Addressing Internal Challenges and Barriers to Enhance the Representation of Aboriginal Values and Interests in Regional Land Use Planning

Regions: Sahtu Settlement Area

Tags: social sciences, aboriginal community, land use planning, leadership

Principal Investigator: Mak, Ida YL (1)
Licence Number: 14660
Organization: Royal Roads University
Licenced Year(s): 2010
Issued: Mar 04, 2010
Project Team: N/A

Objective(s): The overall objective is to identify processes, practices and organizational structures that will allow Aboriginal Leadership to participate in creating a land use plan that reflects the values and interests of their communities.

Project Description: The ultimate objective is to determine ways for Aboriginal communities and organizations to optimize their participation in land use planning in the NWT. Ideally this will result in land use plans that will reflect the values and interests of the communities that they intend to serve.

The first goal is to identify the internal challenges and barriers that Aboriginal communities and organizations face when it comes to participating in the land use planning process. The Researcher will only focus on internal structures, processes and systems because Aboriginal Leadership has control over their internal processes. The second goal is to address those issues and challenges, the researcher will work to identify how Aboriginal Leadership can address or minimize these difficulties.

Methodology:
1) Literature Review

The researcher will look at past research and scientific articles that have been written about land use planning in Canada, specifically with respect to Aboriginal peoples, also focus on the barriers and challenges that Aboriginal communities and organizations have faced in getting involved in land use planning.

2) Case example

Second, a “success” case example will be studied on the North Central Coast of British Columbia where Aboriginal communities and leadership have fought for the land use management of an area unprecedented in size and scope. The researcher will study reports and written documents and speak to members of the Aboriginal leadership about how they organized themselves to acheive this.

3) Interviews in the North

The third part of the analysis will consist of interviews with Aboriginal Leadership (12) and non-Aboriginal (2) government officials/employees in the Yukon and the NWT. The researcher will conduct one-hour interviews. The interviews will be done in-person where possible. If I am unable to travel to a location, the interviews will be done over the phone.

The researcher will ask the individuals questions relating to Aboriginal communities and organizations and what kind of participation they have in the land use planning process. The Researcher will seek to identify processes that are effective at allowing communities to be involved in planning and in providing planning Boards with feedback.

All interviews will be audio recorded, unless the participant is not comfortable with it. Approximately half of the participants will be identified by the researcher, based on their experience and current position of leadership. Each participant will then be asked to suggest the name of someone else who they think should also be interviewed. The researcher will focus on Aboriginal Leadership within the NWT and specifically, in the Sahtu.

This research is meant to benefit the Sahtu communities socially, culturally and economically by finding ways that Aboriginal leadership and communities can participate more in the land use planning process.

An Executive Summary report will be produced from the results of my thesis. Since the thesis is a much longer academic document that includes a number of sections that will not be of relevance to communities, it will be shortened into an Executive Summary. This document will focus on the learning’s of the study and will be straight forward and to the point.

The fieldwork for this study will be conducted from March 2010 to December 31, 2010.