Beringia’s Current and Most Recent Projects

Beringia sees community planning as a broad umbrella for a wide range of planning activities focused on community futures, in a comprehensive whole or regarding specific sectors. Regardless of focus, Beringia applies its community-based, participatory approach. Each planning process is designed and led by local community members, with Beringia playing a supporting role with services such as community profiling, capacity building and training, public engagement, decision analysis, implementation support, including monitoring and evaluation. Below are projects on which Beringia is currently working or has just completed.

Heiltsuk Nation (Bella Bella, BC) – Cultural Protocol

April 2017 – Current

Heiltsuk Nation has invited Beringia to assist in the design and delivery of a community-based process to create a cultural protocol that when implemented honours Heiltsuk culture resulting in respectful, collaborative relationships and shared authority. This project is inspired by the October 2016 ecological crisis and emergency response experience where the Nathan E. Stewart tugboat vessel ran ashore, spilling diesel oil fuel into Heiltsuk’s marine system.

Naut’sa mawt Tribal Council – First Nations Land Use Planning Handbook

November 2016 – Current

Beringia, in collaboration with Naut’sa mawt Tribal Council (NTC), is in the process of developing a community-based Land Use Planning (LUP) Handbook to support First Nations land governance in BC. Using a collaborative design process, this hands-on practical guide will document a full planning cycle and include theory, methodology, methods, resources, stories of practice, exercises and tools within an overall planning framework.

Lower Similkameen Indian Band (Keremeos, BC) – CCP Phase 2

October 2016 – Current

Building on a rich history of community planning, LSIB is completing their first CCP in over ten years. Phase 1 of the CCP process focused on early community engagement, analysis and collecting information needed to update the CCP. Phase 2 aims to finalize the CCP vision, priorities and actions and includes writing up the CCP document and communication tools. Beringia is also assisting with developing LSIB’s implementation strategy and monitoring and evaluation plan for the CCP.

Liard Aboriginal Women’s Society (Watson Lake, YT) – Participatory Evaluation for the Youth for Safety (YFS) Project

April 2015 – Current

Youth for Safety is a 3-year Youth empowerment project designed to foster community safety and justice for young women and girls in Watson Lake, Yukon and nearby Kaska First Nation population in BC. The YFS project, initiated by the Liard Aboriginal Women’s Society (LAWS), engages male and female Youth participants, community members, and Watson Lake community organizations to provide support for young women and girls at risk of falling victim to sexual/physical violence. Beringia’s role as evaluator is to: understand project impacts, inform mid-course corrections, document the unique YFS model in a user-friendly way, and conclude lessons learned and recommendations for future project cycles.

Liard Aboriginal Women’s Society (Watson Lake, YT) – Evaluation Plan for Advocacy Project

August 2015 – Current

Under the direction of the Liard Aboriginal Women’s Society (LAWS) Executive Director, the Women’s Advocate provides community-based, culturally relevant advocacy services supporting the social justice needs of young Kaska women and girls who are, or are at risk of being, victims of violence in the communities of Watson Lake, Upper Liard and Ross River, Yukon, and Lower Post and Good Hope Lake communities in northern BC. Beringia is supporting an evaluation process that utilizes both formative (monitoring the results as we go) and summative (evaluating at key points in the project) evaluation, and also draws on principles of developmental evaluation (ongoing process of continuous implementation, adaption and change).

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Pacheedaht First Nation (Port Renfrew, BC) – CCP Phase 2

October 2016 – May 2017

Pacheedaht First Nation (PFN) completed a Phase 1 planning process and summary report. Beringia supported PFN with their Phase 2 process to create a robust community-based process resulting in a completed CCP titled “The People of the Seafoam’s Future: Pacheedaht First Nation’s Comprehensive Community Plan Phase 2 Report”. The process honoured past planning knowledge, facilitated community decision making, and was culturally respectful and accessible to membership.

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Naut’sa mawt Tribal Council – Land Use Planning Training

March 2015 – February 2017

Building on the success and positive feedback from Phases 1 and 2, Beringia Community Planning delivered a third series of four-part training sessions for 20 BC First Nations launching their own land use planning process. Using a combination of content, including presentations, visuals, local examples, case studies and practical exercises, participants had the opportunity to share experience from their own community LUP and land code processes. Learning from other participants’ processes supported peer to peer, Nation to Nation networking and knowledge exchange.

City of Edmonton – Indigenous Engagement Advisor

April 2016 – November 2016

In partnership with Aaron Aubin Consulting Inc., Beringia provided an advisory role for the City of Edmonton’s four City Projects: Breathe – Edmonton’s Green Network Strategy, River Crossing – Heritage Interpretive Plan, Mill Creek Daylighting Initiatives, and Southwest Ribbon of Green. This role involved helping to strategize on innovative techniques and approaches to support mutual understanding and effective dialogue between the City of Edmonton and 17 Indigenous communities. Beringia also provided technical review and quality control for project deliverables and overseeing the completion of project activities.

National Aboriginal Lands Managers Association (Curve Lake, ON) – Land Use Planning Training

January 24-26, 2017

The National Aboriginal Lands Managers Association (NALMA) First Nations Land Use Planning Workshop aimed to give participants a foundation in the theory and practice of the key stages of a community-led land use planning process. Delegates represented 8 different First Nations from across Canada which all represented different land governance contexts, as well as INAC staff from 3 regions. Beringia was invited to deliver a 3-day introductory to land use planning workshop. The curriculum involved a mix of content, including visuals, examples from across Canada, case studies and practical exercises. The workshop provided an opportunity to not only learn content, but also apply experience from participants’ own community LUP processes. learning-by-doing approach was emphasized, which allowed participants to actively engage and experience learning through group work, practical applications, and the opportunity to use interactive clicker technology. The emphasis prioritized mutual learning, collaboration, sharing, active listening and cultural respect.

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Taku River Tlingit First Nation (Atlin, BC) – CCP Phase 2

January 2016 – December 2017

Beringia provided planning support to TRTFN’s CCP process in 2015. While CCP Phase 1 involved ‘Getting Ready to Plan’, Phase 2 involved reviewing TRTFN’s rich planning history, engaging with Taku Citizens, and analyzing results from recent engagement sessions. Beringia assisted with data analysis, report writing and the communication of results. The final CCP, entitled “Speaking from our Hearts, Listening to our Minds: Weaving our Past, Present and Future Wisdom Together through CCP”, was a great effort by the local planning team, community and leadership.

British Columbia First Nations’ Data Governance Initiative (BCFNDGI) – Planning and Reporting Standards Guide

October 2015 – May 2016

Beringia was part of the BCFNDGI Partnership Project that developed the publication: “7 Cs First Nations’ Guide to Planning and Reporting Standards“. Using a collection of visuals and community examples, the Guide provides accessible information that brings forward emerging standards associated with planning and reporting in First Nations communities. The Guide outlines 7 categories of core standards (the 7 Cs): 1. Culture and languages, 2. Community-driven, Nation-based, 3. Community Engagement, 4. Communication, 5. Collaboration, 6. Connection, 7. Commitment. These 7 foundational standards are not meant to be prescriptive, but rather standards to be considered and applied in First Nations’ own unique and diverse contexts.

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Klahoose First Nation – CCP Phases 1 and 2

Phase 1: November – March 2015

During Phase 1 of this project, Beringia Community Planning helped establish and mentor a local Planning Support Team to lead a five-month community-based Comprehensive Community Planning (CCP) process. This phase involved designing a planning process based on local values, principles, cultural protocols, and history, in order to facilitate an inspiring, mutual learning environment to increase community capacity, knowledge exchange and cultural respect. The product of Phase 1 includes an overview of the planning history of KFN, a community profile, and establishing some basic community values and action priorities, to be expanded upon in Phase 2.

Phase 2: July 2015 – May 2016

Phase 2 of KFN’s CCP process builds on the strong foundation established in Phase 1, with a focus on expanding consultations with community members. The result was developing a clear and specific Community Vision Statement, Community Principles, Core Directions, Pathways, as well as a set of Priority Actions. This effort involved building the capacity of the local Planning Support Team to lead the process, and develop an effective engagement and communications strategy. This phase of the project produced a completed CCP (along with a Summary Guide) as well as a “Community Inventory and Information Summary.” The CCP supports KFN in advancing their self- governance and decision-making tools.

Vancouver Airport Authority – Indigenous Peoples’ Engagement Strategy

May 2015 – February 2016

Vancouver Airport Authority hired Reeve Consulting in collaboration with Beringia Community Planning and Dillon Consulting to develop and formalize its Indigenous Peoples’ Engagement Strategy. The goal of the strategy is to improve the Airport Authority’s overall approach to Indigenous relationship development, as well as to create proactive engagement that builds on existing activities and identifies specific collaborative initiatives for the next three years.

Lower Similkameen Indian Band – CCP Phase 1

January 2015 – March 2015

Building on a rich history of community planning, LSIB is looking to complete their first CCP in over ten years. This Phase 1 CCP process focused on early community engagement, analysis and collecting the information needed to update the CCP. Beringia examined LSIB’s planning history, engaging with community members and considering a framework for the CCP to eventually guide all other lower-ordered or secondary plans.

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Klahoose First Nation (KFN) – Comprehensive Community Plan (CCP) Phase 2

July 2015 – Current

Phase 2 of KFN’s Comprehensive Community Planning (CCP) process builds on the strong foundation established in Phase 1, and is focused on expanding consultations with community members, developing a clear and specific Community Vision Statement, Community Principles, Core Directions, Pathways, as well as a set of Priority Actions that focus on management of lands and resources. This involves building the capacity of the local planning support team (PST) to lead the process, and developing an engagement and communications strategy that works. This phase of the project will produce a completed CCP (along with a Quick Guide and visual communication tools) as well as a “Community Inventory and Information Summary.” This CCP project will support KFN in advancing their governance and decision-making tools towards securing their Rights and Title.

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Vancouver Airport Authority – First Nations’ Engagement Strategy

May 2015 – Current

Vancouver Airport Authority hired Reeve Consulting in collaboration with Beringia Community Planning and Dillon Consulting to develop and formalize its First Nations’ Engagement Strategy. The goal of the strategy is to improve the Airport Authority’s overall approach to First Nations relationship development, as well as to create a proactive engagement strategy that builds on existing activities and identifies specific new initiatives for the next three years.

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Lower Similkameen Indian Band (LSIB) – Comprehensive Community Planning (CCP) Phase 1

January 2015 – Current

Building on a rich history of community planning, LSIB is looking to complete their first CCP in over ten years. This Phase 1 CCP process focuses on early community engagement, analysis and collecting the information needed to update the CCP. Beringia is examining LSIB’s planning history, engaging with community members and considering a framework for the CCP, which will eventually guide all other lower-ordered or secondary plans.

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Yukon Women’s Transition House Society & RCMP – Together for Safety Protocol

October 2014 – July 2015

Beringia Community Planning was invited to facilitate a collaborative process to develop a Protocol Agreement between the Yukon Women’s Transition Home Society (YWTHS) (coordinating body of 7 Whitehorse women’s groups) and the RCMP Whitehorse Detachment. As Beringia’s second RCMP safety protocol, this builds on the momentum created by the Protocol developed by the RCMP and Liard Aboriginal Women’s Society (Watson Lake, Yukon). The “Together for Safety Protocol” aims to improve the working relationship between service providers and the RCMP, improve the experiences of women accessing policing services, and address violence against women and girls on a community-wide level. Beringia facilitated multiple workshops and meetings to produce the Protocol and the accompanying Implementation Plan and Monitoring & Evaluation Plan.

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Brokenhead Ojibway Nation (BON) – Land Use Planning (LUP) Training Workshop

May 2015

The Brokenhead Ojibway Nation (BON) hosted the second annual Land Management Governance Workshop for Manitoba First Nations in May 2015. The three-day workshop included a multi-day Land Use Planning (LUP) workshop facilitated by Beringia Community Planning. In total, 29 participants attended from 11 First Nations. This two-day LUP training used a combination of presentations, visual tools, local examples, case studies, and practical exercises. It provided an opportunity to not only learn content, but also to apply the content to participants’ own community LUP processes. This approach prioritized mutual learning, collaboration, sharing, active listening and cultural respect. Learning-by-doing was emphasized, which allowed participants to actively engage and internalize the material. There was opportunity for group work and practical applications and the process utilized interactive clicker technology as part of the learning.

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Pikangikum First Nation (PFN) – Comprehensive Community Health Plan (CCHP)

April 2012 – July 2015

In partnership with the Pikangikum First Nation (PFN) and Pikangikum Health Authority (PHA), Beringia Community Planning facilitated a multi-year, community-based Comprehensive Community Health Planning (CCHP) process. In the first phase, an award winning Community Health Needs Assessment was completed which summarized the community’s ideas on community strengths, health issues and needs. Read a news story about the CIP Award. In Phase 2, the comprehensive health strategy entitled “Our Healing Journey: Pikangikum First Nation’s Comprehensive Community Health Plan” was created, which maps out a plan to address the needs identified in the Community Health Needs Assessment. This CCHP stands to be an invaluable tool for change in Pikangikum, as explained by Yana Sobiski (PFN’S Legal Advocate):

The CCHP remains fundamentally loyal to the First Nation’s unique Anishinaabe worldviews and philosophies as it incorporates modern concepts and methodologies for on-going engagement, strategic planning, evaluation and monitoring. It builds on the traditions of the past but is responsive to the realities of today and looks forward to the possibilities of tomorrow.”

This plan is also award winning! The Canadian Institute of Planners gave it an Award for Planning Excellence in the category of Aboriginal Community Planning and Development. Find out more at www.cip-icu.ca.

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Ginoogaming First Nation (GFN) – Social Impact Assessment and Cultural Needs Study

January – June 2015

In early 2015, Ginoogaming First Nation (GFN) hired Beringia Community Planning to lead a Community Needs Assessment and Social Impact Assessment related to proposed mineral and energy developments in their region. The studies are intended to help the community maximize their benefits and available opportunities from two major upcoming mining projects (along with other expected development in the region), while minimizing the potential negative effects. The foundation of these two Assessments was a broad base of input gathered from pillar groups in the community including community leaders, Elders, Youth, women, trappers, and community members.

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Taku River Tlingit First Nation (TRTFN) – Comprehensive Community Plan (CCP) Phase 1

November 2014 – June 2015

Taku River Tlingit First Nation (TRTFN) has a rich history of community planning and is seen as a leader in the North in this regard. This TRTFN Comprehensive Community Planning (CCP) – Phase 1 project responded to the need for a community-based, inclusive, and culturally grounded Plan to bring together all previous planning efforts in an integrated way. TRTFN Leadership has long envisioned an overall ‘mother plan’ that honours TRTFN ancestors, while acknowledging the needs of current generations, and caring for future generations. Phase 1 of the larger CCP was a pre-planning or ‘getting ready to plan’ phase, where a solid foundation for the process was developed. A main component of this phase included creating a local Planning Team to carry out the research and engagement for Phase 2 of TRTFN’s CCP planning initiative.

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First Nations Health Authority – Knowledge Gathering Guide Phase 1

January – May 2015

This overall project aims to create a guide designed for Indigenous communities in BC who are interested in carrying out knowledge gathering activities in their communities. This is an important contribution to supporting community-based research and health planning. Phase 1 of this project involved an environmental scan (literature review, key informant interviews, email survey) in the area of Aboriginal research and evaluation. Based on the information collected, an Index for the Knowledge Gathering Guide was created, and 47 supporting Recommendations were also produced to support the community engagement strategy, the production and format of the Guide, and the knowledge transfer and exchange framework for Phase 2.

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Klahoose First Nation (KFN) – Comprehensive Community Plan (CCP) Phase 1

January – March 2015
During Phase 1 of this project, Beringia Community Planning helped establish and mentor a local Klahoose First Nation (KFN) Planning Support Team to lead a three month community-based Comprehensive Community Planning (CCP) process. This phase involved designing a planning process based on local values, principles, cultural protocols, and history, in order to facilitate an inspiring, mutual learning environment to increase community capacity, knowledge exchange and cultural respect. The product of Phase 1 includes an overview of the planning history of KFN, a community profile, and establishing some basic community values and action priorities, to be expanded upon in Phase 2.
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Nishnawbe Aski Development Fund (NADF) – Presentations on Comprehensive Community Planning (CCP)

March 2015
Beringia Principal Jeff Cook presented two plenary sessions at a NADF Comprehensive Community Planning (CCP) Workshop, which included Chiefs, Tribal Council members, Economic Development Offices and Community Planners, and other representatives associated with the Nishnawbe Aski Nations. The topics included CCP 101 (introduction to CCP) and community engagement.
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Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation- Land Use Planning Training Workshop

May 2014

To support the Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation of Manitoba’s current Land Use Planning process, Beringia Community Planning was asked to deliver a two-day training workshop in the community. The training adopted an experiential learning and empowerment approach to learning by combining theory and substantive content with opportunities for discussion and learning-by-doing with tools and practical exercises. Beringia Community planning summarized the results of the workshop with a report and workbook.

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Taku River Tlingit First Nation (TRTFN) – Five Year Physical Development Plan

October 2012 – April 2013

The Taku River Tlingit First Nation (TRTFN) of Atlin, B.C., partnered again with Beringia Community Planning to launch a community planning process to review and update its 2004 Five Year Physical Development Plan (PDP) entitlted “Many Eyes, One Vision.” A combination of community engagement, review of past planning, research and technical analysis informed this assessment of TRTFN’s strengths, challenges, opportunities and community physical development priorities for the next five years.

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Lower Similkameen Indian Band (LSIB) – Community Economic Development Strategy

December 2011 – May 2013

Alongside its recent Land Use Planning process, the Lower Similkameen Indian Band (LSIB) invited Beringia Community Planning to develop a community-based, participatory plan for its community economic development. The process included community sessions, surveys, and small group engagement sessions. LSIB’s Community Economic Development Strategy is focused on community strengths, achievements, skills, principles, vision, and lays out achievable actions to support sustainable local community economic development over the next five years.

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Liard Aboriginal Women’s Society (LAWS) and RCMP – Together for Justice Safety Protocol

March 2013

Beringia Community Planning was invited to assist in the facilitation of a collaborative Protocol between the Liard Aboriginal Women’s Society (LAWS) and the RCMP. The Together for Justice Safety Protocol reflects a mutual desire by the RCMP in Watson Lake, and the Kaska Women of LAWS to address violence against Kaska women. The RCMP and LAWS want to build on their relationship through a strong foundation of trustworthy action, including open and on-going dialogue, honesty, mutual respect, cultural understanding, and shared learning. This Safety Protocol forms a basis for the continuity and consistency of local, culturally sensitive policing service delivery to address violence Kaska women. Read a news story about the Protocol.

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Taku River Tlingit First Nation (TRTFN) – Reconciliation Project

May 2011 – September 2012

In a unique and creative planning project, the Taku River Tlingit First Nation (TRTFN) invited Beringia Community Planning to facilitate a community-driven process to explore what reconciliation means for the community. The goal of the process was to inspire deep engagement that is transformative and healing in nature. Beringia produced a series of newsletters and reports for the community, as well as a participatory Youth video project.

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Lower Similkameen Indian Band (LSIB) Land Use Plan

August 2010 – September 2012

In collaboration with the Lower Similkameen Indian Band’s (LSIB) planning support team, Beringia Community Planning facilitated a community-based process to complete a land use plan based on traditional knowledge and local values for LSIB’s reserve lands. This plan takes a holistic view of the role of land in culture, health, governance and economy. A highly participatory process brought Youth, Elders and a variety of community members together to explore the value of land use planning and to co-create the planning process. The process also included a series of participatory mapping sessions that produced a set of land use maps to guide LSIB’s development planning.

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Regional District Toolkit – Regional Governance

September 2012

Working under the lead of EcoPlan International, Beringia Community Planning contributed to the development of a toolkit to support local First Nations and regional governments to collaborate on local planning with Treaty First Nations. This initiative was led by the Government of British Columbia and the Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation.

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Waskaganish First Nation – Comprehensive Community Planning Training Workshop

June 2012

In preparation for undertaking a Comprehensive Community Planning (CCP) process, Waskaganish First Nation, Q.C., asked Beringia Community Planning to deliver a three-day training workshop in the community. Sessions included presentations, discussions, exercises, examples and videos relating to CCP. Workshop participants also generated a list of tasks to complete to prepare for their CCP and discussed next steps for supporting their planning process, all of which were summarized into a report and toolkit prepared by Beringia Community Planning.