Category Archives: News, Stories and Resources

Pikangikum Health Authority and Beringia Community Planning honoured with National Award for Innovative Aboriginal Health Planning

Pikangikum First Nation’s health planning process is an inspiring example of a community overcoming many challenges to work at healing and building a stronger future. Under the leadership of the Pikangikum Health Authority (PHA) and planning support from Beringia Community Planning Inc., Pikangikum has completed an innovative and comprehensive Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) entitled “Working It Out Together: Pikangikum First Nation’s Community Health Needs Assessment”.

The Canadian Institute of Planners (CIP) presented the Award of Planning Excellence for Aboriginal Planning and Development at its National Conference in Fredericton, New Brunswick on July 10, 2014. CIP is a national planning organization representing over 7000 registered planners across Canada.

Read more about the award at NationTalk.

Read Working It Out Together on the CIP website.

pikangikum award

The Fuller Challenge Update

fuller challengeJeff Cook is a member of the review team for the Fuller Challenge. The team has spent months pouring over applications submitted from dozens of countries and hundreds of project teams to the 2014 cycle of the Fuller Challenge. They are getting closer to choosing a winner!

What is the Fuller Challenge? From its website, it is a “Socially-Responsible Design’s Highest Award.”

Each year, The Buckminster Fuller Institute invites scientists, students, designers, architects, activists, entrepreneurs, artists and planners from all over the world to submit their innovative solutions to some of humanity’s most pressing problems. A $100,000 prize is awarded to support the development and implementation of one outstanding strategy.”

Community Health Planning Presentation in Fredericton, NB

Jeff Cook has been invited to present the Pikangikum First Nation health planning process at the Canadian Institute of Planners annual conference on July 10th 2014 in Fredericton New Brunswick. The theme of the conference is “People Matter” and it will focus on the role of planners in creating healthy communities. The presentation will describe a community development approach to health planning, which emphasizes local values, knowledge and control, capacity support and community strengths and looks at health in a broad and holistic way base on an Anishinaabe worldview and system.

2014 National Planning Awards

Pikangikum Health Authority and Beringia Community Planning have been awarded the 2014 Canadian Institute of Planners Award for Planning Excellence in the Aboriginal Community Planning and Development category for their Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA). The result of a unique tri-partite agreement, Pikangikum’s CHNA planning process has been an inspiring example of community-based health planning and of capacity building, learning by doing, widespread participation and empowerment as a path to community health and healing. The award will be presented at the Canadian Institute of Planners annual conference on July 10th 2014 in Fredericton New Brunswick.

Community Health Planning Presentation in Winnipeg, MB

Jeff Cook has been invited to speak about the Pikangikum First Nation health planning process at the Indigenous Health Conference in Winnipeg Manitoba from October 5-10, 2014. The presentation will share PFN’s story as an example of strong health governance, and will describe how a participatory, grassroots-driven process can make health planning locally relevant and accessible.

Plan Canada Special Edition on Indigenous Planning

Plan Canada 2013In celebration of the Indigenous People’s Planning (Sub) Committee’s (IPPC) 10 year anniversary, IPPC has led the Canadian Institute of Planners’ publication of a second Plan Canada Special Edition on Indigenous Planning. Beringia contributed to several articles in the special edition:

– Opinion Editorial (page 7), “Honouring Indigenous Planning: Renewing Our Commitment to Action” written by Jeff Cook (Beringia principal).

– Article Six (page 37), “Giving Voice to All: Traditional Syilx wisdom and practice shape contemporary community planning in the Penticton Indian Band’s CCP”, written by Marena Brinkhurst (Beringia planner), Elaine Alec and Anona Kampe.

–  Article Eight (page 48), “Indigenizing Planning Education, Decolonizing Planning Practice: First Steps” written by Leonie Sandercock, Jeff Cook (Beringia principal), Leona Sparrow and Larissa Grant.

2013 National Planning Awards

A Path ForwardBeringia contributed to an award-winning “A Path Forward: A Regional Planning Toolkit” led by the BC Government and EcoPlan International. The toolkit is a resource guide to support Treaty First Nations, regional districts and local governments’ collaboration and planning. The toolkit was awarded the 2013 CIP Award for Planning Excellence in the Planning Publications category.

The complete Toolkit is available for download (.pdf) at

Beringia’s Marena Brinkhurst was also awarded the CIP President’s Student Scholarship for “the most outstanding research submission” in recognition of her Simon Fraser University Masters research project entitled “Community Land-Use Planning on First Nations Reserves and the Influence of Land Tenure: A Case Study with the Penticton Indian Band.

Beringia Co-Presents with Dillon Consulting at CIP Infuse Vancouver

infuse vancouverJeff Cook co-facilitated a special workshop at the CIP-Planning Institute of BC 2013 Conference INFUSE Vancouver called ‘Empowering Aboriginal Community-Led Planning.’ This 3-hour interactive workshop explored techniques, tools, and new practices that empower Aboriginal Community- Led Planning.

If you would like more information about the workshop, visit:

UBC Planning School

Jeff Cook recently became a member of the First Nations Planning Committee tasked with planning UBC’s School of Community and Regional Planning’s (SCARP) new First Nations Planning program.

This Indigenous Community Planning program, a specialization in the masters degree in planning, “aims to empower indigenous communities and community planners in their aspirations for sustainable social and economic development. Numerous demands are now being placed on First Nations to develop various kinds of plans, from capital plans to economic development plans to comprehensive community plans.” Learn more in the News Release, December 16, 2011.



Beringia presents at 2012 CIP-APPI National Conference

Jeff Cook facilitated a session entitled ‘Partnership and Governance Models and Structures: Collaborative Planning and Governance between First Nations & Municipalities – The City of Campbell River Story’ at the 2012 Canadian Institute of Planners and Alberta Planning Professional Institute conference in Banff, Alberta, ‘The Great Exchange: Putting Ideas Into Action.’  The session presented the case of the City of Campbell River’s award winning collaborative planning process in partnership with local First Nations. Workshop participants explored different topics under the theme of collaborative governance.