This Land is Your Land: Exploring the Sea to Sky Land and Resource Management Plan through the Lens of Indigenous Planning
Beatty, Jocelyn Leah
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Canadian Indigenous groups have long faced challenges regarding land rights assertion and validation within land use planning and resource management. Although attempts to deviate from the rational comprehensive planning tradition have been made, Indigenous communities still face palpable barriers in asserting their claim to the land. In order to explore the modern opportunities and challenges that exist within Indigenous communities, this research adopts a qualitative case study approach in examining the Sea to Sky Land and Resource Management Plan – a comprehensive land use planning process – in south British Columbia. Through paralleling both the practice of Canadian planning and Indigenous planning tradition, the literature review introduces the fundamentally divergent theories that exist between these two worldviews. This research seeks to explore the value of more nuanced, provincially-developed, comprehensive land use planning mechanisms in validating Indigenous land use rights. Through interviewing both provincial employees and Indigenous participants who worked closely with the land use plan, a deeper understanding of the plan was unravelled. The prevalent themes that are identified in the research include the complexities of instigating “government-to-government” partnerships, the wide range of opportunities and challenges faced by participating First Nations, and the significant impact external factors exert on both land use planning and government-to-government relations in general. The significance of this research is its ability to provide a snap-shot of the range of issues faced in British Columbia land use planning practice, as well as the vital importance of meaningful discussion in order to actualise land use goals in Indigenous communities.