Shared Path to Continue Improving Municipal-Indigenous Engagement Work
A New Tool Will Support First Nations’ Participation in Local Planning Decisions
TORONTO, June 17, 2021: With renewed funding from the Greenbelt Foundation, Shared Path Consultation Initiative will create an interactive consultation tool to address barriers and improve communications between First Nations and Ontario municipalities around land-use planning.
An interactive map will enable First Nations in the Greater Golden Horseshoe to identify their territories and borders and support First Nations’ participation in local planning decisions and streamline the municipal consultation process."
An interactive map will enable First Nations in the Greater Golden Horseshoe to identify their territories and borders and support First Nations’ participation in local planning decisions and streamline the municipal consultation process.
Municipal planners, developers, and other land-use professionals are directed by the most recent Provincial Policy Statement (PPS 2020) to engage in conversations and relationship-building with local Indigenous Communities from the outset of any proposed land-use change and to include them in decision-making throughout the process.
However, information on which First Nation(s) should be contacted for a given land-use issue is not always readily available due to overlapping jurisdictions, rights, and responsibilities. As a result, First Nations are often inundated with hundreds of unnecessary consultation notices, burdening them with the task of sorting through all of the paperwork to determine relevance. Similarly, municipalities also struggle to determine how and with whom to engage in discussions about land-use planning matters.
This tool will support more effective engagement and streamline information for both First Nations and municipal staff. Shared Path hopes it will facilitate connections and support the development of positive working relationships. The organization anticipates that this will lead to a new best practice standard.
"Many people within our network have been asking for this type of tool for years,” says Morgan Peters, Executive Director of Shared Path Consultation Initiative. “When planners learn the importance of building relationships with Indigenous communities, their first question is often, ‘How do I find out which communities I should be connecting with and how to contact them?’ Now we will be able to direct them to the Shared Land Map as a starting point."
A similar tool is currently being used in Arizona and has proved to be effective. Two leaders of the Arizona Consultation Map indicated that participating tribes reported being contacted by agencies who had never previously attempted to consult with them before. With contact information publicly available, these agencies no longer had a barrier that prevented appropriate consultation.
“Engaging First Nations in land-use planning is not just a legal obligation for land-use professionals, it’s an important means to share knowledge about local issues,” explains Edward McDonnell, CEO, Greenbelt Foundation. “This tool is intended to make the engagement process simpler, which benefits municipal planners and provides Indigenous Communities with their rightful opportunity to be heard and contribute to key municipal decision-making.”
For the full project backgrounder, click here.
About Greenbelt Foundation:
Greenbelt Foundation is a charitable organization, solely dedicated to ensuring the Greenbelt remains permanent, protected and prosperous. We make the right investments in its interconnected natural, agricultural and economic systems, to ensure a working, thriving Greenbelt for all. Ontario's Greenbelt is the world's largest, with over two million acres of farmland, forests, wetlands and rivers working together to provide clean air, fresh water, and a reliable local food source.
About Shared Path Consultation Initiative:
The Shared Path Consultation Initiative (Shared Path) is a charitable organization that is addressing the challenges and opportunities that emerge where land use change and Aboriginal and Treaty Rights intersect. Planning, as a political and sometimes contentious process, has the potential to impact Indigenous political and territorial claims. We seek to provide opportunities and resources that enhance, inform, and facilitate Indigenous-non-Indigenous bridge building, particularly within the realm of land planning practice.
Greenbelt Foundation Media Contact:
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The Shared Path Consultation Initiative