BEAHR Land Use Planning Seminar
Sagamok Anishnawbek has been facing an increasing number of opportunities and challenges related to the use of land and resources within their reserve as the community grows and develops. Members of the First Nation expressed interest in building housing developments and commercial infrastructure projects to support the community’s increasing needs for housing and commercial amenities. The community was struggling to manage its existing infrastructure challenges, including an incomplete water main, an inadequate wastewater management system and a number of potentially contaminated sites in key areas. Community leaders wanted to develop a land use plan that would inform a big picture vision for the community’s development and specific requirements for individual construction projects.
The Land Use Planning training program was developed as one of several Building Environmental Aboriginal Human Resources (BEAHR) training programs, all with the overarching goal of increasing capacity at the community level. Our team adapted this program to provide a training program focused on the practical needs of Sagamok’s specific circumstances. We included a guest speaker to introduce the First Nations Land Management Act and the challenges and benefits it brings to planning at the community level. The training introduced participants to land use planning concepts and processes, enabling them to take an active role in their community’s land use planning initiatives and to integrate existing policies into the new land use plan.
Value for the Client Group
Land use planning is important for incorporating a community’s culture into its development and is an opportunity to engage the community in determining the future use of its lands. Our team enabled community leaders to identify and protect areas of environmental and cultural sensitivity and ensure that a new land use plan could be developed strategically to enhance community well-being. The shift to a “Sagamok focused” workshop was very well received by participants and provided relevant and usable course materials.
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