Policy, Planning, and Governance

Land use planning can help communities to strategically get ahead of industrial development pressures, while business, economic, and organizational planning can help communities achieve their own preferred development outcomes.

What We Do

We work closely with our clients to identify their long-term goals — whether they be cultural, social, or economic — and to devise and implement the policies and processes needed to achieve these goals. This work can include land use planning, consultation protocols, climate change adaptation plans, organizational and governance development, staff training and workshops, strategic economic development plans, and feasibility studies in tourism, agriculture, and small businesses.

Expertise

We have extensive experience working with communities across Canada to develop preferred cultural, social, and economic futures that support their priorities and balance economic development with cultural continuity. We also have a thorough understanding of the policy and regulatory systems, industrial pressures, and environmental contexts within which community decisions are made.

Capacity Building

We provide training and on-going support so that communities can develop their own cultural, economic, and governance vision, and develop the steps they need to achieve their desired futures.

Contact

Carolyn Whittaker
MSc Natural Resource Mgmt
carolyn.whittaker@thefirelightgroup.com
Victoria Office
Phone: (250) 590-9017

We work closely with communities to understand decision processes and Indigenous approaches to management in order to develop new approaches to policies, protocols, and agreements that allow communities to assert self-determination.

Carolyn Whittaker
Firelight Policy team lead

Example Projects

Nexwagwez?an – Community Vision and Management Goals for the Dasiqox Tribal Park (2017)

The Yunesit’in and Xeni Gwet’in First Nations (Tsilhqot’in communities) established the Dasiqox Tribal Park in 2014. Nexwagwez?an (meaning it is there for us) is an Indigenous Protected Area that exists to protect ecosystems, revitalize culture, and sustain local livelihoods. Firelight provides ongoing support to the Dasiqox Tribal Park in the form of community-based management planning, mapping, research, capacity-building, technical advising, strategic planning, and project coordination. In 2017, funded by Wilburforce Foundation, we engaged with community members and the Dasiqox Tribal Park governance team, documenting their voices and vision for the tribal park in the form of a community vision and management goals for Nexwagwez?an. Firelight is honoured to provide continued support to this exciting, meaningful, leading edge work by Tsilhqot’in communities.

Report is not yet available to the public.

Priorities and Needs for First Nations Establishing Indigenous Protected areas in British Columbia – Phase 1: Scoping Study (2016)

There is a groundswell of interest in Indigenous-led Protected Areas (IPAs) and stewardship initiatives in British Columbia and Canada. The Firelight Group initiated a preliminary study of selected IPAs, and other Indigenous conservation efforts in British Columbia, and the challenges they share. This report identified Indigenous communities in BC that are engaged or interested in establishing IPAs, synthesized community priorities, challenges, questions, and needs, then identified gaps in available resources, recommending actions and funding strategies to support future work. Wilburforce Foundation funded this work. A preliminary scoping study, this report helped to inform the Indigenous Circle of Experts (ICE) for the federal Pathway to Canada’s Target 1 protected areas initiative.

Indigenous Traditional Knowledge Framework (2015)

The Indigenous Traditional Knowledge Framework is a policy guide to establish standards and best practices for including Indigenous Traditional Knowledge into environmental decision-making in Northeast Alberta. Firelight supported the process and authorship of the Framework, alongside 14 Indigenous communities, industry and government representatives.

The Firelight Group

Research, policy, planning, negotiation, advisory, and capacity building services for Indigenous and local communities.

Offices

VICTORIA (250) 590-9017
VANCOUVER (604) 563-2245
EDMONTON (780) 760-1255

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