Canadian Institue Of Planners

Shaping our Communities
Sustaining Canada's Future.

Indigenous Planning

Many goals of Canada's Indigenous communities (First Nation, Inuit, Métis, and Urban Aboriginal) intersect with planning concerns. These goals include preserving language and culture, building governance and planning systems, investing in community health and wellness, practicing sustainable resource management, establishing self-reliant economies, developing sustainable food and energy systems and improving community housing and infrastructure.


CIP Policy Statement - Planning Practice and Reconciliation


 “...the commitment to establish and maintain a mutually respectful relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. It is a long-term relationship-building, learning, and healing process, as opposed to a specific outcome to be achieved.”

CIP Policy on Planning Practice and Reconciliation

Against the backdrop of the principles of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Final Report and United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People (UNDRIP), CIP's policy on Planning Practice and Reconciliation is a call to action for planners to engage in meaningful and sustained relationship building with Indigenous Peoples of Canada.

Read CIP's full Planning Pratice and Reconciliation policy (context, goals, objectives, and the roles of planners and CIP) by clicking on the adjacent image:

About this Policy

The development of this policy was led by CIP's Indigenous Community Planning Committee, comprised of Indigenous and non-Indigenous practioners, dedicated to building capacity for Indigenous planning and community development across Canada.

The policy was developed through extensive engagement with Indigenous planning practioners and community leaders, along with CIP members, over an eighteen-month period. Engagement was carried out through the use of individual interviews, focus groups and surveys.

Read CIP's previously released policies on Healthy Communities and Climate Change here.
For more information about the National Planning Policy Development project, please contact Harry Burchill at

National Indigenous History Month 2020

In June, Canada celebrates National Indigenous History Month to honour the history, heritage and diversity of Indigenous peoples in Canada. It is also an opportunity to recognize the strength of present-day Indigenous communities. For more information on the background of National Indigenous History Month, please consult the Government of Canada Website found here.  
During this year’s celebration, we are expanding on Indigenous perspectives we have heard throughout our CPL core webinar program in 2020. Recognizing that planners have as much to gain from learning about traditional approaches to managing and stewarding land as they do from fulfilling their regulatory obligations, we are pleased to be able to offer our members learning opportunities drawn from a range of perspectives. We will hear from Indigenous planners and others from across Canada including British Columbia, Saskatoon, Ontario, and the Yukon. We hope you will be able to join us as we continue our journey. See below for more details and click here to register.

Date Time  Title & Description Speakers
Monday, June 22 1-2:30 ET Indigenous approaches to planning in First Nation Communities.
In this webinar, we will learn from the teachings of two highly experienced Indigenous planners who, as well as playing leading roles in their own communities, have helped others, including governments, to understand planning through an Indigenous lens. Grounded in the belief that people, land, and nature are inherently connected, our teachers will explain how, through a combination of their own experiences, and the application of tools, such as Comprehensive Community Plans, these beliefs have positively shaped a number of First Nations Communities, and how such principles might improve planning practices more widely across Canada.
Sandra Harris,
Elaine Alec (Alderhill Planning)
Tuesday, June 23 1—2:30 ET Land Management, Planning and Indigenous Communities
In this webinar, we will explore the relationship between legislative tools intended to uphold the rights of Indigenous peoples, as they relate to planning. Reflecting on the principles and application of regulations, such as the duty to consult, we will hear both legal and lived perspectives, particularly welcoming representatives of the Metis Nation of Ontario.
Bruce McIvor, (First People’s Law)
Bonnie Bartlett (Métis Nation of Ontario)
Wednesday, June 24 2:30-4:00 ET Developing Collaborative Relationships During Times of Adversity; focusing on Equity and Inclusion
In this webinar we will learn how 50 agencies including non-profit organizations and government agencies such as the Saskatoon Tribal Council, have come together to address the Covid-19 crisis.
During this panel discussion representatives from the Inter-Agency collaborative will share the story of bringing together groups with a common goal, to build equity in the community while addressing disparities being experienced by Indigenous seniors (Old People) and other people furthest from opportunity; in the light of COVID 19 and also with consideration for future city building. 
For more information about the collaboration, visit the website here:
Tenille Thomson
(City of Saskatoon)
Warren Isbister-Bear
(City of Saskatoon)
Brad Bird, (Saskatoon Public Library)
Lisa Erickson,
(University of Saskatchewan)
Thursday, June 25 11-12:30 ET Land Use Planning and Land Management on Reserve Land
The National Aboriginal Land Management Association (NALMA) is a dynamic organization committed to providing efficient tools and resources to its members through the Regional Land Associations and Associate Members. In this webinar, representatives and members of NALMA will provide participants with an overview of how reserve lands are managed, and more recently, how growing numbers of Indigenous Land Managers are engaging in land use planning.
James Roach, RPP, MCIP,
(National Aboriginal Land Managers Association)
Thursday, June 25 1-2:30 ET Learning from the Yukon - Remodelling people’s relationship with land and climate change.
In the final webinar we will hear from two Indigenous planners from the Yukon. Jocelyn Joe-Strack will share her experiences of involvement with Comprehensive Community Planning, reflecting on how her background as a scientist has influenced her understanding about how Indigenous approaches to planning can be crucial in tackling Climate Change. To end our webinar series, Elder Joe Copper Jack will present his Land and People’s Reconciliation model, which is being adapted and used widely across the north.
Jocelyn Joe-Strack, (Subarctic Research and Strategy)
Joe Copper Jack, (Government of Yukon)


Spirit of Change: International Aboriginal Youth Internship

This video chronicles the four months CIP’s aboriginal Canadian interns spent in Region One of Guyana in 2012. The aim of the project was to expose aboriginal Canadian youth to international development and international development work. 

Some initiatives undertaken by CIP in the area of Indigenous Planning include:

  • Publishing a Plan Canada Winter 2016 special issue "Indigenous Planning"
  • Contribution Agreement with Natural Resource Canada and Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada's to develop Climate Change adaptation plans and Toolkit in Nunavut
  • Publishing a Plan Canada Summer 2013 Special Indigenous Edition "Indigenizing Planning / Planning to Indigenize"
  • Participating in Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada's (AANDC) 2012 Pre-forum Dialogue on a Proposed National Indigenous Planning Forum (Vancouver, BC)
  • Providing Mentorship support for the 2012 WorldLink International Aboriginal Youth Internship (IAYI) Program (Ottawa, ON)
  • Presenting at the 2011 IPEX School on Models of Indigenous Development conference (Chiapas, Mexico)
  • Participating in the 2010 International Roundtable on Indigenous Planning and Land Use Management hosted by the University of Saskatchewan at Wanuskewin Heritage Park, (Saskatoon, SK)
  • Presenting at the 2010 Circle for Aboriginal Relations Annual Conference: Stewardship: Integrating Cultural Values in Land Use Planning Recent initiatives
  • Publishing a Plan Canada Summer 2008 Special Indigenous Edition "Celebrating Best Practices of Indigenous Planning".

Visit our Resource Library