Comprehensive Community Planning

Comprehensive Community Planning

Gitanyow, Gitanmaax, Glen Vowell and Kispiox...4 community plans were completed in 2012. What an amazing and encouraging process to be part of. Many Many people shared their thoughts and dreams about where they live and what they would like to see in their community. 

Moving the community plans into Action

Over the last four years GGC has been working with the 4 bands to find ways of working together to implement the community plans. the last four years have been spent focusing on the top 4 areas of concern, strengthening governance, meeting core housing needs, sustainable jobs and businesses and community safety. Please read on for further updates on how the community plans have been implemented. 

Year 1 Band Council Governance 

GGC applied for a small grant with New Relationship Trust to strengthen band council governance. We have had a number of meetings and gatherings exploring how to do this is important work. 

We started off with a self-assessment tool to have each council member reflect on their roles and responsibilites as a Council member. The assessment focused on the 7 main areas of governance. From the self assessment came an outline of the areas that need to be strengthened. A number of training sessions around goverance took place, roles and responsibilities, reporting out & annual planning cycles. A draft roles and responsibilities policy was developed and now sits with each Council for final approval. The roles and responsibilties are laid out in three main parts - responsibilities of the people, of the Council and of Administration. A big thank you to New Relationship Trust's support on this fun project! Besides the self-assessment tool, an annual strategic plan (based upon the CCP five year plan) &  a progress report  template was created to help report activities out to membership about the last quarter or 6 months work, relating to the CCP and community activities. The cover page of the Gitanyow progress report is shown below. 

 

Contact your local Band Office for a copy of the most recent annual Progress Report. 

We also spent some time to develop a governance manual to assist the Bands and leadership with strengthening governace. A draft manual has been developed and will now make up the Governance section of the technical CORE report that pulls together all the relevant policies that Band Council and Administration. Other training through this initiative included Economic Development Board training, Financial Literacy (understanding financial statements) and Ethical Decision Making of elected governments by AFOA (links to their publications page). The Ethical decision making was the best training! Please check it out, if you can.  

Year 2 Housing Policy 

The last main focus for supporting the Band Councils implementing their community plans was to update the housing policies for private home ownership, rent to own homes, social houses and renovations. This policy work is guided by a Gitksan Housing Working Group. This was one of the main aspects of the people's voice in the community - learning about housing policy and participating in developing a community driven and approved policy. Brochures about the 4 main areas of on reserve housing programs, identifying what the core housing needs are and working with both AANDC and CMHC to build awareness about this program has been some of the work to date.Once the brochures are completed, they will be posted. The Core Housing Needs infographic posters are in the Housing Section of this website. 

And one of the most fun projects was to work with UBC, GGC agreed to take on 2 Graduate Level students from SCARP's new Indigenous Community Planning program. Kate K and Lesley C spent a few months with us learning about the Gitksan planning process, implementing the plans and working with the Band Administrations on reporting out - drafting a progres report template and working with Ken Morrison, in developing brochures about on reserve housing. They also helped co-facilitate the community education housing sessions that occured in mid-March talking with community members about housing. The two students finished their practicum with flying colors and have graduated! Congratulations to them both on a job well done. Many thanks to Scott Graham of Sparc BC who was the lead facilitator in our community planning process! 

 

Implementing Year 3 Sustainable Jobs and Businesses:

One of the four main areas that community members were most concerned about was sustainable jobs and training. GGC with Gitanyow, Gitanmaax, Glen Vowell and Kispiox participated in youth training pilot. This pilot provided training and dialogue sessions with the communities to develop a Gitksan integrated wrap around approach to support youth in their lifelong learning paths to realize a Good Life. The Ama Didils Job readiness work book was created. Finding supports & focusing on strengths are key steps in this self help work book. 

 

Moving in to Community Safety Planning Year 4

Gitanyow, Gitanmaax, Glen Vowell and Kispiox worked in partnership with GGC and Public Safety Canada to hold dialogue sessions with their community members to identify what safety needs there are. A key part of understanding safety needs to also to work together to prevent further concerns so some time and focus was spent on exploring a Gitksan pespective on wellness.

Almost 6 months of community engagement sessions were held in the 4 communities to build a better understanding of what the safety needs are and to pull together a Gitksan wellness model.  This work is almost done with everything at the printers! 

A photovoice project to create a wellness mural was completed, asking members to share their favorite photos of 'wellness'. Wellness is based upon four key relationships of your being - relatinship to your mother and relations = wilnataahl, your spirit = ootsin, father and relations - wilsawitxw and relationship to the land - lax yip. In the next year we will be looking at what are the community indicators to measure Wellness! Fun Fun....! 

Please cite: Gitksan Government Commission, Community Safety Planning, Gitxsan Wellness Model; March 2015. http://www.gitxsangc.com/administration/community-development-planning/ 

 

 

Planning Background

In July 2009 GGC Board at the GGC strategic planning session with the Band Councils gave the GGC the mandate to support the communities to start and complete the comprehensive community planning. So finally after a year GGC is working on a community development approach to assist in getting this important work completed.

GGC, Gitanyow, Glen Vowell, Gitanmaax and Kispiox have pursued a partnership with the social planning and research council of BC, SparcBc, to implement a community development approach to comprehensive community planning. A community development approach gets community members to get involved to work together to create a safe place to share ideas, dreams and create a path to realize safe community living and a clear shared vision on where the people want to focus their limited community based resources on. The outcome of this a community vision made by the community members themselves!

Key to this approach is to have community based planning facilitators in each of the four communities. Three (3) part-time workers have been hired and Glen Vowell have identified Jillane Spence as their planning person. Francine Lawlor (Gitanyow), Murphy Green (Gitanmaax) and Mike Johnson (Kispiox). We have partnered up with the Northwest Health Community Engagement Hub hosted by Gitksan Health Society working with the eight (8) Bands in the area; Moricetown, Hagwilget, Kispiox, Glen Vowell, Gitanmaax, Gitsegukla, Gitwangak and Gitanyow. Verna Howard has been hired as the Community Hub Planner and is a key part of our Planning Project Team. The planning themes were organized around the beautififul teaching of "majagalee", children are flowers, focusing on positive community living today and in the future. See diagram above. 

A nine step planning process has been identified through community sessions, dialogue and feedback from the planning facilitators and presentations to community as to how this 'planning' should be done. After workshops and training sessions about what "community engagement" is, we moved to holding the community based sessions.

Many thanks to all who participated in the Honoring Our Voices community development approach to community planning! Thank you to Scott Graham of Sparc BC who was our lead facilitator and writer, & to Amanda Willis for the beautiful layouts of the community plans. Our team is also grateful for the support from each of the Councils, band administrators, staff members, community planning facilitators & Verna Howard, Hub Planner, community members who helped make this engagement work meaningful. A big thank you also to the fluent speakers & GWES  in mapping out the appropriate Gitksan terms and concepts in the main planning areas.

For a copy of the plans, please contact your local band office or check their website. 

Next steps are to work with the band councils on training on how to implement the plans, identifying community indicators and reporting out to communities, and possibly identify collaborative partnerships to realize some of the goals. This is one of the key concepts from the community plans, to have action and follow up!

Haa' miya 

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INAC Engagement re Education on Reserve

Let's Talk on-Reserve Education. First Nations children deserve the best start in life which is why the Government of Canada is committeed to working

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Community Safety Planning is Done!

ama sa, the community safety planning project with Public Safety Canada is now done! 

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