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.


National Indigenous History Month

To celebrate National Indigenous History Month, CIP hosted three webinars from June 25-26 on a broad range of Indigenous planning issues. 

The series started with Dana Kripki and Gilles Dorval from the City of Saskatoon sharing their work on aysinowak: A Communications Guide, winner of CIP's Award for Planning excellence in Reconciliation. The pair provided illuminating examples and best practices from the guide, noting in particular that good communication, "face to face", is needed to develop lasting relationships.

Jeff Hamm, a professional planner with more than thirty years of experience, presented viewers with a deeply moving reflection on his personal experience working with the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, and finished with a call for planners to be strong allies with their Indigenous partners, starting simply by listening. 

The series wrapped up with a presentation by Catarina Gomes and Rena Soutar on the Northeast False Creek Plan of Vancouver, winner of APA's Pierre L'enfant International Planning Award. The team spoke of the extensive consultation they needed to do in order to make their vision of an urban park for all peoples-- and one that would reconcile historical injustices-- a reality. 

All three webinars presented viewers with powerful stories of reconciliation in action, and each concluded with a common theme: that planners must communicate and build genuine relationships with the Indigenous communities they work with, if they want to achieve truly successful reconciliation through planning. 

CIP Policy Statement - Planning Practice and Reconciliation

CIP's newly launched policy on Planning Practice and Reconciliation defines the role that planning and planners play in 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), this policy 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


In 2003, CIP established the Indigenous Community Planning Committee (ICPC) in order to build capacity and support for indigenous planning and community development across Canada. ICPC promotes agency cooperation and collaboration to assist indigenous communities and groups to achieve their own aspirations for sustainable development. It welcomes the participation of indigenous communities, organizations and individuals.

The ICPC provides assistance in areas such as comprehensive community planning and development, governance, health and wellness, social development, energy and infrastructure, environment and climate change, education and learning, grants and funding, culture revitalization and international affairs and outreach.

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".

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