the cultural differences between the Indian Act-imposed style of government on reserves (e.g. Chief and Council) compared to the traditional styles of governance. Be knowledgeable regarding treaties and recent court decisions that interpret Indigenous Rights to land and resources based on treaties.
  • Plan and Policy Considerations: Understand the Indigenous worldview. Understand the principles by which Indigenous communities plan. Understand the ways by which Indigenous communities can plan (Land Code, Indian Act, etc). Cover legislation related to the different lands management and lands governance options that communities operate within.
  • Plan and Policy Implementation: Learn about the ways Indigenous communities can implement planning. Learn about the challenges Indigenous communities face when implementing planning. Understand how to effectively develop an implementation plan for Indigenous communities.
  • All of the enabling competencies apply when working with Indigenous communities. Additional emphasis must be placed on: political awareness; integrity and trust; diversity and inclusiveness; facilitation; collaboration and consensus building; listening; written and oral presentations. Listening skills. Humility. Multicultural understanding. Understanding different cultural and communications styles. Cultural curiosity and respect.
It was also suggested that research on different organizations that have already developed curricula should be done, including, among others, the First Nation Land Management Resource Centre (Framework Agreement on First Nation Lands) and National Aboriginal Land Managers Association (Indian Act)


Cover image: Danielle Desjarlais and Kateri Lucier-Laboucan, Indigenous Design Studio at Brook McIlroy Inc.

The graphic is based on the Prophesy of the Seven Fires of the Anishinaabe and the idea that we are currently in the time of the seventh fire, when a choice will be made that will determine the future. This is highly relevant to the issue of planning and climate change. This is why the seventh fire at the top of the graphic is without colour. The outcome is up to us as a collective.