Indigenous Planning

At EPI, we are committed to integrating Indigenous worldviews into our planning practice. This means that we do not believe in an “expert-driven”, top-down model when working with Indigenous partners. Instead, we approach each project with respect and humility, and we focus on relationship building from the ground up. We see it as a partnership, working together to fill capacity, technical skills and knowledge gaps on all sides. We strive to co-create processes that are sensitive to context and centered around community interests, values and priorities.

Over the past twenty years, we have worked in more than thirty Indigenous communities across Canada and the United States. Our areas of expertise include:

• Comprehensive community plans (CCPs)
• Land use plans
• Local economic development strategies
• Site plans
• Traditional land use studies
• Policy development (e.g., governance, human resources)
• Training and capacity building• On-the-land youth program development
• Program and project evaluation and business case development
• Impact assessment, compensation support and non-market valuation
• Joint planning and relationship building

To view our CCP brochure, click here.


Training:
 Interested in training or capacity building? Contact us.

  

Our Approach

Driven by Community Values: Every community is different. We start by listening to community members to find out what is important. Then, we use the values that we identify through this process as a framework to prioritize actions that are appropriate, feasible, and broadly supported. 

Based on Local Knowledge: We work with local people who know their communities and regions and are well positioned to generate practical ideas that make the best use of local assets. We then tap into, organize, and evaluate this local knowledge, using methods and tools from structured decision making to focus investment and energy where it will have the strongest impact.

Expert Supported: We step in where expertise is needed by providing rigorous analysis, cutting-edge research, innovative ideas and over 20 years of experience in the field. We have found that top-down, expert-directed planning approaches work only in unique circumstances and typically do not produce the results communities and clients need for success.

Pragmatic and Effective: Great strategies are strategies that get implemented. We hate to see strategies that are nothing more than laundry lists gathering dust on a shelf. Our approach ensures that the people who will be implementing the plan are involved throughout its development, and that the plan lay out the implementation architecture (i.e., who will be doing what, when). We can also provide supplementary services during implementation, such as project management and coaching. We call this “surge capacity”.

Guidebooks, Toolkits and Publications

Comprehensive Community Planning Toolkit for Northern Ontario Communities
Nishnawbe Aski Development Fund (NADF)

Promising Pathways: Strengthening Engagement and Relationships with Indigenous Peoples in Parks Canada Heritage Places
Parks Canada

A Path Forward: A Resource Guide to Support Treaty First Nation, Regional District and Local Government Collaboration and Planning
Province of British Columbia

Northern Shuswap Tribal Council Governance Toolkit
Northern Shuswap Tribal Council

Awards

Cowichan Tribes Community Transportation Plan and Mobility Plan
2016 Canadian Institute of Planners Award for Planning Excellence in Aboriginal Community Planning and Development

Tides of Change: Cormorant Island Joint Economic Development Strategy
2016 Planning Institute of British Columbia Award for Excellence in Planning Practice (Honourable Mention)
2016 AIP2 Core Values Project Award for Diversity & Inclusion
2015 Port McNeill Chamber of Commerce Innovation Award

A Path Forward: A Resource Guide to Support Treaty First Nation, Regional District and Local Government Collaboration and Planning
2013 Canadian Institute of Planners Award for Planning Excellence in Planning Publications

Giiwedaa – Animbiigoo Zaagi’igan Anishnaabek (AZA) Comprehensive Community Plan
2013 Canadian Institute of Planners Planning Excellence Award in Aboriginal Community Planning and Development

We Are of One Heart and Mind: Musqueam Comprehensive Community Plan
2011 Planning Institute of British Columbia Award for Excellence in Planning Practice

Tla’amin Land Use Plan
2010 Planning Institute of B.C. Award for Excellence in Comprehensive Planning & Policy

Moving From Crisis to Hope: KHFN Comprehensive Community Plan
2007 Canadian Institute of Planners Award for Planning Excellence in Rural/Small Town Planning
2007 Planning Institute of British Columbia Award for Excellence in Planning