Folder Poster Presentations

Posters were on display for the duration of the conference. Each poster author was given 2 minutes to present their poster at 2 "lightning presentations". Abstracts for all the posters are available here.

Augmenting the utility of IBAs for Northern Aboriginal Communities

Ben Bradshaw - Associate Professor, University of Guelph
Impact and Benefit Agreements (IBAs) have become institutionalized in northern Canada in the sense that it is infeasible for a firm to develop a mine today without securing the support of regional Aboriginal communities in contractual form. Notwithstanding their growing use, coupled with some innovation in IBA form, there is a growing sense among analysts and communities that IBAs are failing to meet expectations. Of particular concern is: the uncertain position of IBAs in mine permitting, especially relative to regulatory processes like Environmental Assessment (EA) and the execution of the Crown’s consultation obligations; the limited use of adaptive management to address social impacts as they emerge within IBA-signatory communities; and the fear that Aboriginal community well-being is declining rather than increasing through IBA-enabled mine developments. These and other issues could effectively be addressed in a panel session.

Urban Planning as Social Policy – The Importance of Geodesign in the North

Andrijana Djokic - Graduate Student, York University, Masters of Environmental Studies
Canada’s North is an area where varying factors continue to converge daily, making it an arduous task to face environmental and social concerns in the region. Within the sub-Arctic regions of the circumpolar world we are witnessing an increased process of urbanization due to both a growth in local populations and northward patterns of migration. Developing the north provides the opportunity for planners to utilize state of the art technology and to employ techniques that encompass a holistic approach to urban planning, all in the hopes of avoiding many of the local planning failures which have contributed to the current state of the global environment. This paper discusses how the urban sphere can be used to reduce the impacts on regional environments. This paper considers geodesign as an urban planning tool rather than a regional planning tool to address local environmental and social concerns, enhancing planning in the North. We have seen geodesign used in northern regional planning as the Arctic is a sensitive ecosystem; therefore, geodesign’s importance has been recognized. If used within transparent urban planning negotiations in conjunction with community involvement, geodesign provides a method in which to manage community concerns. Through identifying valued components in a community’s direct environment, planners can then propose geodesign solutions to circumvent potential adverse environmental and social impacts. Were we to implement geodesign as a local tool we could bridge the structural gap between urban and regional planning – a separation that should not exist as it does not in the natural world.

Geo-mapping for Energy and Minerals: Phase 2

Pascale Groulx - Strategic Relations & Reporting Manager, Government of Canada, Geo-mapping for Energy and Minerals Program
The Geo-Mapping for Energy and Minerals (GEM) program is the Government of Canada’s $100 million initiative to significantly improve the geoscience of the Canada’s North. GEM activities provide the fundamental, regional geoscience knowledge that northerners can use for land use planning and responsible resource development decisions. With northern energy and minerals resources potentially being as abundant as those in the South, an opportunity exists to create prosperity for Northerners by supporting the development of a sustainable, vibrant northern economy. GEM activities target areas of the North to fill critical geoscience knowledge gaps on the likelihood of resource potential. The data and knowledge collected by GEM activities are all made available to the public at no cost. While GEM provides job opportunities and training in a field setting, the experience gained by actively participating in the GEM program planning phases also helps to develop the communities’ familiarity with and understanding of geoscience initiatives. These experiences can help them be engaged and active in decisions affecting land-use and resource development. For instance, Inuit and First Nations negotiators considered GEM data when deciding land ownership in the North. Elsewhere, GEM results were used in the designation of a protected area. GEM continues to explore new opportunities for collaboration with northern institutions in order to develop knowledge products that increase relevance and accessibility of GEM results to Northerners.

Protected areas in the Northwest Territories and Yukon

Claudia Haas - Government of the NorthwestTerritories, Environment and Natural Resources
As part of national and international reporting requirements, the territories reports to a national database on protected areas. This database called the Conservation Areas Reporting and Tracking System (CARTS) is managed by the Canadian Council on Ecological Areas (CCEA) and is the authoritative source of protected areas in Canada. Each jurisdiction provides their standardized data based on the guidance provided by the CCEA to help interpret and apply in a Canadian context the international standards for protected areas categories and management provided by the World Conservation Union (IUCN). This poster will showcase the CARTS information for the northern territories while also providing information on the ongoing and next steps in protected areas planning for the territories.

Assessing what matters: Attending to Yukon First Nation concepts of health and wellbeing in the assessment of extractive resource projects

Jen Jones & Yukon First Nation Health & Social Development Commission
Human health and wellbeing is understood to be an important consideration in the planning and assessment process of a new development, including a highway or mine site.  However, what is propositioned in theory is often challenged in practice.  Assessment mechanisms, while required to consider human health and wellbeing, are challenged to respond to different conceptualizations of health and wellbeing.  As a result, how health and wellbeing are measured and monitored, negative impacts mitigated, and potential benefits identified are impacted. This poster seeks to bring attention to the importance of considering the complex and nuanced drivers that inform Aboriginal concepts of health and wellbeing. These drivers, while diverse and specific to each First Nation, include the historical context of Aboriginal rights, residential school experiences and environmental dispossession. 

Food Security and Local Food Production

William Klassen - SLR Consulting (Canada) Ltd
Food Security and Local Food Production
Agriculture has been practiced in the Yukon since the Klondike Gold Rush. Since that time many Yukoners have continued to grow at least some of their own food in addition to harvesting food from the wild. In the past couple of decades there has been an increase in the amount of arable land being put into agricultural production to provide fresh produce, root vegetables, and white and red meat to Yukon consumers.
A large percentage of the food Yukoners eat is still imported. However, an increasing portion is being produced on Yukon farms. Some of the larger operations are providing consistently high quality Yukon-grown food to the market through Yukon grocery stores. “Farm gate” sales are increasing. Smaller operators and hobby farmers now have the option, in Whitehorse, of selling their surplus production through Farmer Robert’s, a recently opened outlet.
The Yukon Government is in the process of finalizing a “Local Food Strategy” focused on “Encouraging the Production and Consumption of Yukon-Grown Food 2015 – 2020.” The draft strategy engagement document suggests “Providing fresh, healthy, affordable and local food for all Yukoners is integral to maintaining healthy communities and individuals. Establishing a strong local food supply and distribution chain is an effective way to increase the availability of local foods and involve Yukon people in growing and marketing Yukon-grown food and products.”
This presentation will address the value and importance of increasing local food production through relatively small agricultural operations.

Planning for Climate Change in Nunavut: Lessons from Upagiaqtavut
Michelle Marteleira - University of British Columbia, School of Community and Regional Planning

The impacts of climate change are already affecting Canada’s arctic territory of Nunavut in profound ways, and include the reduction of sea ice, degradation of permafrost, coastal erosion, and changing patterns of species migration. Unfortunately, the global impacts of climate change are predicted to manifest most rapidly and acutely in arctic regions and are projected to increase in the coming decades. It is imperative that the territorial government and local communities of Nunavut actively engage in adaptation planning to meet these urgent challenges. This presentation deconstructs the Government of Nunavut’s overarching climate change adaptation policy – Upagiaqtavut: Setting the Course – and will evaluate the plan based on three thematic assessment frameworks, which focus on (1) natural hazards, (2) social vulnerability, and (3) implementation processes. The three-part approach will explore the strengths and weaknesses of Upagiaqtavut as a territory-wide adaptation policy, and makes some recommendations for improving the strategy to foster a more resilient Nunavut.

Indigenous Community Planning Specialization
Gillian Nicol - University of British Columbia, School of Regional and Community Planning

The poster that I would create would outline the Indigenous Community Planning program from a students perspective. It will outline the goals and objectives of the program, courses, and the overall program structure. I will share my story about working with the Tsilhqot’in Nation on their Health Plan under the First Nation Health Authority.

Community based land use planning in the Far North of Ontario
Grant Ritchie - Director, Far North Branch, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry

Co-speaker: Julie McArdle - Program Manager, Far North Branch, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry

In 2008, the government of Ontario announced the launch of the Far North Land Use Planning Initiative, a process whereby First Nations and Ontario work jointly on making decisions about how land and water will be used into the future. In 2010, Ontario passed the Far North Act, the legislative framework for this planning. It enshrines in law the need for both First Nations and Ontario to approve a community based land use plan and requires that once a land use plan is completed, activities on the land must be consistent with those plans.

Using local wisdom to collaboratively identify fish and wildlife management priorities in Yukon communities
Michelle Sicotte - Fish and Wildlife Planner, Government of Yukon, BSc., MSc.

Collaboratively developing fish and wildlife management priorities in First Nation traditional territories across Yukon is key for the conservation of fish, wildlife, and habitats. Using collective decision making and consensus building to reflect regional needs and concerns is important for building local support and capacity for fish and wildlife management.Community-based fish and wildlife work plans are one way that Yukon government, Yukon First Nation governments, and renewable resources councils come together to identify and prioritise fish and wildlife management priorities in traditional territories. Guided by the spirit and intent of the First Nation Final Agreements, we have over 20 years’ experience developing these work plans across Yukon.We use a range of tools to understand needs and concerns among community members including written and online surveys, focus groups, community meetings, and open houses. Input is summarized and what we heard is reflected back to the community. Using consensus building workshops we collectively consider local input, traditional knowledge, and scientific data to develop a shared vision for fish and wildlife management in a First Nation’s traditional territory for the next five years. Through this presentation I will share lessons learned in community-based fish and wildlife planning, and explore where we hope these plans will take us in the future.

Exploring the Cumulative Effects of Future Land Use in the Dawson Planning Region
Sam Skinner, M.Sc. - Senior Planner, Yukon Land Use Planning Council

The North Yukon land use plan is the only approved regional plan in Yukon. Its land use designation system is based on different levels of two cumulative effects indicators: direct surface disturbance and linear density. The Dawson Regional Planning Commission wanted to determine: 1) if the concepts used in North Yukon were relevant to the land use situation in the Dawson Planning Region, and 2) if the cumulative effects indicator levels used in North Yukon were relevant to their land uses. To assist the Commission answer these questions, existing and plausible future levels of the two cumulative effects indicators were explored in the Dawson Planning Region. Though many land uses co-exist, four sectors were identified as requiring consideration: forestry, placer mining, quartz (hard rock) mining, and oil and gas activity. Domain experts from these four industries were consulted to develop parameters describing two plausible levels of development (lower and higher) for a 20-year future period. For each sector, domain experts reported anticipated levels of activity and their potential locations. These parameters were used to guide the manual addition of human disturbance features in a GIS to spatially “grow” the expected disturbances created by each industry. For each Landscape Management Unit, the projected future disturbance levels were then compared with existing levels. In addition to examining the potential relevance of the North Yukon indicators, these methods were also found useful to identify areas that could be expected to receive higher levels of future land use.

Land use Planning in the Sahtu, Northwest Territories
Justin Stoyko - GIS Analyst Planner, the Sahtu Land Use Planning Board, BSc., MSc

The Sahtu Land Use Planning Board (SLUPB) is mandated to develop and Implement a land use plan (Plan) for the Sahtu Settlement Area an area of 283,000 km2. The SLUPB was created pursuant to the Sahtu Dene and Metis Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement (SDMCLA) and the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act (MVRMA). The Plan is the product of 1 5 years (1998-2013) of development. It came into effect on August 8, 2013 following the sequential approval by the Sahtu Secretariat Incorporated  the Government of the Northwest Territories and the Government of Canada. Following Plan approval the SLUPB has a continuing role to monitor the Plan's implementation. This includes responsibilities to conduct conformity determinations on referral, receive applications for exceptions to the Plan, consider Plan amendments, and conduct a 5-year review. The Plan's zoning map will be the focal point of the poster using additional maps, graphics, and text boxes the poster will visually present an overview of planning activities in the Sahtu Settlement Area.

A Review of the Peel Watershed Common Land Use Planning Process
Nick Grzybowski - Yukon Land Use Planning Council, Associate Consultant, BSc., MADR

To date the Common Land Use Planning Process (planning process) has struggled in producing regional land use plans that are approved and implemented by both the Yukon and the First Nations government(s).

The goal of this research project was to capture the knowledge and experience of those involved in the Peel Watershed planning process that took place between 2002 and 2014. Gathering this knowledge will contribute to improving the planning process in the Yukon, where past successes and challenges inform improved future applications.

In the short term, recommendations from my project are intended to contribute to the successful completion of regional land use plans in the Yukon, which in the long run may provide greater certainty for a multitude of users and reduce the prevalence of land use conflicts throughout the Yukon Territory.

The Role of Indigenous Youth in Planning and Governance
Kelsey Taylor - Indigenous Community Planner, University of British Columbia

This poster explores ways that Indigenous youth are getting involved in planning processes, and in governance. As many Indigenous communities undertake Comprehensive Community Plans and other types of planning processes, youth are increasingly becoming a significant aspect of these plans in the North and in the rest of Canada. While youth are a significant proportion of the population of Indigenous communities, especially in the North, there is little information to date on the inclusion of youth in planning surrounding Indigenous self-governance. The poster draws on the researcher’s personal planning practice in Indigenous Community Planning. The poster utilizes knowledge gained from participatory action research, workshop facilitation, and community engagement.  These methods are used to look at the ways that youth are involved in planning, governance, and the future of their communities. The poster consciously gives ownership of the materials produced to the Indigenous youth participants. The poster presents guidelines on Indigenous youth engagement in the face of the many challenges in contemporary Indigenous governance. The guidelines, created in collaboration with Indigenous communities, suggest that youth empowerment and leadership is integral to the planning processes of Indigenous communities in the North and elsewhere.

Coordinating Plans and Policies: The challenges and strategies
Amanda Taylor - Land Use Planner, Ta'an Kwäch'än Council, MA

Planners coordinate - that's our job. However, due to myriad factors, this activity is often pushed to the side of our desks in favour of higher priority items that have more immediate results. Why is coordination becoming increasingly difficult in a field that depends on it? My Masters thesis contributed to a three-year study aimed at identifying coordination barriers and strategies across Canadian municipalities. Studies show how shared benefits through joint action can result from coordination. Resource constraints including staff turnover, lack of time and finances are common barriers to coordination. Factors contributing to coordination include staff buy-in, a common organizational vision, relationship-building and even working in closer proximity to colleagues to foster easier communication. Findings from this study are important for northern planners due to the frequency of intergovernmental collaboration between First Nation, municipal and federal governments.

Developing map- and web-based products to support sustainable land-use in large dynamic systems
Pierre Vernier - University of Alberta, Renewable Resources

The Canadian BEACONs Project has developed a science-based framework to support proactive planning in large, dynamic landscapes. A fundamental component of this framework is adaptive management supported by ecological benchmarks.  To support the implementation of this framework, and the identification of ecological benchmarks, we have developed a suite of custom tools and datasets, as well as websites for hosting analyses.  Here, we highlight three map- and web-based products developed for the boreal regions of Canada and Alaska.  These products will be publicly available and have potential to support many aspects of land-use planning.

1) We have assembled a suite of boreal-wide datasets with consistent projection, scale, and resolution to identify and assess representation of potential benchmark areas. The datasets were created from recent and reliable data including anthropogenic disturbance, biophysical features, climate, and species models.
2) We have developed two value-added data products. Water catchments are approximate drainage areas for stream segments that support evaluation of landscape hydrology. Catchment datasets have been developed at two scales (1:1million and ~1:50,000). Minimum Dynamic Reserves (MDR) are size estimates for benchmarks designed to incorporate natural disturbance and maintain ecological processes.  Fire-based MDRs have been estimated for all ecoregions intersecting the boreal region of Alaska and Canada.
3) Websites have been designed to communicate the results of analyses and enable data sharing. These websites are generated automatically to facilitate regular updating. Dynamic html reports including embedded computer code, datasets, tables, graphs and maps, enable users to explore the results in relation to input datasets.

Urban Wellness within a Cultural Context
Savannah Zachary - School of Community & Regional Planning, University of British Columbia

The urban landscape is changing in the north. With more economic opportunities drawing families and individuals to larger communities, there is potential to become disengaged from their roots. The influences behind the change in the urban landscape are caused by the climate, a different social environment and population movement. Aboriginal communities make up a large portion of the population in the north. Being in an urban environment can limit access to traditional ways of food harvesting and lifestyle.

Youth that come to cities often become disengaged from traditional knowledge, culture and activities on the land. Culture, language, and knowledge are interconnected; when one is lost, others are at risk of a similar fate. Having green houses and programs that are designed to address these issues in northern communities can help aboriginal youth learn and foster traditional ways of food harvesting and plant knowledge. Garden environments are fertile spaces for the cross-pollination of ideas, skills and personal growth. This is also an opportunity to connect with elders and knowledge keepers that can provide intergenerational knowledge. These greenhouses will be grounded in the indigenous perspective that we derive wellness and community from relationship and interaction with land and territory. We can also link this with the growing trend in North American cities to develop urban farming skills. Not only is this helpful for aboriginal people to connect with each other, it also connects them with the larger North American societal trends.

Collaborative Forest Resources Management Planning with First Nations and Yukon Government. The unique planning context provided through First Nations Final Agreements and Yukon’s Forest Resources Act
Lisa Walker - Natural Resources Legislative Advisor and Negotiator, Forest Management branch, Government of Yukon

A Forest Resources Management Plan is a strategic level forest management plan that provides guidance to forest resources management within a region of Yukon. An FRMP provides guidelines on forest harvesting and identifies areas where harvesting may occur. It can also provide forest management recommendations relating to habitat, access management, timber and non-timber values. FRMPs originate from First Nations Final Agreements and Yukon’s Forest Resources Act. The FRMP Joint Planning Committee includes representation from Yukon Government and First Nations who’s Traditional Territory falls within the planning boundary. In addition to FN Final Agreements, forest management is regulated by the Yukon Forest Resources Act (FRA). The FRA was developed in by Yukon First Nations, Renewable Resource Councils and Yukon government. The purpose, contents, and process for Forest Resources Management Plans are also set out in the FRA. There are approved Forest Resources Management Plans in Dawson, Haines Junction and Teslin, which were all developed collaboratively with First Nations and RRCs. The current Whitehorse and Southern Lakes FRMP is a partnership between the Carcross / Tagish First Nation, Kwanlin Dün First Nation, the Ta'an Kwäch'än Council and Yukon Government. Two renewable resource councils participate in the process, Carcross / Tagish RRC and Laberge RRC. When the Joint Planning Committee is finished their work, they will recommend.