CCP Handbook -  Comprehensive Community Planning for First Nations in British Columbia

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Date: August 2006 
ISBN: 0-662-43482-X

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Table of Contents

Developed in partnership with
Okanagan, Lytton, Squiala, We Wai Kai (Cape Mudge) and Yekooche First Nations, and the First Nations/INAC Comprehensive Community Planning Working Group

In 2004, five First Nations embarked on a journey to develop comprehensive community plans. Thanks to the Okanagan, Lytton, Squiala, We Wai Kai (Cape Mudge) and Yekooche First Nations for comments and suggestions made during the development of the CCP HANDBOOK and for the sharing of valuable lessons learned as they created comprehensive community plans. Special thanks to the members of the First Nations/INAC Comprehensive Community Planning Working Group ("the Rockets") for their insight, wisdom and enthusiasm regarding planning and sustainable First Nation communities.

This is the first edition of the CCP Handbook, and we welcome your feedback – please send your comments and suggestions to

Comprehensive Community Planning: An Introduction

This map shows where the distinct First Nation languages are spoken in BC.

Totem poleThe First Nations of British Columbia have rich and varied cultures, histories and traditions. They are becoming increasingly involved in comprehensive community planning as a way of embracing change and planning a better future for their communities.

Comprehensive community planning is a holistic process that enables a community to build a roadmap to sustainability, self-sufficiency and improved governance capacity.

It is a new approach to planning, where the process is steered by the community rather than a small group or committee. Many First Nations communities across Canada are already engaged in planning and are experiencing great success.

Planning is an important tool on the road to self-governance and building capacity in First Nations communities. Each community requires a unique approach to planning that can be adapted to their culture and traditions-it can help individual First Nations make a positive difference in addressing the specific issues of their own communities.

The CCP HANDBOOK breaks down comprehensive community planning into manageable stages for BC communities ready to tackle the planning process.

You will find step-by-step descriptions of the entire process, and read about lessons learned by BC communities First Nations who have tested various approaches to community planning. The Handbook includes practical tools to encourage community involvement and develop the plan based on community vision and goals. The final section includes funding, educational and planning resources to support the development and implementation of your community's plan.

What is comprehensive community planning?

A holistic process

Comprehensive community planning is a holistic process undertaken with broad community participation. A comprehensive approach:

  • enables the community to establish a vision for its future and implement projects to achieve this vision
  • helps to ensure that community projects and programs are thought through, make sense and are the best use of resources
  • integrates and links all other plans the community has produced
Comprehensive Community Planning - Governance, Land & Resources, Health, Infrastructure Development, Culture, Social, Economy

Processes that are driven by the community, for the community are most effective at achieving positive change. That's why the comprehensive community planning process is inclusive and represents the perspectives of all members, whether they reside within or outside the community. All members of the community, including Elders, youth, and family representatives, can offer unique and valuable perspectives on community needs, values and priorities.

A comprehensive community plan addresses key planning areas, all of which are interrelated and interdependent: governance, land and resources, health, infrastructure development, culture, social issues, and the economy. Consideration of all key planning areas through one unified process defines community planning as a holistic and integrated exercise that can lead to sustainable development.

Sustainable development

Sustainable development meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. (Brundtland Commission, 1987)

Sustainable development takes a long-term view. It encompasses all areas of our lives, including the economy, the environment (lands and resources), and the social and cultural aspects of our communities, including governance, education and health. Sustainable development is the guiding principle of comprehensive community planning.

Aboriginal people have a tradition of living "sustainable" lives, taking a long-term view to sharing and protecting the land, the animals and the plants so they can sustain future generations in perpetuity. In effect, this is planning for sustainability.

Each First Nation community will decide on its own what sustainable development means to them, and how they can use comprehensive community planning to achieve sustainability of their economy, environment, and culture.

For more information, visit:

Benefits of planning to your community


Comprehensive community planning provides a framework and process for the community to explore its core values, establish a vision for the future, and work toward achieving that vision.

Planning can benefit the entire community by creating positive change in a proactive way, while also protecting the values of the community. Planning can improve the performance of the band administration and any related organizations, and also enhance the community's governance tools and capacity.

Once in place, an effective community plan can:

  • Empower the community. The community becomes more self-aware, creates its own future, and has the tools to respond to change in an effective manner.
  • Improve performance. Having a plan leads to informed decision-making, combines fragmented efforts and decreases duplication, enables efficient use of resources, and identifies and solves organizational problems.
  • Build teamwork and expertise. Planning improves communications within the Nation's government, builds managerial and staff skills and supports capacity-building efforts.
  • Coordinate future development. The planning process identifies the community's priorities for the use of its land base and territory, anticipates future infrastructure and development needs, and helps to prevent conflicting developments.
  • Protect resources. The community is able to identify and protect vulnerable or valuable areas, traditions, or cultural values and practices.
  • Celebrate traditions and culture. The cultural aspects of the community may be a focus of the planning process.
  • Promote healing and reconciliation. Planning helps the community to work together to proactively address negative or painful community issues by establishing a positive vision for the future, and by taking the steps necessary to achieve that vision.
  • Create economic opportunities. Examining and identifying sustainable economic opportunities is an essential part of creating a Comprehensive Community Plan. Having a plan in place will also help to attract investment.

The scope of comprehensive community planning may vary greatly depending on where the community's interests are in relation to matters such as treaty negotiations, approach to governance, and the extent to which it is addressing land and resource issues within its traditional territories.

What's needed to make planning work

A planning team reviewing a sketch

There are some basic needs that apply to all phases of the planning process:

  • Community Engagement and Support
  • Capacity Building and Training
  • Communications
  • Resources
Community Engagement and Support

Successful comprehensive community planning processes are those that are community-driven. All sectors of the community should have an opportunity to participate, including Elders, youth, members residing within and outside the community, and family heads, among others. The plan must accommodate the needs of community members in order to have validity and credibility, and for members to support its ongoing implementation.

With engagement, the community becomes a source of new ideas for discussion and action. Participation encourages people to take responsibility for initiating and implementing projects, and also creates momentum and sustains support. Engagement expands the leadership base of the community and presents opportunities to transfer planning and responsibility to other community members over time.

Family heads, community groups, youth and children, elders, community members, chief and council, nation administration

Establishing effective community engagement can be a difficult task. The following diagram provides some suggested solutions to some common challenges.

 Practical Barriers:
  • Unaware of meeting
  • Not enough notice provided
  • Lack of understanding about planning process
  • Meetings held at inappropriate times
  • Other obligations at home or work
  • No transportation/ inaccessibility
  • Lack of daycare/child care
  • Weather related

right arrow 

  • Create a communications strategy
  • Book meeting at set time and dates
  • Supply agendas to show meeting content
  • Provide minutes or notes for those who were unable to attend
  • Show progress with newsletters, posters
  • Provide information to the public
  • Use a survey rather than a meeting
  • Book individual meetings, lunches, home visits at flexible times
  • Provide transportation to meetings
  • Provide childcare services
  • Hold meetings indoors

 Personal Barriers:
  • Non-neutral atmosphere
  • Lack of interest
  • Lack of leadership
  • Lack of trust
  • Lack of motivation
  • No cooperation
  • They feel their input is not important
  • Defeatist attitude
  • Fear of being wrong; speaking up; expressing opinions
  • Assume meeting will be run by non- First Nation person
  • Shyness
  • Scared of repercussions
  • Family or political domination
  • Intimidation
  • Pay expectation

right arrow 
  • Friendly, welcoming attitude
  • Involve people on a personal level
  • Get children involved
  • Neutral meeting place
  • Provide focus group sessions or home visits
  • Provide examples of how planning will benefit the community
  • Acknowledge and appreciate participation
  • Make people understand the importance of their input
  • Keep giving positive feedback
  • Take all ideas into consideration
  • Have a facilitator
  • Have a neutral Chairperson
  • Anonymous suggestion box
  • Put personal issues aside
  • Give credit to community members and their accomplishments
  • Address issues and look for solutions

Capacity Building and Training
Planning team meeting

The planning process is a new exercise for most communities, so most members will not be familiar with the steps of developing a comprehensive community plan. Strategic partners such as consultants may be engaged to perform the technical work, but are typically not community members and will not be responsible for implementing the plan. That's why communities need to build the internal capacity to actively participate in planning and implementation.

A Planning Team consisting of community members should lead all planning activities and work closely with strategic partners-enabling Planning Team members to learn from their partners and build their own planning capacity. Another means of building capacity is to encourage community members to pursue post-secondary educational opportunities in planning-related areas.

The Planning Team might engage strategic partners to hold training sessions for the team and other community members to ensure knowledge and skill transfer on issues such as:

  • the planning process and model(s)
  • how to encourage community engagement
  • how to ensure community buy-in and support
  • effective communication skills
  • effective facilitation of group meetings
  • preparing workplans
  • researching information and mapping
  • proposal writing and fundraising
  • managing contracts (e.g. for consultants)
  • conflict resolution

Effective communication both within and outside the community provides a foundation for the successful development and implementation of a comprehensive community plan.

Effective and regular information sharing within the community ensures that the community is up-to-date on planning activities, understands the activities of the planning process and the Planning Team, and has the knowledge to actively participate in the process. Whether a newsletter, poster, or PowerPoint presentation, communications materials should be informative, engaging, and written in plain language. Clear communications will help to foster good will towards the planning process.

Communications outside the community-with other levels of government, private sector/industry, and academic institutions-can help coordinate your community's plan with other local or regional plans. Outside communications activities can also help gain support and access funds for the development and implementation of the plan. Keeping this network active after the plan has been completed can trigger cooperation, initiate joint projects, ensure awareness of the role of First Nations in the region, and leverage financial support for the plan's implementation.


First Nations Technology CouncilThe First Nations Technology Council (FNTC) developed the Community Technology Plan Toolkit to help communities plan for, budget for, and manage community technology. The use of technology is exploding and communities need to consider having a line item in their budgets so that technology can be 'evergreen' - i.e. technology needs to be kept up-to-date especially as some of the more sophisticated applications such as telehealth begin to become available. Technology is no longer a 'nice to have' item. It is basic community infrastructure - as important as roads, water and sewers - especially for the more rural and remote communities. Your community could be spending more on technology than you think.

Completing the Community Technology Plan will give you a clear picture of where your community is and help your community get where it wants to go. Certain applications, such as Geographical Information Systems (GIS) or telehealth need specialized equipment and specialized skills so planning both for equipment and human resources becomes very important.

For more information, or help in completing your Community Technology Plan, contact the First Nations Technology Council at


There are many different phases involved in the comprehensive community planning process. Considerable time and resources, both human and financial, are required to carry out a comprehensive community planning process and implement the outcomes. It is essential that your community begin planning early to ensure it has adequate resources to be successful.

Resources are required for:

  • Involving the community: meetings, newsletters, website, referenda or other approval processes, etc.
  • Supporting the activities of the Planning Team: meetings, technical or computer-related equipment, photocopying, faxing, and other administrative costs, honoraria (if offered), capacity-building and training, etc.
  • Identifying and updating technology needs as part of supporting planning activities.
  • Working with strategic partners, particularly planning and technical consultants
  • Implementing projects: some may require retaining a project manager or specialized expertise; some will require program dollars; some may be implemented through re-focusing of the efforts of existing staff and/or existing funding; others may have little or no financial cost at all.

In the early stages of comprehensive community planning, identifying all of the steps involved and the resources required to successfully implement it can be overwhelming. A first step is to discuss comprehensive community planning with other First Nations, planners, or INAC staff, who can assist with providing information on comprehensive community planning and share information on relevant resources such as other First Nations involved in the comprehensive community planning process.

Refer to the APPENDIX for resources to help you learn more about planning through educational programs, BC communities planning organizations, and planning publications. You may also want to speak with different planning consultants to choose the right strategic partner and technical support for your community.

Communities need to identify several sources of secure, long-term funding to develop and implement the comprehensive community plan. The Planning Team and others should research, apply for, and secure different sources of support, such as funds from government or the private sector, contributions from your First Nation's administration, and in-kind donations. Developing a good network of planning contacts can also help identify funding sources. Refer to the APPENDIX for a list of funding resources for planning and planning-related processes.

Planning in Action: First Nation pilot projects

In 2004, five BC communities First Nations-Okanagan, Lytton, Squiala, We Wai Kai (Cape Mudge) and Yekooche-partnered with INAC in pilot projects to develop comprehensive community plans using a 'learning by doing' approach. The communities were selected to represent a spectrum of First Nations in BC communities, in terms of geography, size, treaty and planning processes.

Within the CCP HANDBOOK you will find Planning in Action pages, where individual First Nations describe how the planning process evolved in their communities.

Preparing for Community Planning:
WE WAI KAI (Cape Mudge)

We Wai Kai Nation (Cape Mudge) consists of almost 900 citizens, with 330 living on reserves on Quadra Island and Vancouver Island. The reserves total approximately 660 hectares. As part of the Hamalta Treaty Society, We Wai Kai is negotiating in stage four of the BC communities Treaty process and is a member of the Kwakiutl District (Tribal) Council.


Mapping the community resources

In the development of our comprehensive community plan, we decided to begin with a smaller scale project to focus on developing a formal community engagement (consultation) policy between Chief and Council and the citizens of We Wai Kai Nation.

Many new residents have moved to the community, who have not lived on the reserve before and who don't know the history of our communities and their decision making processes. We had to distinguish between those who live in the communities and those who do not.

We established a volunteer community committee, including citizens living on and off reserve, to conduct the ongoing review of the engagement policy, make amendments and provide advice. This approach allows for the policy to be "test-driven" and improved, or amended, if necessary.

It helps to have staff and Chief and Council representatives present at meetings and to involve Administration staff from the beginning (project proposal to project implementation).


We learned you have to be flexible in scheduling meetings and workshops and have alternate dates. Significant community events, such as funerals and special ceremonies, can lead to delays. We also had to accommodate holding meetings in two different locations for the two major communities of Quinsam and Cape Mudge and we found it expensive to hold meetings, since we chose to run every decision through a community-based process.


Presenting the plan to the community

We Wai Kai Nation Chief and Council have adopted the community engagement policy through a Band Council Resolution. The policy sets out what issues Chief and Council must bring to the community for information/discussion/ratification before Council approves and implements decisions. The policy is intended to ensure accountability and participation by all with regard to governance and community development. The policy document will be mailed out or delivered to all We Wai Kai citizens.

We Wai Kai Nation is now ready to begin development of a comprehensive community plan.

Comprehensive Community Planning: Step-by-Step

Creating a successful plan is an ongoing, step-by-step process. Planning doesn't end at a certain point, but moves forward through each step and continues as you achieve results in your community. Planning can begin at any point in the cycle, and people can become involved in the community's planning activities at any stage.

Community involvement is essential for all stages of the planning process.


THE PLANNING CYCLE: Pre-planning, Planning, Implementation, Monitoring and Evaluation

The four stages of comprehensive community planning involve:

Assess Community Readiness
Develop a Budget, Identify Funding
Build a Planning Team
Build a Workplan

Gather Background Information
Complete Community Analysis
Create Vision Statement and Values
Build a Comprehensive Strategic Framework
Set Goals and Objectives
Identify Activities and Projects
Create an Implementation Strategy

Build Workplans
Implement Plan

Analyze Results
Review and Recommend
Revise and Update


The Planning Cycle: PRE-PLANNING
  • PRE-PLANNING is the time to:
    • assess whether the community is ready to start planning
    • inform the community and its leaders about the planning process and gain their support
    • prepare the groundwork for an open, inclusive and effective planning process.
  • By the end of PRE-PLANNING you will have a Planning Team and coordinator in place, a workplan to guide the planning process, and strategies to keep the community well-informed and actively engaged in the planning process.
  • The planning process is community-driven and benefits from a variety of perspectives. PRE-PLANNING can be initiated by any community member, but works best if developed and supported by the majority of the community and its leaders.
  • Encourage all members of the community to participate-elders, youth, family heads, nation administration, chiefs, councillors, general community members. Each brings a unique point of view to the planning process, and their involvement ensures that the diverse needs of the community are being considered.
  • Sharing information is a key component of the PRE-PLANNING stage-people are more supportive of an idea or concept if they understand what it is about. Inform the general community as well as Chief and Council about the purpose of the planning process, its outcomes, and its steps and phases. Keeping the community up to date will help build support for your goals. Information to share includes the planning model and process, the structure of the Planning Team, and ways the community can participate in planning.
  • Building community support can happen formally and informally. A formal process could be establishing a community mandate for undertaking comprehensive community planning, confirmed through a referendum or some similar means. Informal processes could include generating feedback on the planning process through surveys or community meetings.
  • A Planning Champion will often introduce the idea of planning to the community and leadership, and can drive the process, gain support, and help build a planning team. A Planning Champion can be any community member. They may come forward as a result of a trigger in the community-issues such as a proposed land development, a move into the treaty process, or a crisis that gets people talking. The Planning Champion needs to be based in the community, respected by community members, and prepared for a long-term commitment to the planning process.
 "The community champion needs to be trusted and respected by everyone in the community. These people already exist in our communities, you just have to find them."
- Gwen Phillips, Ktunaxa Nation
PRE-PLANNING: Step-by-Step

Step 1: Assess Community Readiness

Is your community ready to start the comprehensive planning process? Before taking the first steps, the community needs to assess whether or not it is capable of going through the planning process at this time. Are the necessary people, capacity and resources available?

Community readiness includes support for the process by the community and leadership. If your community is ready to go ahead, you may wish to ask Council to endorse the planning process through a Band Council Resolution or similar mechanism. From the beginning, it is important to build understanding and support by sharing information with the community and leadership.

If the planning process is postponed for now, consider developing a plan of action for getting the community ready at a future time. (See the APPENDIX for publications and other resources)

Step 2: Develop a Budget, Identify Funding

Funding is needed throughout the planning process-PRE-PLANNING is the time to figure out a budget for the whole process and identify potential sources of funding.

What would funds be used for? They may be needed to support a planning coordinator and trainee, for technical support, for holding community meetings, for writing and copying information updates, or for a variety of other activities that your planning committee determines will need financial support during the planning process.

Once you decide what funding is needed for, it's time to:

  • develop a budget for the planning process (it doesn't need to be exact)
  • identify possible funding sources (see the APPENDIX for potential sources)
  • write proposals to those funding sources.

Step 3: Build a Planning Team

Planning team meeting

In bringing together a Planning Team, you will assemble a group that represents the many different sections and areas of expertise within your community.

Together, the Planning Team will:

  • Lead the planning process
  • Conduct research
  • Share information with the community and other partners
  • Provide updates to community and leadership on planning activities
  • Fundraise
  • Work closely with any strategic partners to develop the comprehensive community plan
  • Review drafts and finalize the comprehensive community plan

The Planning Team could form smaller working groups to lead different aspects of the planning process.

You may wish to draft a Terms of Reference for your Planning Team. This document summarizes the guiding principles of the team-describing the purpose and scope of the planning process, how you will engage community members, what timeframe you are considering, and their roles and responsibilities.

Step 4: Research

Comprehensive community planning is unique to each group and its situation. Research can help you understand how to make the planning process relevant to your community.

Learn about comprehensive community planning by talking to other First Nations and neighbouring municipalities/ districts, by using the Internet, and by checking the references listed at the end of this Handbook.

Research will help you find answers to the following questions:

  • What does comprehensive community planning mean?
  • What are the benefits of comprehensive community planning?
  • What comprehensive community planning models exist?
  • Which model, or combination of models, is the best approach for our community?
  • What are our key planning areas?
  • What techniques can we use to ensure community engagement and support for our planning process?
  • What principles will we adopt to guide our planning process?

Planning principles can act as a guide or checklist for the planning process. Principles are "accepted truths"-things that everyone believes are true and add value to what we do.

Some suggested planning principles are: community- based, representative, inclusive, respectful, supported, integrated, results-based, easy to understand, realistic.

Step 5: Build a Workplan

Based on information discovered during the research step, the Planning Team will outline a comprehensive planning process for the community.

Then, this general outline will be developed into a more detailed workplan that sets out for each planning phase:

  • What needs to be done (activities)
  • By whom (roles and responsibilities)
  • By when (timelines)
  • How much it will cost (budget)

The TOOLS section of this Handbook contains practical tools and worksheets that can help during the PRE-PLANNING stage:

Tool 1: CIEL Community Life Cycle Matrix
A self-assessment tool from the Centre for Innovative and Entrepreneurial Leadership (CIEL Community Life Cycle Matrix) that looks at characteristics of thriving communities and helps communities to assess their own readiness for the planning process

Tool 2: Components of a Proposal
Outlines the main sections of a typical funding proposal

Tool 3: Terms of Reference for a Planning Team
Terms of Reference documents the Planning Team's goals, methods, and responsibilities for the planning process

Tool 4: Comprehensive Community Planning Checklist
A detailed Community Planning Checklist to use as a reference/guide for the entire planning process

Tool 5: How and When to Engage Community Members
Techniques to help involve the community in the planning process

Tool 6: Ways to Increase Participation
Further techniques to inspire more participation from the community

Tool 7: Community Groups to Engage and Involve
A list of potential community groups who should be involved in all stages of the planning process, and how they could contribute

Tool 8: Communication Tips
Techniques to effectively communicate and share information with members of the community

Planning in Action:

The Yekooche First Nation is a remote community located 85 km northwest of Fort. St. James in north central BC and is accessible only by gravel logging road. The total population is approximately 200 members with an on-reserve residence of 145. Yekooche recently signed an Agreement-in-Principle and is now in stage five of the BC Treaty process, negotiating towards a Final Agreement.


Two people presenting results to a group

Our comprehensive community planning process evolved from a health assessment we conducted in 2002/03. It was a comprehensive framework for health with health and wellness in the center. After we conducted the community health assessment, we went through a community review, discussion, and approval. Then we had an increased understanding of how the health of our people is affected. This helped us design the Yekooche First Nation Community Development Plan model.

Phase 1 of our community planning process involves the development of nine plans, including Language/ Culture, Economic Environment, Education/ Health Services, and Physical Environment.

Phase 2 involves a community process to design the most appropriate governance and administrative models to ensure the delivery of programs and services and to address priorities.

Mental health issues, substance abuse and family conflict are some of the challenges we are dealing with, which have affected our ability to consult effectively. In a small community like ours, such crises impact the entire community and affect our abilities.


A river

We reviewed and summarized all the information ever gathered in different areas on Yekooche, including the information provided by the community. We found that we needed further information to make a plan of the quality we thought necessary.

We took information from different plans completed under Treaty Related Measures (TRM), including:

  • Forestry Opportunities TRM (impacts, health, training, etc)
  • Fisheries Management Stewardship TRM (sparked people's interest in a career in fishing)
  • Skills Inventory and Working Pathways TRM (developing career plans for every person in the community)
  • Business Development and Planning TRM
  • Traditional Knowledge Study
  • Land Resource Management Plan

All of these studies provide much needed information. The finished community development plan will be more complete and meaningful with the incorporation of this information.

We believe that the end result will be a "living" functional plan rather than another binder sitting on a shelf.


The model we chose required a lot of people to work with it - band members, consultants, people in the community. We had problems staffing the project. We needed six project leaders and a number of community facilitators - people to work with the project leaders. We thought it was better to have familiar faces working throughout the project, so no one was employed or contracted who wasn't already involved or working with the community. This meant that people already working with the band were given additional duties. It slowed the process, as no one was working on the project full time but had also other responsibilities; health problems also limited some people's ability to work with us.

In the end, we put together a core group of people, which formed the Health Advisory Committee. This group, along with Chief and Council, now provide the forum for community consultation for Health and Social Services.

We are pleased with the product to date, but it's taken a long time. It's so important to glean as much information from the community as possible. We have a lot of information now; we think it was the right decision to use people with a tie to the community.


The Planning Cycle: PLANNING


  • In the PLANNING stage, the community identifies its vision and values and the specific steps that will be taken in order to realize that vision. Supported by the Planning Team, the community will:

    • Describe itself
    • Analyze its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats
    • Establish its vision and values
    • Build a comprehensive planning framework that addresses all areas of community life (including goals and objectives, projects and activities, and priorities)
    • Create a detailed plan for implementing activities and monitoring progress.
  • The community must drive the planning process in determining its own vision, values, goals, objectives, and activities/projects. Youth should be encouraged to become involved in the visioning process, as they are the leaders of the future. Community leaders can provide direction, encouragement and endorsement of the plan.
  • Administration, including managers and staff, are excellent sources of information, particularly during the more detailed planning stages of identifying strengths and issues, developing goals, objectives and activities, and linking funds and resources to these activities. Because administration will be responsible, in large part, for implementing the plan, all managers and staff should be familiar with the plan, particularly in their areas of responsibility. It will be important for managers and staff from different departments to create effective communication processes so they can coordinate and cooperate on projects that affect a number of planning areas and departmental responsibilities.
  • The PLANNING stage may involve strategic partners-the community may decide to hire a consultant with technical and planning expertise, or use partners (such as Community Futures) to help learn about the process and review your existing planning documents. It is also useful to engage with other governments (e.g. municipalities or regional districts) or the private sector to review any plans already in place and/or to identify areas of possible cooperation.
  • Once a comprehensive community plan has been developed, the plan will need to be vetted by the community. Awareness and endorsement are necessary for the plan to become a long-term guide for community development that transcends changes in political leadership. How your community endorses its plan will be specific to its circumstances and traditions. Possible options include:

    • Community referendum: all eligible voters cast a ballot on whether or not they support the draft plan (the community determines the required level of approval).
    • Vote at a community meeting: a less formal mechanism for approval could be a simple show of hands at a convened community meeting. Or a three-reading process where the plan is presented at a series of community meetings, followed by a vote during the last meeting.
    • Traditional method: some communities may have an accepted traditional method of decision-making appropriate for approving the plan (e.g. the consensus of heads of families).
    • Support and/or ratification from Chief and Council for the plan will help during implementation.
  • Sharing a laugh
    Celebrate! Once the comprehensive community plan has been endorsed, a formal ceremony to celebrate is in order, where community leaders can acknowledge the community's wishes and commit to implementing the plan. This is also an opportunity to publicly communicate to others-including neighbouring governments, the private sector and strategic partners-that the community now has a comprehensive community plan in place.

PLANNING: Step-by-Step

Step 1: Gather Background Information

The first step in planning is to develop an understanding of the current situation in the community, including its extraordinary qualities. The Planning Team will need to summarize the findings in an overview document.

This step may involve research, mapping activities, and talking and meeting with community members. Start by gathering a wide range of information, including any existing plans and studies-much of the information you need is already in your community or can be accessed from government partners. Existing material will help the team identify what gaps need to be filled in the gathered information, and help make efficient planning decisions.

Here is a sample checklist for gathering background information:

 Infrastructure Development
  • Assets
  • Community technology plan
  • Any existing plans, including those of other governments
  • History/Culture of the community
  • The role cultures plays in the community
  • Programs and services
  • Community organizations
  • Any existing plans
  • Statistics - incidence of disease; mortality rates; substance abuse; etc.
  • Programs and services
  • Any existing plans, including those of other governments
  • Population
  • Population growth rate
  • Age and gender distribution
  • Statistics - social issues; social assistance rates; educational attainment rates; etc
  • Programs and services
  • Community organizations
  • Any existing plans, including those of other
  • Employment rates
  • Employment industry (i.e. seasonal; sectors)
  • Human resources inventory
  • Economic organizations
  • Any existing plans, including those of other governments
Lands & Resources (Maps)
  • Location (including maps)
  • Surrounding areas
  • Activities on, uses of, the land
  • Resources available, including uses
  • Any existing plans, including those of other governments
  • Central leadership body
  • Other leadership bodies
  • Government relationships (municipalities, provincial, regional)
  • Programs and services offered
  • Staffing levels
  • Any existing plans

Step 2: Complete Community Analysis

Now you are ready to review the assembled background information and understand what needs to be changed or built on, based on the community's challenges and possibilities.

The analysis stage allows the community to

  • ask itself why its circumstances are what they are
  • understand why things work when they are successful
  • understand the root causes of its problems
  • identify how it can improve situations and
  • identify the opportunities it can take advantage of.

SWOT (Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis provides a useful framework for community analysis. Ktunaxa Nation chose SWOT to mean "Start With Our Truth" as a means of openly and honestly acknowledging the causes for challenges within the community.

SWOT could be applied to each of the key planning areas - Governance, Lands & Resources, Health, Social, Culture, Economy, Infrastructure Development.

Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats Analysis

Text description of this diagram is available on a separate page.

Step 3: Create Vision Statement and Values

In a community vision, members describe what they value, desire, and want their community to look like at some point in the future. A vision is a bold and realistic picture of your community's future, not an unrealistic dream. For the purpose of comprehensive community planning, a time horizon of 25 years is suggested.

A vision:

  • refers to the elements that make up your community, including people, lands and resources, and infrastructure
  • is influenced by members' aspirations, interests, values, dreams, roots and potential.

To develop a vision, bring people together at community meetings or focus groups to describe, draw, paint, or act out their vision of the community's future. Another option: use photos, pictures, maps or objects that people can organize into collages or models.

Once community members have shared their perspectives, extract the key themes or messages-the community's values. Values may include: healthy community, traditional lifestyle, honesty and integrity, transparency, responsible stewardship.

vision > goals > objectives > actions/projects > outcomes

The planning process is like a funnel: you work down from the BIG picture (vision) to very specific actions and outcomes.

Use these values to draft some broad vision statements, including or representing as many of the themes and values as possible. Continue to hold community participation sessions to review and redraft the vision statement and community values as necessary.

Community mapping is another effective tool in creating a community vision, particularly in focus group settings. Start with a map of your traditional territory. Fill in existing communities, infrastructure, and activities. Then fill in what the community would like to see in the future: Infrastructure Development, Cultural Zones, Traditional Gathering Areas, Economic Development opportunities, and others.

Examples of BC First Nations' Vision Statements

"Strong healthy citizens and communities, speaking our languages and celebrating who we are and our history in our ancestral homelands, working together, managing our lands and resources as a selfsufficient, self-governing Nation." - Ktunaxa First Nation

"Strong, healthy, proud and self-reliant community made up of strong, healthy, proud and self-reliant community members." - Fort Nelson First Nation

This diagram shows factors that can influence a vision: aspirations, interests, values, dreams, roots and potentials

"Guided by the teaching of our elders, the wisdom and strength of our leaders and the energy of our children and youth, Skidegate will continue to grow and prosper. It will be a safe community with healthy individuals and families who celebrate being Haida. All Skidegate Band members will have access to education, training and employment opportunities which support a sustainable economy." - Skidegate First Nation

"Tla'amin people, through Taow (our teachings), will empower the community to be healthy, self-governing stewards of the land. With full jurisdiction, we will provide certainty by creating economic and employment opportunities, capacity and sustainability through knowledge and responsible leadership for future generations." - Sliammon Kwun ah men First Nation

  • Be specific but general (not too abstract that it doesn't have any effect; nor too rigid that it creates limitations)
  • Reflect a course that can be acted upon (but does not apply to only one specific situation)
  • Be inclusive and pro-active in reaching out to everyone
  • Be accountable - have an open and transparent visioning process
  • Use traditions as a resource - draw on history and tradition to determine how to face the future

Step 4: Build a Comprehensive Strategic Framework

Three men chatting

A comprehensive strategic framework provides the basis of the community plan. The framework is organized into planning areas, each of which contains the goals, objectives, projects/activities and desired outcomes that reflect the community vision.

To turn the community vision into a reality, you will need to develop a framework that is comprehensive enough to start addressing issues identified in all planning areas-including governance, health, education, infrastructure, environment, social, culture, economy, etc.

By identifying and linking these planning areas, you will be able to most effectively build a plan that will help to begin working towards achieving the community vision.

When building a strategic framework:

  • Identify and organize information under key planning areas, such as Governance, Lands & Resources, Health, Social, Culture, Economy, Infrastructure Development
  • Explore how technology can be used to support and integrate each organization within the community
  • Keep the amount of information at an overview level
  • Be accurate and concise
  • Look for exceptions-concentrate on aspects that really stand out
  • Share information with the community-prepare a display, host an open house or community dinner, etc.

The next steps will help to fill in the planning areas of the Comprehensive Strategic Framework with specific goals, objectives, projects/activities and outcomes.

Step 5: Set Goals and Objectives

This step identifies broad community goals within each planning area and the specific objectives required to meet those goals. Goals represent the strategic pathway that the community wants to take to fulfill its vision; objectives are the stepping stones required to construct that pathway.


  • a broad, general statement about what the community wants to have happen
  • can be achieved within a medium time-frame
  • a "pathway" toward achieving the community vision


  • a specific statement of how to reach the larger goal
  • can be achieved within a short time frame
  • describes what concrete actions you will take to realize each goal
  • SMART (see sidebar)
  • a stepping stone in the pathway toward achieving the community vision

Goals in each planning area flow from the community vision and needs identified by the community. Objectives, in turn, flow from the goals. Most goals will have several objectives. The community should set its own goals and objectives through an inclusive process, allowing all members to have input.


Well-set objectives are:

Specific: They are not general - they state exactly what is to be achieved
Measurable: They can be evaluated easily and demonstrable with evidence
Attainable: They are achievable given the opportunities and constraints of our environment
Realistic: They take current capacity into account
Time: They are set within a clear time frame

Examples of goals and objectives that are SMART:

Goal: win the gold medal in hockey in the 2010 Winter Olympics
Objective: win 20 hockey games each year before 2010

Goal: win today's hockey tournament
Objective: put the puck into the net more times than the other team

To set goals and objectives, begin with the key planning areas. Use the community's vision, values and needs to guide the goal-setting discussion.

To create community goals within each key planning area, ask:

  • What do we want to accomplish in this area in the next 10, 15, 20, 25 years?
  • How do our vision, values and needs guide our goal setting in this planning area?

The next step is to create the objectives required to achieve the goal. Typically, several objectives may be identified to address a goal. For each goal, ask:

  • What can we do to achieve this goal?
  • What are the separate objectives-how many actions must take place?

When setting goals and objectives, you must know what the desired outcomes or results are. An outcome is a measurable change that occurs as a result of action taken to meet a goal and its objectives.

Action must be taken in order to meet the goals and objectives you have set for your community, to reach the desired outcomes, and to measure your progress.

Step 6: Identify Activities and Projects

Two women studying a plan

The next step in planning is to identify activities and projects to help achieve your goals and objectives.

Goals and objectives are usually long term, while activities and projects will become part of annual workplans of managers and staff on an operational level. It is important that everyone understands how the specific activities in their respective planning areas flow from the broad community vision, and understand which activities they are responsible for.

To determine activities and projects, begin with the objectives identified for each key planning area. For each objective, ask:

  • What activities would support this objective?
  • What measurable steps can we take in the next year to make progress?
  • What resources are needed to achieve the objective?
    • Financial
    • Human resources and skills
    • Political
    • Relationships and strategic partners
    • Technology
    • Communications and public information
  • Are current resources sufficient?
  • Should we re-organize how we use our resources, or will we have to find new resources?
  • Who will lead/implement the strategic activities?
  • Who will be responsible for completing workplans?
Two men chatting

To ensure activities and projects are completed, include them as part of workplans for administration and staff. Always write down who will be responsible for completing the workplans and when they will be completed, and check in on a regular basis to measure progress.

The table below gives an example of the planning process from vision to outcomes:

  • Strong and effective self-government
  • Accountability, transparency, effectiveness
  • Refine the organizational/ governance structure of our First Nation by 2010 to support accountability, transparency and effectiveness of government operations
  • Revise policies and procedures of each department by Dec. 2006
  • Restructure departments as necessary by Dec. 2008
  • Establish committee(s) to guide the reorganization process by Dec. 2006
  • Report on new governance structure and policies, and an action plan that is to be implemented

Step 7: Create an Implementation Strategy

Ideally, by the end of Step 6, the Planning Team will have developed a comprehensive strategic framework including goals, objectives, actions/projects and desired outcomes in each planning area. Now, the implementation strategy will describe how to make this framework a reality.

A thorough implementation strategy includes: priorities, indicators of success (accomplished objectives and reached desired outcomes), responsibilities, timeframes, and required resources and support for implementation.

To create an implementation strategy, the first step is to prioritize the activities and projects identified by the community and to set the agenda for short, medium, and long-term action.


For each activity or project identified under each key planning area, the following questions can help prioritize activities:

  • Community Benefit
    • Does the project address an urgent issue?
    • Will the project benefit the majority of the community?
    • Is the project/activity part of basic infrastructure, health, or safety?
    • How will the project impact future generations?
    • Will the project/activity lead to greater sustainability?
  • Community Capacity
    • Do we have the ability to undertake this project/activity ourselves?
    • Does the project utilize and build on local resources (i.e. labour, materials)? Is this in the short-term? Long-term?
    • What opportunities exist for training, education and capacity-building?
  • Technical Feasibility
    • Is the project realistic? Can it be done?
    • What is the timeframe for completion?
  • Cost and Affordability
    • What is the overall cost of the project? May include capital costs, cost of strategic partners, annual operation cost, social cost, environmental cost.
    • What other unpredicted costs might emerge?
    • Does the project require infrastructure improvements (water, sewer, fire protection, roads)?
    • What sources of funding or other support exist?


These questions will help you identify which projects and activities will be key priorities, and which ones can wait a while before being implemented. After assessing the activities and projects, group them according to anticipated time frame:

A lake
  • Short-term: Will be immediately acted upon (within the next five years). The implementation strategy should focus on these projects/activities.
  • Medium-term: Will be achieved in between five and ten years. These tasks will provide a framework for the development of the next implementation plan.
  • Long-term: To be achieved in between ten and 20 years. These should be identified in the Comprehensive Community Plan, but not in any great detail-circumstances can change dramatically over the next ten years.


Another purpose of the implementation strategy is to identify a process for ongoing monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of the Comprehensive Community Plan. The following could be included in a monitoring and evaluation strategy:

  • Regular timelines for evaluation
  • Process for monitoring and evaluation
  • Community involvement
  • Process for accepting revisions to the Comprehensive Community Plan

The TOOLS section of this Handbook contains practical tools and worksheets that can help during the PLANNING stage:

Tool 9: Steps to Hire a Planning Consultant
A tool to help set the terms and conditions for hiring a consultant

Tool 10: Community Asset Assessment Charts
A series of worksheets to help identify the existing assets in the community

Tool 11: SWOT Analysis
A tool to help understand where the community is now, and to think about what could influence where the community wants to go in the future

Tool 12: Visioning Questions
Sample questions to get the community thinking about their ideal vision of the future

Tool 13: Goals, Objectives and Projects Tracking Chart
A chart to record, link and monitor goals, objectives and projects/activities

Planning in Action:

The Okanagan Indian Band is located on 11,000 ha between the head of Swan Lake, north of Vernon, and Duck Lake, just north of the Kelowna Airport. The band is made up of approximately 1,700 people, half of whom live off-reserve, with a significant population of non-band members living in developments on Okanagan Indian Band lands.


It's fairly obvious: if you don't make a plan, you plan to fail. The comprehensive community planning process has been the gateway for the Okanagan Indian Band to build a plan which will serve the needs of the membership for the next 15 to 20 years. We need a plan for our land, because if don't plan, all the areas around our reserve will be developed and we won't have any feedback on how to access the services around the edges of the reserve.

We want to improve conditions on our reserve; for example, we want better roads, as most of our roads are gravel and hard to maintain. We also want better water and drainage systems for all our reserves as well as land management for housing and commercial development. We want to identify and protect areas with special needs and avoid becoming a haven for substandard or undesirable development. Our plan will support detailed strategies for water, roads and other services.

We feel the process has been very positive for Okanagan Indian Band and has given the community the comfort of knowing that there is a plan for the future.


Two people studying a map

Over the course of the pilot project, community members were able to express their views on what future development should look like.

We held meetings in all of our communities. During the first set we provided a project overview to members of all five communities. We wanted preliminary input from our members to feed into the plan. Generally, we haven't really had a planning process in place before, and the pilot project allowed us to develop a CCP for the first time.

At public meetings, we collected data from the people. The community members at the meetings were not looking 20 years down the road, but were looking at very immediate needs - things they felt were lacking in the communities in the next year or two.

During our second series of meetings, we tried to get them to focus more on the long term. We provided maps of our reserves and broke them into specific areas and passed them around the room. People used markers to say what they felt would be good spots for residential, commercial areas, etc. Using this information, we now have some idea of what people think a good use of reserve land would be. We've developed our options, which will flow into a final report. We'll be meeting again with the community to go over the final concept. Of course it's an ongoing process, and it provides us with important information for planning for the future.


Okanagan Indian Band held community-to-community forums with Vernon, Kelowna and Lumby. This helped to improve the contact between Chief and Council and the mayors and led to a joint venture between Okanagan Indian Band and Lumby.

Many of the land holdings that the band has share boundaries with neighbouring jurisdictions. The City of Vernon, the North Okanagan Regional District, City of Kelowna and the District of Lake Country all have an impact on the future development of not only the Okanagan Valley, but also the lands of the band. Through this process, the band has developed strong working relationships with the planners of these jurisdictions.

A fire station

The Okanagan Indian Band and the City of Vernon meet regularly on developments that are approved and being developed within the city boundaries. Using this approach, the First Nation's Community Development Division is fully informed and has input to proposed changes to services, which may become accessible for the band's developments in the future. The City of Vernon's and the Okanagan Indian Band's Geographic Information System (GIS) departments are working jointly to develop mapping that will be used to ensure that service development of both governments are coordinated.

Our final report will be modeled after city plans (Official Community Plans). It's really comprehensive and covers all areas of planning.


We've developed a good GIS system for the project. Before, we didn't have the equipment we needed. But we didn't want to farm out this work to consultants. We bought a GIS system and did the mapping ourselves. The maps have all GIS information that we need to complete the final plan and report, including all services, buildings, water, wells, power lines, etc.


We experienced lots of challenges, but nothing we can't overcome. One challenge is the timing of doing this massive project in such a large area. One year is not long enough to develop a comprehensive community plan and produce a product that will stand the test of time. Our suggestion is to make it a two-year project. Get mapping of current facilities and assets and spend a good length of time gathering this information. It is good to gather this information at the beginning of the project. This way, you can find out what's there and what's needed, then develop the CCP with the balance of the time. Give yourselves a year to do consultations and planning and develop a good final report that will be a 20-year report.


The capacity we've developed has been a good exercise for our community. Membership did not know what comprehensive community planning was, and now they know and have an appreciation for it. We've learned a lot - we've developed the staff capacity to think about planning in a different way. It's been very valuable. We've built internal capacity, for example, we now have a very efficient GIS mapping department and our own planning division.



Two children on a swing
  • The purpose of IMPLEMENTATION is to complete the actions and projects set out in the comprehensive community plan – to make the plan and vision a reality by creating positive changes in your community. This phase will likely take the longest, as actions and projects are implemented over time.
  • Don't worry if you haven't completed every part of the comprehensive plan and implementation strategy before you consider commencing actions and projects. Starting out on a small, feasible project that moves you towards meeting one or two goals may give your community the confidence to start tackling bigger projects in the future.
  • Foster community ownership of the plan – during IMPLEMENTATION, the perceptions of the community and its governance structures may have to change. The plan cannot be seen as another project which has been completed, but as something that guides day-to-day decision-making. Also, the approach to decision-making should be proactive in initiating and implementing ideas that can turn the plan into a reality.
  • Community members must still be engaged and involved in this phase. Some projects will require active community participation as set out in project workplans; others may include community involvement in project advisory committees or focus groups.
  • Administration, including managers and staff, will likely be involved in coordinating the implementation of the comprehensive community plan. Chief and Council will guide and oversee the implementation and be nvolved in deciding which projects and activities will be implemented first.
THE PLANNING CYCLE: Implementation


Step 1: Build Workplans

Workplans give concrete details and timeframes for completing activities and projects within the comprehensive community plan. They also help administrators understand what impact the plan will have on budgets during that time.

Departmental workplans will help integrate actions and projects into the community's administration and help ensure that budgets reflect these responsibilities. Revisions or updates to workplans and job descriptions may be required over time.

In coordinating and implementing actions and projects, administration (managers and staff ) may be supported by volunteers from the community, community groups or committees, or contractors. The planning champion may turn into an implementation champion by coordinating activities and liaising with staff, community and leadership- making sure that action is carried out according to the plan.

Step 2: Implement the Plan

A man carving

The next stage is to implement activities or projects on an operational level by managers and staff, community volunteer groups, and others.

The projects and activities should fit with annual workplans and contribute to the achievement of the overall vision. Measures of success (indicators) should be set for each project/activity and plan.

For more information on sustainability indicators to measure progress, visit:

Step 3: Report

As the actions and projects are implemented over time, it will be important to regularly report back to the community and leadership on how implementation is progressing and how the projects are benefiting the community.

Implementation reports should be provided annually to the community, leadership and possible funding agencies.

Reports may contain information on:

  • Successes achieved
  • Challenges faced
  • Lessons learned
  • People and partners involved
  • Time and financial resources employed


The TOOLS section of this Handbook contains practical tools and worksheets that can help during the IMPLEMENTATION stage:

Tool 14: Creating a Budget
A tool to help identify and quantify needed resources for projects and activities

Tool 15: Budget Management Checklist
A tool to aid in tracking and reporting how funds were spent

Planning in Action:

With a population of approximately 1,700, Lytton First Nation is part of the larger Nlaka'pamux Nation and is made up of 53 reserves located at the confluence of the Fraser and Thompson Rivers in southern BC.


A planning team studying a map

Lytton First Nation developed a new approach for engaging with the membership: we formed a steering committee consisting of community members only. The reason behind this approach was to allow the membership to engage in open discussions without being reserved about voicing honestly their opinions, which sometimes happens in the presence of political leaders or administrative staff. This approach allowed for a true community-based plan to evolve from the membership. The leadership fully supported the initiative and listened to what had to be said. We had incredible support from Chief and Council when reviewing the document. They will use the information to move forward.


The community of Lytton is a very consultative community. Committees provide advice in many different areas, such as Capital and Infrastructure, Service Delivery, Finance or Governance. We have participation from elders, youth, and community members at large. We shared information about CCP through the steering committee, by reporting directly to Chief and Council and giving updates through staff meetings, newsletters and community meetings.


If anyone is asking how we could develop a comprehensive community plan in such a short period of time, the answer is that we had a lot of planning done before we began the CCP process. We had a governance model that separates the roles of Chief and Council and administrators, and a five year strategic plan. Also, we have solid financial management.


This pilot project provided leadership skill development for the steering committee as well as the committee chair and co-chair. The Lytton First Nation lands department had the opportunity to receive extensive training in GIS mapping and data base management. We now have the ability to plot our future. The first draft of the community plan presented to Chief and Council and administration staff gave them the opportunity to further refine their planning skills and their understanding of community members' needs. In total, more than thirty people from our community have gained experience in planning.


Lytton has a 5-year strategic plan, which identifies which committee will do the necessary work, based on input by committees (infrastructure, finance, etc). Each committee includes relevant staff (program managers) and councilors. They work as a team in prioritizing actions, working toward their implementation, and determining whether to invite other partners (both internal and external) and which ones. The committees will also break down the planned activities/ projects identified in the strategic plan by years, as some projects are not immediately achievable.

The Administrator assists each committee in identifying funding resources. She will be informed on each committee's priorities and will, in turn, inform Chief and Council. The community will be updated on priority actions/ projects at one annual meeting (at a minimum) and through the First Nation's newsletter.


As a result of the plan, we've completed an agricultural study. INAC's information on Lytton was 20 years outdated. We updated it. We also conducted a massive health survey on the population in the community - people with disabilities, elders, etc. Our study contains some very interesting information. We also looked at how our organization is structured and re-defined our organizational charts. We found our community has a service delivery system for almost 2,000 people. The community is working diligently to access services from different partners - other systems, local schools, etc. - not just INAC.


THE PLANNING CYCLE: Monitoring & Evaluation


  • The MONITORING AND EVALUATION stage is necessary:
    • to assess the progress in implementing the comprehensive community plan
    • to make revisions as required so that the plan remains relevant
    • to keep the plan alive and adjust it to external and internal changes
    • to keep the community excited and informed about the results achieved through comprehensive community planning
  • Members of the community should be involved in evaluating the progress and outcomes of the plan. Continued community involvement is needed to support the process and encourage the community's investment in the plan's outcomes.
  • Continued community involvement will:
    • maintain momentum for planning
    • keep a high level of community awareness of planning
    • ensure the comprehensive community plan stays applicable to the community
    • encourage continuing political support of, and attention to, planning and implementation
    • create an administrative culture that is responsive to community needs
    • create a community culture of strategic thinking and long-term vision.
  • The Planning Team and administrators will generally lead the monitoring and evaluation process and share lessons learned with the community and leadership. Individuals and groups responsible for implementing activities will also report on progress and share lessons learned.
  • In accordance with the community's process for monitoring and evaluation set out in the implementation strategy of the plan, the Planning Team will conduct regular evaluations (annually, for example). The Planning Team might also have periodic meetings throughout the year to monitor the progress of implementation.


Step 1: Analyze Results

Analysis helps in understanding what progress is being made, and what challenges have come up during the implementation stage.

To evaluate the results of the plan, the Planning Team will:

  • review project reports
  • analyze the progress of project implementation against evaluation criteria and indicators of success by speaking with people responsible for/involved in project implementation, and by gathering community perspectives

Questions for the analysis may include:

  • What progress have we made compared to our goals and objectives?
  • How does this compare with the indicators for success we set for each part of our workplans?
  • Are issues being addressed effectively?
  • Is the vision being realized?
  • Are the goals and objectives being realized?
  • What is changing in the community and why?
  • Where can improvements be made?

While conducting monitoring and evaluation, keep the following principles in mind:

  • Be constructive and objective. Do not attack the efforts of others-evaluation is a tool to seek improvements
  • Remain proactive. Try to anticipate problems and issues in the implementation phase before they arise
  • Foster inclusiveness. Ensure everyone, including staff and community members, feels welcome to offer suggestions and ideas for improvement, and consider all opinions
  • Be accountable and responsible to the community. The evaluation process, including reports and updates, should be accessible to all community members

Step 2: Review and Recommend

A man presenting to a group

After analyzing the results of the plan, the Planning Team will develop a report for the leadership and community that summarizes the outcomes of their evaluation and identifies successes and challenges.

The report will likely include recommendations for improving progress, and for making adjustments or revisions to the comprehensive community plan or the implementation strategy.

Step 3: Revise and Update

Sharing information at a community meeting

Minor revisions and updates to the comprehensive community plan and implementation strategy can be made according to Planning Team recommendations, with community input.

However, from time to time, a thorough revision of the plan will likely be needed as external and internal circumstances and influences change.

Revising and updating the plan may be required if:

  • through the evaluation process, the community responds that the comprehensive community plan no longer reflects its goals and objectives
  • a significant event occurs which introduces a variety of new concerns and issues, such as concluding a treaty or new opportunities resulting from new government-to-government initiatives
  • the implementation strategy expires
  • it has been ten or more years since the community last thoroughly revised the comprehensive community plan.

For a major review, the community would go through the four stages of the planning cycle again. This time, it will likely be a much faster process than the first comprehensive community planning process-a baseline has already been set, planning experience has been built, and processes for implementation are in place.


Comprehensive community planning is an ongoing process, but be sure to take a moment to reflect on what it means to reach this point in the planning journey. Your community has worked hard to determine its future and accomplished significant results along the way-thanks to the ongoing involvement of its members in the planning process, and thanks to the dedication of the Planning Team, administration and leadership in implementing the plan.


The TOOLS section of this Handbook contains practical tools and worksheets that can help during the MONITORING & EVALUATION stage:

Tool 5: How and When to Engage Community Members
Techniques to help involve the community in the planning process

Tool 6: Ways to Increase Participation
Further techniques to inspire more participation from the community

Planning in Action:

Two people in front of a house

The Squiala First Nation is located adjacent to the City of Chilliwack in the Fraser Valley, and is part of the larger Sto:lo Nation. Squiala has a population of approximately 125 people and a small land base of 670 hectares. Faced with the prospect of a major traffic corridor being built through Squiala reserve land, the Nation decided to develop a comprehensive community plan to ensure development met their needs.


We involved the entire Squiala community. We have a representative Community Development Plan committee including elders, youth, council and staff. We also have a strong project team with fully involved council, staff, planning consultants, legal advisor, technical support from INAC, and staff and politicians from the municipality of Chiliwack. We let consultants go when they wanted to tell us what they thought we wanted, instead of listening to the community members.


We established a CCP committee early and held workshops and on-going technical reviews. We involved the community from the beginning through dinners, family head meetings, and newsletters. We ensure that meetings have clear agendas and are fun. We focus on the progress that we make, even if it's small. We have strong Council involvement and make strategic use of external partners.


We started with lunch meetings. We first met without discussing business and then worked up to that. In working together with other bands and the community, we could enhance our impact on local government. It's very difficult if there are past wrongs, and it takes a lot of work to overcome these. But you need to be honest with each other.


Getting feedback from the community

We started brainstorming what our community would look like in 20 years. The recurring topics included health, elder support, recreational facilities, economic development, and education. Although the community vision should guide the project from the outset, it should be allowed to evolve and not be finalized too early.


We have built capacity in policy development, communications with the community, getting youth involved in building leadership and understanding the land development process. This has enhanced our confidence to pursue the land code/designation process and negotiate with third parties.


We will continue to evaluate the CCP process through ongoing dialogue with the community to assess the community's understanding of the process. We want to assess the community's understanding of the process, issues and outcomes, as well the success of the land designation process and interest in pursuing new business opportunities.


Tool 1: Centre for Innovative & Entrepreneurial Leadership (CIEL) Community Life Cycle Matrix

Actualization Phase

Community is highly developed and encourages learning & innovation while respecting history and culture. Community shares resources with others and regularly monitors itself, continuing to enhance capacity.

Action: Community undertakes regular reviews and reflection activities to maintain or enhance stage / phase.

Pre-Community or Chaos Phase

Community is undeveloped. Limited sharing of resources or recognition of value of a community.

Action: Community can (re)form through the identification of and action of influential and respected leaders (elected or unelected).
Centre for Innovative & Entrepreneurial Leadership Community Life Cycle Matrix

Text description of this diagram is available on a separate page.

Vision Phase

Community recognizes the importance of vision and long-term planning; is able to move in this direction.

Action: Community can engage in planning, meaningful consultation of its members, & working towards the development of strategic thinking & planning, and, ultimately, identifying community-wide values, distinct community characteristics and a vision.

Emergence Phase

Community exists but has significant problems, making anything but survival & fulfilling short-term needs impossible.

Action: Community can advance through focus on small, non-political, trustbuilding projects to build success, respect, confidence, relationships & skills.

Why the Matrix

The challenge of developing innovative and entrepreneurial communities is in ensuring that the communities have a clear picture of where they are at and where they want to go. This enables a better match of the tools available with both the capacity of the community and the hoped for goal. For example, while strategic planning may work for some communities, the planning process may also lead to frustration and failure in other communities that do not have the necessary trust, social capital or capacity.

Who can use it

Anyone within a community or organization can begin this conversation. The Matrix can be used for geographic communities, communities of interest, or even communities within communities. One city manager used the Matrix for polling city councilors about the state of local social, arts, business, and cultural communities.

The Matrix-based process can be undertaken by a group that represents the diversity within the community. Or, it can be used to assess the differences in perceptions among various groups in the community: seniors and youth, longtime residents and new-comers; business leaders and social service agencies; service providers and clients.

How to use it

Use the Matrix to sitmulate conversation in your community: Which phase are we at? Are different sectors of the community - youth, arts, business etc. - at different stages? How far have we come?

Members of the community participate in a conversation to determine together what phase or stage their community is at on the Matrix. This can be a formal or informal process. Each phase of the Matrix is accompanied by suggestions for action to progress through the stages.

Community members can identify where they want the community to be (there is an alternative!) and the incremental steps that can be taken in order to get there. Our experience has taught us that communities, like families, feel they are more dysfunctional than they really are. Knowing there are others out there like you is a liberating thought. The Matrix also provides some common language and terminology that allow those conversations to take place and it seems to be an excellent way to show progression.

The Matrix can be self-administered or CIEL staff can facilitate a session with individuals or community groups. The Matrix works as a rough gauge to enable a community to develop a self-portrait, as it were. The Matrix harnesses the perceptions of citizens and leaders to gain an understanding of the community.


Most importantly, the community together can identify where they want to be and the incremental steps that can be taken and the resources needed by the community in order to get there. Communities can move forward or backward around the Matrix cycle. Progress can be uneven and is not necessarily linear. Some communities require huge leaps or paradigm shifts to move from one stage to another.

Additional Resources

CIEL recognizes that no community is one-dimensional and that once the conversation gets started, it can be useful to assess the different characteristics that make up a community or organization. We have entitled these "Connectivity and Co-operation"; "Vitality"; "Inclusivity & Community Values"; "Leadership"; "Strategic Capacity"; "Community Sustainability"; and "Community Entrepreneurship".

For those who wish to delve more deeply in to what "makes their community tick", CIEL staff can guide a Matrix-based process that examines each of these characteristics. We are also developing a free on-line assessment that can enable a community to assess their vitality across these categories and match them with some suggested tools.

Contact the CIEL office or visit our website for more information.
T: 1.250.352.1933    Toll free: 1.800.661.1395
F: 1.250.661.1395 / CIEL  :

Tool 2: Components of a Proposal

Cover Letter Introduces your proposal 1 page
Title Page Professional look 1 page
Table of Contents Reference 1 page
Project Overview
(Executive Summary)
Umbrella statement of your project and summary of the entire proposal 1 page
Background About your organization and the community it serves 1 paragraph to 1 page
Project Rationale Why is this project necessary 1 to 2 pages
Project Goals & Objectives Results 1 page
Program Description Nuts and bolts of the project; activities; responsibilities; time lines 1 to 3 pages
Budget Financial description of the project plus explanatory notes 1 page
Project Evaluation How you will measure the success/results of your project 1 to 2 pages
Follow-up Sustaining your project 1 page
Appendices Supporting documentation As required

Tool 3: Terms of Reference for a Planning Team


The purpose of the Planning Team is to support and guide the development of a Comprehensive Community Plan (CCP). The Planning Team may continue to provide support during the implementation and monitoring/ evaluation phases of the planning process.


As much as possible, the Planning Team will be representative of the community as a whole and may include representatives of

  • The community at large, including elders, youths, family groups
  • Members of community groups
  • Chief and Council
  • Boards of Directors
  • Administrators, managers or staff from key departments

It is recommended that the Planning Team size not exceed 15 members to ensure it can carry out its work as effectively and efficiently as possible.

Commitment and Accountability

Participation in the Planning Team is voluntary. Planning Team members are committed to making the CCP process a success and are accountable to all First Nation members. They take their voluntary role seriously and agree to attend regular Planning Team meetings. Planning Team members are encouraged to serve on the Planning Team for defined periods of time. (e.g 2 years)

Roles and Responsibilities

Planning Team

Led by the Planning Coordinator, the Planning Team will

  • initiate and coordinate activities in the pre-planning and planning phases of the CCP process, including community involvement and communication.

More specifically, the Planning Team will

  • carry out or delegate research related to CCP
  • make recommendations for obtaining technical planning support (consultants), as necessary
  • coordinate fundraising and lobbying activities in support of CCP planning activities
  • bring forward to the community and Chief and Council any recommendations or concerns regarding the effective development of a CCP
  • recommend a community and leadership endorsement process for the CCP
  • recommend an evaluation and revision process for the CCP
  • carry out other related tasks, as required.

Planning Coordinator

The Planning Coordinator will act as the chair and secretary of the Planning Team. He / she will:

  • call, organize and chair Planning Team meetings
  • act as a spokesperson for the Planning Team
  • liaise with the community, administration, leadership, consultants and strategic partners, as required
  • guide the development and implementation of Planning Team workplans
  • provide direction to the Planning Team, as required

Recommendations and Decision-Making

The Planning Team will base its activities, recommendations and decisions on the direction received by the community. The Planning Team will endeavour to make any decisions by consensus. If consensus cannot be achieved and the decision directly affects a recommendation for the implementation or revision of the CCP, the Planning Team will seek community input, or include a dispute resolution clause in the plan.

Tool 4: Comprehensive Community Planning Checklist

This checklist provides a starting point to lead the community through the key steps in each planning phase.


  • Community readiness for comprehensive community planning (CCP) assessed
  • Leadership, administration and community informed of intent to engage in CCP process
  • Leadership, administration and community supportive of CCP
  • Planning coordinator identified; job description drafted
  • Planning team members identified; Terms of Reference drafted
  • Funding secured (at least for first 2 planning phases)
  • Technology support (computers, GIS, etc.) secured
  • Workplans for pre-planning and planning stages developed
  • Planning models researched/ selected
  • Possible partners identified/ informed of intent to engage in CCP
  • Technical support (consultants) identified
  • CCP process communicated to all (newsletters, forums, etc.)


Background Information gathered on:

  • Geographic Location (local and regional)
  • Language and cultural family (including fluency rates)
  • Infrastructure Development (existing assets, including housing)
  • Social Programs and Services (list of, demand for)
  • Health Programs and Services (list of, demand for, rates)
  • Demographic Profile (including age and gender distribution)
  • Land base (size and geographic features)
  • Natural Resources (on land base; in region)
  • Governance structures (description and organizational chart)
  • Education Programs and Services (list of, educational attainment rates)
  • Economic Profile (regionally, locally, employment rates, sectors of employment, average wages)
  • Culture (exercise of cultural traditions, level of subsistence lifestyles)
  • Existing plans and reports
  • Information gathered from community (surveys, open houses, forums, focus groups, meetings, lunches, etc.)
  • Information presented to and endorsed by community and leadership

Community Analysis
- Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats

Common issues and strengths identified by the community in the key areas of:

  • Lands and Resources
  • Culture
  • Social
  • Economy
  • Governance
  • Infrastructure Development
  • Health
  • Community and leadership endorsement and support

Vision and Values

  • Vision statement and values developed by community
  • Community and leadership endorsement and support

Comprehensive Strategic Framework

  • Community development of strategic framework for CCP, around key planning areas relevant for the community
  • Community and leadership endorsement and support

Goals and Objectives

Common goals and objectives identified by community in the key areas of:

  • Land and Resources
  • Social
  • Economy
  • Governance
  • Culture
  • Infrastructure Development
  • Health
  • Community and leadership endorsement and support)

Projects and Activities

Projects and Activities identified in the key areas of:

  • Land and Resources
  • Social
  • Economy
  • Governance
  • Culture
  • Infrastructure Development
  • Health
  • Identification of key outcomes/results
  • Projects developed by community
  • Community and leadership endorsement and support

Implementation Strategy

  • Projects/activities are rated and prioritized (5-10 year period)
  • Funding secured (Nation, other sources)
  • Community endorsement of Implementation Strategy
  • Projects initiated

Community Endorsement

  • Community Endorsement of Comprehensive Community Plan (e.g. vote, community meeting, focus groups, traditional process)
  • Chief and Council acknowledgement and endorsement and support of Plan

Implementation and Monitoring

  • Budget prepared and resourced
  • Projects/activities initiated
  • Workplan reports prepared and appended to Plan
  • Plan and project reports accessible to community
  • Progress reports communicated regularly to community (quarterly, bi-annually, or annually)
  • Evaluation conducted annually
  • Process created for adopting future revisions to Plan
  • New implementation strategies created in 5-year periods
  • Community involvement in, and endorsement of, new implementation strategies
  • Community Plan updated every 20 years or as required

(adapted from the community planning website

Tool 5: How and When to Engage Community Members

TasksRoles of ParticipationParticipation Mechanisms
  • Provide input to planning process
  • Provide input to Planning Team members
  • Provide input to Terms of Reference
  • Community meetings
  • Focus groups
  • Open house
  • Surveys
  • Newsletter
Gathering Background Information
  • Provide demographic and socio-economic data
  • Provide historical context
  • Review findings and products of Planning Team
  • Community meetings
  • Home visits
  • Focus groups
  • Open house
  • Surveys
  • Newsletter
  • Community Planning Centre
Visioning and Values
  • Express dreams of future
  • Explore community values
  • Create Vision Statement
  • Review findings and products of Planning Team
  • Community meetings
  • Home visits
  • Focus groups
  • Open house
  • Surveys
  • Newsletter
  • Community Planning Centre
Identifying Issues and Strengths
  • Describe community strengths and weaknesses
  • Describe opportunities and threats to community
  • Define historical processes and causes for current situation
  • Review findings and products of Planning Team
  • Community meetings
  • Home visits
  • Focus groups
  • Open house
  • Surveys
  • Newsletter
  • Community Planning Centre
Identifying Goals and Objectives
  • Identify specific community goals and objectives
  • Review findings and products of Planning Team
  • Community meetings
  • Home visits
  • Focus groups
  • Open house
  • Surveys
  • Newsletter
  • Community Planning Centre
  • Identify specific projects and activities to achieve community goals and objectives
  • Specify results/outcomes desired
  • Review findings and products of Planning Team
  • Community meetings
  • Home visits
  • Focus groups
  • Open house
  • Surveys
  • Newsletter
  • Community Planning Centre
  • Site Visits
  • Mapping exercise
Community and Leadership Endorsement
  • Participate in Plan approval process
  • Community meetings
  • Focus groups
  • Surveys
  • Newsletter
  • Referendum
Implementation, Monitoring & Evaluation
  • Prioritize projects and acitivities
  • Developing and implementation workplans
  • Participate in monitoring and evaluation of workplans
  • Provide comments and constructive criticism
  • Annual/bi-annual community meetings
  • Surveys
  • Quarterly/bi-annual/annual newsletters

Tool 6: Ways to Increase Participation

Community Meetings

Community meetings are semi-formal events to request input, report on progress, or gain endorsement for stages in the planning process. Provide the community with ample notice of the meeting's date and time, location, and agenda. Distribute the results of the meeting afterward. Consider incorporating social or traditional content into the meeting, through a dinner, dance, or other traditional activity. Visual aids such as maps, charts, posters, or models can help the progress of the meeting.

Home Visits

Not everyone is able to attend community gatherings, and some members might be uncomfortable in larger settings. Informal home visits between a member of the Planning Team and an individual or family group is a good way to collect information throughout the planning process. Home visits and mobile presentations are one way to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to participate.

Focus Groups

A focus group is a small group of people who works through an issue in workshop sessions. They might be a special interest group of youth, managers, Elders, etc. Focus groups provide a comfortable setting to work collaboratively, include each member's input, and generate new ideas. Focus groups can seek solutions to particular problem areas; if an issue arises, draft five to six questions for the focus group to discuss in informal yet structured conversation.

Open House

An open house is an informal event with no set agenda, and is accessible to the public for an extended period of time-clear and thorough advertising is required to ensure a good turnout. Open houses encourage the involvement of individuals who may not be comfortable voicing their opinions in front of a larger group. Community members can browse displays, read through information, and make notes and suggestions on maps and flipcharts.


Community surveys are useful tools to collect data, gather opinions on options, and gauge support for the process. For mail-out surveys where the community member fills in the answers themselves, questions must be clear and concise, and not require undue effort from the individual providing feedback. For surveys conducted one-on-one with individuals by Planning Team members, questions can be broader and more openended. To collect a higher number of surveys, some communities have chosen to offer prizes with winners drawn from all returned forms.


A regularly published newsletter (weekly, monthly, each planning stage, etc.) will help keep residents and off-reserve members informed of the planning process. Establish a simple visual format to make newsletters look consistent throughout the stages of planning. Newsletters can be delivered to homes, mailed to off-reserve residents, emailed, or posted on a web site. Information on proposals or projects will allow people to digest the data and have formal discussions prior to community meetings.

Community Planning Centre

A (semi)permanent Planning Centre or planning room in a politically neutral building may create new opportunities for discussing important issues and reaching greater numbers of community members. Encourage the community to drop in to browse displays of maps, photographs, largescale models, and information on community planning and its importance. An anonymous suggestion box may encourage further input.

Mapping Exercise

A mapping exercise may be best conducted during focus groups, at the Community Planning Centre, or during open houses. Begin with a base map-such as an aerial photo, blank map, or survey map-and encourage community members to draw on the map to identify areas of importance. These important areas could include subsistence areas, landmarks, flood areas, water sources, sacred sites, watershed protection areas, gravel sources, geological features/barriers, community buildings, airport, housing areas, roads, etc. The map can then be used in developing land use designations and identifying future tasks to include in the comprehensive community plan.

Site Tours

Tours of the community, reserve lands, neighbouring lands, or potential Treaty Settlement Lands may help members visualize opportunities and concerns to be addressed in the community plan. These site tours can be fun and social events, and can help to generate interest and excitement in the planning process.


Community Action Projects

Involving the community in organized collaborative projects can help to create a spirit of cooperation about planning and build pride in the community. Examples of community action projects include: cleaning up a stream or old dump site; community yard cleaning day; assisting the Elders with their yards and home maintenance; beautifying a public space; or repairing community assets, such as bus shelters.

Activity Week

Plan a community planning activity week including activities that involve people of all ages, such as:

  • Art Project - children create artwork on a theme such as "This is something I like in my community"
  • Poster Project - a contest to create a poster and/or logo to be featured in planning publications and materials
  • Photography Workshop - collect and reproduce historical photographs of people, places and events connected to the community; take a series of "before" pictures for future comparison; create a photo essay of community participation in the planning process
  • Storytelling - provide an opportunity for Elders to relate stories of the history of the community


Create a Community Planning Website to describe the planning process, give updates on the planning process, and provide contact information for Planning Team members. Post newsletters, meeting dates, and agendas on the site, and ensure the information is regularly updated. Provide links to other websites of your Nation (i.e. Band Administration website or Treaty website).

Radio Advertising and Talk Shows

Purchase a regular advertising slot on a local radio station to inform residents of upcoming community meetings and social gatherings, publicize newsletters, and provide planning updates. A talk show involving members of the Planning Team, community members, and political leaders can be useful for discussing important community issues.

Regional Planning Agency

With other First Nations, develop a regional non-governmental agency to act as a planning resource and training centre. First Nations persons with a background in planning should staff the centre, provide training, support and insight into community planning, and undertake long-term broad monitoring.

Constitutional Development

The development of a community constitution can help to support planning through establishing a common community vision, ensuring public involvement in the governance and decision-making processes, and creating accountability and monitoring mechanisms.

Tool 7: Community Groups to Engage and Involve

Chief and Council:

It is essential that leadership stay involved with, and supportive of, the planning process. As Council's role is to initiate the process, provide leadership and encouragement, and direct administration through the process and implementation, they must have a working knowledge of the Plan and its contents, and also represent their vision of the community. The Planning Team should meet especially with Council to: gather information about the community; ask for input and ideas during each stage; discuss administrative changes that will enable implementation of the plan; and obtain acknowledgement of the community's endorsement of the Plan.


Band administration and staff are excellent sources of information, particularly during the more detailed planning stages of identifying strengths and issues, setting goals and objectives, and setting tasks. Because administration will be responsible, in large part, for implementing the Plan, all staff should be familiar with the Plan, particularly the projects in their area of responsibility.


The Elders are an essential support structure for the planning process. Their input should be sought out during each planning stage, particularly for traditional, cultural and historical knowledge, and their unique program and service needs.

Family Heads:

Liaising with, or assembling a group of, family heads is an excellent way to disseminate planning information and generate support for the project. Family heads could be designated to stay informed of the planning progress or sit as members of the Planning Team, communicate with family members and solicit their input, and provide this input back to the Planning Team.

Youth & Children:

As "leaders of tomorrow" youth should be encouraged to participate in the planning process. Create a youth council or focus group to provide input, and organize special youth activities in each planning stage. The youth should be heavily involved in the visioning process, as well as in identifying goals and objectives, and program and service needs.

Community Groups:

Within each community, there are numerous other groups that the Planning Team may be able to access, or make presentations to. These other groups may include: Traditional and Cultural Societies; Business Groups; Sports Clubs and Groups; Women's Support Groups; Religious Groups; and others.

Tool 7: Community Groups to Engage and Involve

Tool 8: Communication Tips

How to Create a Supportive Environment:

  • Emphasize that it is okay to make mistakes and to speak out even if you're not sure your idea is a good one
  • Try to leave personalities out when dealing with issues
  • Let emotions be released and discussed
  • Ground rules (principles of respect) could include not cutting people off or making them feel threatened
  • Emphasize that debate is a good thing
  • Try to make sure both men and women are speaking and that people are encouraged to speak up
  • Keep information short and to the point
  • Take the time to make sure everyone understands the information coming across
  • Provide child care

How to Communicate Effectively:


  • Who are you speaking to? (Know your audience)
  • What is your most important message?
  • When is the best time to convey this message?
  • Where is the best place to have this discussion?
  • Why should they listen to you? (What is the value in your message)
  • How can you best get the message across?


  • Keep the message clear and simple
  • Be prepared
  • Be engaging when delivering the message
  • Be natural
  • Keep the message to-the-point

How to Make an Effective Presentation:

The Planning Team will make a series of presentations throughout the planning process. Some tips for an effective presentation:

  • The introduction should be attention-grabbing
  • Summarize your main points at the beginning of the presentation
  • Make sure the points flow in the right order
  • Include easy to understand visual aids
  • The conclusion should be as short as possible, and be tied to your introduction
  • Make sure everyone can see the presentation
  • Distribute a hard copy or other related documents, if applicable

How to Run an Effective Meeting:

  • Distribute an agenda to attendees prior to the meeting
  • Encourage active participation
  • Keep the meeting moving at a comfortable pace
  • At the end of the meeting, summarize the discussion and any recommendations
  • Circulate concise meeting notes to community members

How to Resolve Disputes:

  1. Define and Recognize
    1. Review the current environment
    2. Assemble information
    3. Describe the situation and review the contributing factors
    4. Specify the goal of what needs to be accomplished
  2. Search and Explore - Generate Alternatives
    1. Go beyond "either/or" solutions
    2. Identify as many solutions as possible
    3. Define criteria for decision
    4. Assess various alternatives, advantages, disadvantages and consequences
  3. Decide - Choose a Solution
    1. Select the most appropriate solution
    2. Determine implementation plans - who does what by when?
    3. Follow-up on tasks assigned
    4. Evaluate solution and implementation

Tool 9: Steps to Hire a Planning Consultant

1. Find a planner

The Planning Institute of British Columbia  maintains an updated list of professional planners throughout the province. To order a list, contact the Institute: Tel (604) 696-5031, email:, website: The cost to order the list for non-members is $26.75 (including GST).

You may also wish to seek referrals and recommendations from other First Nations who have had positive experiences with specific planners. Try not to engage consultants with a "prepared" approach to comprehensive community planning-a good planner will listen to you, work with you and propose an approach that reflects your community's unique situation.

2. Contact a selected list of planners

Send a one page letter to potential planning consultants asking if they would be interested in participating in your community's comprehensive community planning process. The letter should outline expectations, planning timelines and a deadline to contact you to receive the Request for Proposal.

3. Prepare a Request for Proposal

The Request for Proposal (RFP) expands upon the one page letter and contains detailed terms of reference for the comprehensive community plan. These terms of reference will help the consultant formulate a proposed budget for the work. Details may include the number of meetings or workshops the consultant will lead, what deliverables are required (such as reports or workshop handouts), what the expected interaction with the project leaders will be, what the timeline will be, etc. Consider whether or not to reveal your budget if a consultant requests project details. Your response may be: "I cannot reveal the budget, but it is within the costs normally associated with this type of project."

4. Evaluate the consultants

Evaluate the consultants' submissions using a "matrix" with criteria to judge the submissions. If there are a number of submissions, it is often advisable to have a group/committee involved in the evaluations. If possible, evaluations should be undertaken without reference to company names (although this is sometimes impossible). As an alternative, a group/committee can evaluate the submissions but not assign company names to the final evaluation matrix, so that when presented to Chief and Council or the Planning Committee for review, decisions can be based on the evaluation, without knowledge of specific companies. Company names and individuals are eventually revealed, but an evaluation matrix assessing a number of important factors (without reference to the companies or individuals involved) is an invaluable tool for objective decision-making. Reference checks can then be made once the list is shorter to double check their reliability, honesty and overall fit with the community. Presentations and/or interviews can also be held with a shorter list of candidates.

5. Develop a contract

Prepare and sign a financial contract with the consultant. The contract should contain the RFP/Terms of Reference for the planning study; the proposed workplan and time frame; the consultant's submission, based on the terms of reference; and, other details regarding liability, insurance, costs and payment schedule. The final contract should be signed by the consultant and Chief and Council.

Tool 10: Community Asset Assessment Charts

After completing the following forms, you will have an overview of the programs, services, infrastructure, utilities and capacity building assets and needs in your community. Feel free to create similar charts to gauge other community needs and priorities.

Capital Projects and Infrastructure Assessment

 Do you have it?ConditionSufficient Level?Required?
Council Building                  
Community Hall                  
Elder housing                  
Fire station                  
Health Centre                  
Internet Service                  
Police Building                  
Solid waste disposal                    
Youth Centre                  

Services Assessment

ResourcesExisting?Improvements Needed?
GovernanceCommunity involvement        
Fire protection        
Emergency Response        
Land & ResourcesLand Use Planning        
Social Assistance        
Child care        
Domestic violence        
Suicide prevention        
Life skills        
Substance abuse        
Health promotion        
Family Planning        
Arts & Crafts        
EconomyHuman Resource Development        
Community Economic Development        
Economic Development Corporation        
Physical InfrastructureHousing        
Water treatment        
Village Maintenance        

Economic Development Assessment

JobNumber of JobsFilled by Community Member?TimeWage

Job Training, Education, and Capacity Building Assessment

CategoryJobExisting?Training Needed?
Lands & Resources          
Physical Infrastructure          

Tool 11: SWOT Analysis

Tool 11: SWOT Analysis
Lands & Resources
Infrastructure Development

Tool 11: Sample - SWOT Analysis

  • An election code is being developed
  • Miscommunication between band sectors and entities
  • Could pass our own laws post-Treaty
  • Potential remedial management because of band debt
Lands & Resources
  • A land code is currently in development
  • Land and resource managers do not communicate well
  • We are located in an area of high future land development potential
  • Increasing development may make hunting and gathering difficult
  • New health centre; excellent staff
  • Increased community awareness of health issues
  • Drug and alcohol abuse, particularly among youth
  • High rates of diabetes and obesity
  • Could deliver health services to local region
  • Reduced government funding for health promotion
  • Increasing numbers of members with post-secondary degrees returning to community
  • Increasing participation in after-school youth program
  • 65% high school dropout rate
  • No central location for youth to meet
  • Increased federal funding for life skills training
  • Can negotiate service agreements for facilities in municipality
  • Lay-offs at local plant could mean higher demand for social assistance
  • Language courses are offered in local elementary and secondary schools
  • Fluency rates in traditional language are low
  • Tourism is increasing - could provide cultural tours and activities
  • New development will result in limited access to cedar stands
  • High potential for development of reserve lands
  • Unemployment rate has dropped in recent years
  • Many members are only seasonally employed
  • Members rely too heavily on the Band for employment opportunities
  • New First Nations small business program
  • Fishing industry in decline - could impact many band members
Infrastructure Development
  • New water treatment plant has brought water quality up to standard
  • The waiting list for housing exceeds 40 applications
  • Could rent out existing facilities and vacant office space
  • Many members want to return home post-Treaty - housing demand will increase

Tool 12: Visioning Questions

Tool 12: Visioning Questions

Questions to Get Started on the Visioning Process
25 - 50 years from now... do you see our community?
...what is different, what remains the same? do you see our land? do you see our people live and interact together?
...what activities are people engaged in?
What are our most treasured traditions and principles that we want to preserve and practice into the future?
What do you want our community to be remembered for by generations to come?

Tool 13: Goals, Objectives and Projects Tracking Chart

Key Planning AreaGoalsObjectivesProjects/Activities

Tool 13: Sample - Goals, Objectives and Projects Tracking Chart

Key Planning AreaGoalsObjectivesProjects/Activities
  • Community involvement in decision-making
  • Develop a Youth Council to communicate with Chief and Council
  • Financial
    • Develop a budget and find funding for Youth Council meetings
  • Political/Administrative
    • Develop a policy for Chief and Council to engage with Youth Council
  • Improve quality of health of community members
  • Deliver dental services on-reserve
  • Political/Administrative
    • Access preventative oral health program dollars
    • Identify dental technician to provide services
  • Enhance opportunities to exercise rights
  • Establish protected areas
  • Political/Administrative
    • Lobby governments to establish protected areas
    • Amend existing land use plan
Infrastructure Development
  • Create more recreation facilities
  • Build a community gymnasium
  • Political/Administrative
    • Develop a business plan
  • Financial
    • Develop a budget and secure capital funds

Tool 14: Creating a Budget

Collect revenue sources
  • Include all funding sources:
    • Contribution from a group
    • Donations
    • Fund raising events
    • Sales revenue
    • Fees for service, and more
Collect expenditures
  • Contact suppliers
  • Provide appropriate detail
List employees
  • Include job description for each employee you propose to create. E.g.: backhoe operator @ $50/hour
  • Include volunteer staff: in kind activity/and /or honoraria
  • Facilitator or consultant: include resume in appendices
  • List all activities
  • Example: backhoe operator: July 1 - August 1; electrician: August 15 - Sept 1
  • Later, the timeline will fit into your weekly budget
Schedule of travel
  • Who is travelling?
  • Where is the travel? At what rate?
  • Include rate per km, return airfare from departure point
  • Include daily meal and accommodation rate or per diem for meals only - specify.
Rent and utilities
  • Will office space be rented?
  • Monthly rate - rent for meeting conference space- rate?
  • Monthly costs for heat, power, telephone
  • Installation, hook-up costs if applicable
Equipment and furniture
  • Special equipment for project
  • Rental or purchase (some project funding does not allow purchase of equipment)
Administration fee
  • State what this covers: bookkeeping, administrator, manager support
  • Generally 10% of budget depending on support being given. ie: hiring a bookkeeper separately would not be as high an admin fee.
  • Specify media costs, posters, brochures, etc.
Budget format
  • Check with funding agency to see if they have a specific format that they want you to use
  • Check specific expenditure categories
  • Funding package/ call letter would probably include direction
  • Use standard spreadsheet format
  • Revenue minus expenditures should equal zero.

Tool 15: Budget Management Checklist

Collect all relevant data
  • List all programs for which budgets will be prepared
  • Delegate budget responsibility
  • Obtain all funding information
  • Have prior year financial information on hand
  • Ensure current year accounting records are up-to-date
Research cost of planned expenditures
  • Contact suppliers
  • Review policies
  • Refer to operation plan
Establish time lines for budget process
  • When will the budget be reviewed
  • What are the steps to the review?
  • Establish a time line, activities and responsibilities
Prepare a schedule of monthly cash receipts
  • Refer to monthly cash flows from all funding agencies
  • Collect all revenue agreements and calculate monthly incomes
Create supporting schedule for each expenditure category
  • Use enough detail to quantify evaluation against actual results
  • Set priorities in the event complete budget cannot be approved
Calculate total expenditures
  • Consolidate all line items onto total budget sheet for each program activity
Prepare cash budget
  • Month-by-month
  • Cash receipts less cash disbursements
  • Do not include any non-cash expenses
Arrange interim financing
  • For "timing" issues
  • Automatic overdraft arrangement with financial institution
  • Pre-arrange terms and interest rates
Or...adjust to even out flow of cash
  • Adjust timing of operations plan:
    ie: schedule expense for another time period
Use zero-based budgeting where applicable
  • For new programs
  • For existing programs every 3 years or so.
  • For programs in financial difficulty
Present budget for approval
  • Take all plans, budgets and backup documentation
Compare budgeted items with actual results
  • Compare monthly budget to actuals
  • Compare year-to-date budget to actuals
Analyze variances
  • Facilitates "management by exception" process of budgeting
  • Investigate and determine causes for variances
  • Look at positive variances as well as negative variances
Make operating adjustments
  • Check original plan and budget
  • Re-forecast expenditures based on revised costs/revenues

Appendix: Resources


Community Development and Planning BC Capacity Initiative INAC To enhance the capacity of First Nations who have asserted Aboriginal title. Funding is available in the following areas: preparation for negotiations, consultation, management, and implementation. Alice Wong
Ph: 604-775-5118
Capital Support INAC Services and funding for physical development planning in First Nations communities, including for community infrastructure, housing and facilities. The funding provides support for feasibility studies, surveys, design, construction, and commissioning. INAC capital specialist
Ph: 1-800-665-3200
Treaty Related Measures Federal Treaty Negotiation Office, INAC and provincial Treaty Negotiations Office TRMs can be used in a variety of ways to move specific issues forward at treaty tables, such as: studies to generate information that will expedite specific treaty negotiation issues; protection of Crown land for treaty settlements; land acquisition for treaty settlements; First Nation participation in land, resource, and park planning and management; and economic and cultural opportunity studies. Paul West
Ph: 604-775-5773
Funding Sources for British Columbia Communities Clearing house of various funding sources from federal, provincial and nongovernmental sectors An electronic database providing information on sources of funding for community development in BC. Most of the programs listed are funding-oriented, however, programs that provide other forms of support are also listed. The primary focus is support for social, economic and environmental community development initiatives. Contact information for each program is provided to facilitate direct access to current and updated program information.
Economic Development Business Loans Aboriginal Business Canada Business services and support, including repayable and non-repayable financial contributions, to aboriginal individuals, associations, partnerships or other legal entities which are wholly or partly owned or controlled by Aboriginal people, on or off reserve. Aboriginal Business Canada
Ph: 604-666-3871
Community Economic Development Program INAC The Community Economic Development Program (CEDP) provides core, formula based, financial support for eligible First Nations or their mandated organizations. CEDP funding activities include economic planning and other community economic support services. INAC (BC Region)
Ph: 604-775-5100 or 1-800-665-9320
Community Economic Opportunities Program INAC The Community Economic Opportunities Program (CEOP) is a proposal driven program designed to support eligible First Nation community's initiatives that will lead to community economic benefits. Eligible activities include employment and economic planning, negotiations, infrastructure and feasibility. INAC (BC Region)
Ph: 604-775-5100 or 1-800-665-9320
First Nations Forestry Program INAC and Natural Resources Canada To enhance the capacity of First Nations to manage sustainable reserve forests and to operate and participate in forest-based businesses; to increase First Nations cooperation and partnerships; and to investigate financing mechanisms for First Nation forestry development. INAC (BC Region)
Ph: 604-775-5100 or 1-800-665-9320
Environment The Green Source Environment Canada A resource guide prepared by Environment Canada that will help to locate numerous sources of funding for environmental projects. It includes information on public and private sector programs and organizations that provide assistance, labour costs or in-kind donations to community groups. Ph: 604-664-9093 or 1-800-667-7779
Land Management First Nations Land Management (FNLM) INAC A range of courses and funding for First Nations involved in land management for reserve lands through the First Nations Land Management (established through the First Nations Land Management Act). This includes land holdings and transfers, additions to reserves, designations (zoning), leasing and permitting. Lands Advisory Board  
Ph: 613-591-6649
Social Development Social Development Program Management Infrastructure Initiative INAC Funding to build and/or enhance social development program capacity within First Nations, including community support and multicommunity planning. Intergovernmental Affairs, INAC
Ph: at 604-666-5086
Social Development Resource Centre  First Nations Social Development Society and INAC The Centre strives to address the immediate and long term training and information needs of BC First Nations in the delivery of Social Assistance to their communities. The Centre: provides phone and online one-on-one Band Social Development Worker support; offers Social Development / Social Assistance policy interpretation and clarification; and provides training, training materials, manuals, CDs and videos for training new Band Social Development Workers in BC Region. Ph: 604-929-4714
Wage Subsidy and Internships Aboriginal Youth Strategy  Human Resource Development Canada Provides a framework to assist government, institutions and Aboriginal organizations in the development of policy, and the design and delivery of program and services, for Aboriginal youth.
Youth/YouthInitiatives_e.asp or
Environmental Youth Corp (CCHREI) Canadian Council for Human Resources in the Environment Industry Designed to create a six to twelve month window-of-opportunity for post-secondary graduates under the age of 30. CCHREI offers a wage subsidy of up to $12,000 for internships to support environmental related projects. Ph: 403-233-0748
Housing Internship Initiative for First Nations and Inuit Youth Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) Provides work experience and on-the-job training for First Nations youth to assist them in pursuing long term employment in the housing industry. Work experience and on-the-job training must be related to housing activities, such as: housing administration, construction, renovation, maintenance, and client counseling, among others. Ph: 604-737-4035
Youth Employment Strategy (INAC) INAC and First Nations Education Steering Committee Goals are to emphasize the importance of education for effective labour market participation, and provide opportunities for First Nations and Inuit youth to improve their job skills. There are four programs under the Youth Employment Strategy umbrella: Science and Technology Program; Career Promotion and Awareness Program; Student Summer Employment Opportunities Program; and Youth Work Experience Program. First Nations Education Steering Committee  
Ph: 604-925-6087

Education Programs

1) First Nations Planning-related Programs in BC

Chief Dan George Centre for Advanced Education  
Ph: 604-268-7870

  • Aboriginal Leadership, Management and Communications

Native Education Centre  
Ph: 604-873-3772 ext. 328

  • Aboriginal Land Stewardship Program
  • Aboriginal Tourism Management Program

Nicola Valley Institute of Technology  
Ph: 1-877-682-3300

  • Aboriginal Community Economic Development Program
  • Natural Resources Technology Diploma
  • First Nations Public Administration Program

Northwest Community College  
Ph: 1-877-277-2288

  • First Nations Land Stewardship Program

Secwepemc Cultural Education Society and Simon Fraser University (Kamloops)
Ph: 250-828-9799

  • Traditional Use Study Summer School
  • Post Baccalaureate Diploma in Community Economic Development (First Nation Focus)

University of Northern British Columbia (First Nations Studies)  
Ph: 604-822-0075

  • Aboriginal Community Resource Planning
  • First Nations Public Administration Certificate

University of Victoria  
Ph: 250-721-6438

  • Indigenous Governance Programs
  • Certificate in the Administration of Indigenous Governments
  • Master of Arts in Indigenous Governance

2) BC Planning Programs and Certificates

Langara College  
Ph: 604-323-5686

  • Urban and Rural Planning Diploma

Simon Fraser University  
Ph: 604-291-5254;

  • The City Program
  • Urban Design Certificate

Social Planning and Research Council of BC  
Ph: 604-718-7733

  • Community Development Education Program

University of British Columbia  
Ph: 604-822-3276

  • School of Community and Regional Planning

University of Northern British Columbia  
Ph: 250-960-5555

  • Environmental Planning

3) Land and Resource Management Programs in BC

Northwest Community College  
Ph: 1-877-277-2288

  • Coastal Integrated Resource Management Program

Selkirk College  
Ph: 250-365-7292

  • Integrated Environmental Planning Technology Program

Simon Fraser University
Ph: 604-291-3321, 604-291-4659,

Thompson Rivers University
Ph: 250-828-5467

  • Bachelor of Natural Resource Science Program

University of British Columbia  
Ph: 604-822-2727

  • Resource Management and Environmental Studies
  • Natural Resources Conservation Program
  • Forest Operations
  • Forest Resources Management
  • Forest Science

University of Northern British Columbia  
Ph: 250-960-5555

  • Environmental Engineering (BA Program)
  • Environmental Science (BA Program)
  • Environmental Studies (BA Program)
  • Natural Resources and Environmental Science (BSc Program)
  • Natural Resources and Environmental Studies (MA Program)
  • Natural Resources and Environmental Studies (MSc Program)
  • Natural Resources and Environmental Studies (MNRES Program)
  • Natural Resources and Environmental Studies (PhD Program)

4) Economic Development Programs in BC

Simon Fraser University  
Ph: 604-291-5849

  • Centre for Sustainable Community Development
  • Certificate Program for Community Economic Development Professionals
  • Certificate in Community Economic Development
  • Post-Baccalaureate Diploma in Community Economic Development


Aboriginal Mapping Network  
Ph: 604-682-4141 (Ecotrust Canada)

Canadian Executive Services Overseas (CESO) Aboriginal

Ph: 604-986-4566 or 1-800-986-4566

Centre for Indigenous Environmental Resources  
Ph: 204-956-0660, ext. 232

Centre for Innovative & Entrepreneurial Leadership  
Ph: 1-800-661-1395

Ecotrust Canada  
Ph: 604-682-4141

First Nation Alliance 4 Land Management  
Ph: 250-828-9732

First Nations Technology Council  
Ph: 1-866-990-9939

Fraser Basin Council  
Ph: 604-488-5350

Natural Resources Canada
Ph: 604-666-5313

The Pembina Institute for Appropriate Development  
Ph: 604-874-8558

The Planning Institute of British Columbia  
Ph: 250-374-8311

Smart Growth British Columbia  
Ph: 604-915-5234

Smart Growth on the Ground  
Ph: 604-915-5234

Social Planning and Research Council of BC (SPARC)  
Ph: 604-718-7733

Statistics Canada  
Ph: 604-666-4996

Union of BC Municipalities  
Ph: 604-270-8226


1) Capacity Building

Aboriginal Financial Officers Association of BC. Financial Officer Competency Development Handbook. North Vancouver: Aboriginal Financial Officers Association of BC, 2002.

First Nations Public Service Initiative. First Nation Administrator: Primary Duties and Core Competencies. Vancouver: Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, 2003.

First Nations Summit. Capacity Assessment for First Nations: A Guidebook, Survey Instrument and Model Resource Plan. North Vancouver: First Nations Summit.

Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development  -

Indian and Northern Affairs Canada. Capacity Building Activities: A Compendium, Second Edition. Vancouver: Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, BC Region, 2004.

Indian and Northern Affairs Canada. Good Public Works Management in First Nations Communities: Building Capacity for Sound Public Works in First Nations Communities: A Planning Handbook. Ottawa: Minister of Public Works and Government Services Canada, 2000.

McBride, John, Graham MacDonell, Charlene Smoke and Colin Sanderson. Rebuilding First Nations: Tools, Traditions and Relationships. Burnaby, BC: Community Economic Development Centre at Simon Fraser University, 2002.

2) Community Assessment and Program Planning

BC Healthy Communities Network. Survival Strategies 2000: Sustainability Initiative Guide. Vancouver: BC Healthy Communities Network, 1997.

Centre for Innovative and Entrepreneurial Leadership (CIEL)  Community Life Cycle Matrix -

First Nations Working Group on Performance Measurement and Departmental Audit and Evaluation Branch, Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development. First Nation Self-Evaluation of Community Programs: A Guidebook on Performance Measurement. Canada: Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, 1998.

Rural Health Online  -

SWOT Analysis Tools  -

3) Data Collection and Mapping

Aberley, Doug, ed. Boundaries of Home: Mapping for Local Empowerment. Gabriola Island, BC: New Catalyst, 1993.

Natural Resources Canada and Indian and Northern Affairs Canada. National Aboriginal Forest Resource and Land Management Guidelines: A Community Approach. Ottawa: Natural Resources Canada and Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, 1995.

Tobias, Terry. Chief Kerry's Moose: a guidebook to land use and occupancy mapping, research design and data collection. Union of BC Indian Chiefs and Ecotrust Canada, 2000.

Aboriginal Mapping Network  -

4) Community Development and Planning

British Columbia Energy Aware Committee. A Tool Kit for Community Energy Planning in BC: An Introductory Guide for Elected Officials, Planners, and Developers. Vancouver: British Columbia Energy Aware Committee, 1997.

British Columbia Energy Aware Committee. Creating a Community Energy Plan. Vancouver: British Columbia Energy Aware Committee, 1998.

British Columbia Ministry of Community, Aboriginal and Women's Services. A Guide to Aboriginal Organizations and Services in British Columbia. Victoria: Ministry of Community, Aboriginal and Women's Services, 2005.

Bryant, Christopher R. Sustainable Community Analysis Workbook 4: Mobilizing and Planning the Community's Strategic Orientations: Basic Tips. Ontario: Econotrends Limited, 1995.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. Practices of Sustainable Communities. Ottawa: Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, 2003.

The Community Planning Resources Website  - http://planning.lic.

The Community Planning Website  -

Comprehensive Planning Fact Sheet  -

Dalhousie University. First Nations Community Planning Model and Workbook.  Halifax: Cities and Environment Unit, Faculty of Architecture and Planning, Dalhousie University, 2003 - http:/ceu.

Frank, Flo and Anne Smith. The Community Development Handbook: A Tool to Build Community Capacity. Ottawa: Minister of Public Works and Government Services Canada, 1999.

Indian and Northern Affairs Canada. Comprehensive Community Planning Toolkit: - Resources. Ottawa: Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, 2006.

Indian and Northern Affairs Canada. Comprehensive Community Planning: Lessons Learned and Networking Workshop. Vancouver: Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, 2005.

Indian and Northern Affairs Canada. Comprehensive Community Planning: Experiences in First Nations, Inuit and Northern Communities. Ottawa: Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, 2004.

Indian and Northern Affairs Canada. First Nations Community Planning Focus Group Proceedings Report. Vancouver: Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, BC Region, 2004.

Indian and Northern Affairs Canada. First Nations Stories: Building Sustainable Communities in British Columbia: Summary of proceedings from the First Nations Focus Group on Sustainable Development, March 2003. Vancouver: Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, BC Region, 2004.

Indian and Northern Affairs Canada and Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte. Developing Effective Community Strategies for First Nations Housing. Ottawa: Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, 1998.

Lewis, Mike and Frank Green. Strategic Planning for the Community Economic Development Practitioner. Vancouver: Westcoast Development Group, 1992.

Palermo, Frank, ed. First Nations Commmunity Planning Workbook, first edition. Halifax: Dalhousie University Faculty of Architecture, Cities and Environment Unit, 2003.

Palermo, Frank, ed. First Nations Community Planning Model, first edition. Halifax: Dalhousie University Faculty of Architecture, Cities and Environment Unit and Wagmatcook First Nation, 2000.

Palermo, Frank, ed. A Vision of the Future: Public Involvement in Community Planning. Halifax: Dalhousie University Faculty of Architecture, Department of Urban and Rural Planning, 2000.

Palermo, Frank, ed. Wamatcook: Ideas Toward a Community Plan. Halifax: Dalhousie University Faculty of Architecture, Department of Urban and Rural Planning, 2000.

Palermo, Frank, ed. Bear River Resource Project. Halifax: Dalhousie University Faculty of Architecture, Department of Urban and Rural Planning, 2000.

Planning Ourselves In Group. Planning Ourselves In: Women and the Community Planning Process: A Tool Kit for Women and Planners. Burnaby: Planning Ourselves in Group, 1994.

Selkregg, Sheila A. Community Strategic Plan Guide and Form: A Straightforward Way to Get What You Need. Palmer, AK: U.S. Department of Agriculture-Rural Development, 2001.

Smartgrowth BC. Smartgrowth BC Toolkit. Vancouver: Smartgrowth, 2001 -


Action Plan / Workplan

Proposals for action, often in the form of a list of steps required, who should take them, and when.

Business Plans

The business plan is a written document that details a proposed or existing venture. It seeks to capture the vision, goals, current status, expected needs, defined markets and projected results of the business. Development of the business plan helps to clarify the organization's plans and direction.

Community Analysis

A collection, synthesis, and analysis of community data, employing a type of SWOT analysis. Analysis includes identifying Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats, and causes in key planning areas of Governance, Lands and Resources, Health, Social, Culture, Economy, and Infrastructure Development.

Community Endorsement

Through a method best suited to a community, such as through a vote, three-reading process, or other mechanism, the community endorses the final version of the Comprehensive Community Plan.

Community Engagement

Different methods of engagement to gather community members' views and priorities can be used, such as dialogue sessions, consultation, outreach, kitchen meetings, and interviews.

Comprehensive Community Planning (CCP)

Comprehensive community planning is a holistic process that enables a community to build a roadmap to sustainability, self-sufficiency and improved governance capacity. It is a new approach to planning, where the process is steered by the community rather than a small group or committee.

Community Profiling

Method of reaching an understanding of the needs and resources of a community with the active involvement of the community.

Community Visioning

Thinking collectively about what the future could be for a community. Term used to describe group working processes which help a community to develop shared visions for the future of a site, area or organization.

Development Plan

Document that sets out in writing and/or in maps and diagrams the policies and proposals for the development and use of land and buildings in a community.

Emergency Planning

All aspects of planning for, and responding to, emergencies including natural disasters, fires and other emergency situations that may affect a whole community.

Environmental Impact Assessment

Process where all impacts of a development on the environment are identified and their significance assessed. This is increasingly becoming a statutory requirement before planning permission is granted by a local authority.

Feasibility Study

Examination of the viability of an idea or approach, typically resulting in a report.

Focus Group

Small group of people who work through an issue in workshop sessions.


Big picture, results-oriented statements about what a community or organization wants to achieve in fulfilling its mission and mandate.

Governance Structures

The way a community organizes itself to best meet the needs of its citizens. Governance structures include the political bodies (typically Chief and Council, Boards of Directors), administration (staff ), arms-length entities (Health or Treaty Societies), and community groups.

Indian Land Registry System

Database managed by Indian and Northern Affairs Canada containing information on all related registered land instruments, such as designations, surrenders, permits, and Certificates of Possession.


Measures used to track progress on achieving results. Indicators for community plans typically work best, and are most meaningful, when they are chosen by the community.

Land Use Plan

A land use plan designates the general location and intensity of a particular use, and is composed of detailed maps and written text. This plan can be used for policy and by-law development governing uses.


A drawing representing a surface or area, used to support decision-making in planning processes. Typical maps used in a planning process are base maps, outlining current land use and infrastructure; resource maps (including topographical, aerial photographs, traditional use maps); and land status maps, such as those available through the Registry Index Plans (RIPS).


Physical plotting of various characteristics of an area in two dimensions. May be done individually or communally.


Stepping stones for achieving goals. They should contain measurable targets that can be evaluated. They should be able to meet the S.M.A.R.T test: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and realistic Time period, for achieving results.

Official Community Plan

In British Columbia, the legislative requirement for municipalities to have community plans.

Performance Measures

Measures that track progress on achieving results. Performance measures should be clearly defined and reliable, and help to determine if progress is being made toward desired results.

Public Forum

Public meeting with an emphasis on debate and discussion.


The effect arising from something or the benefit from a course of action.

Resource Survey

Survey to identify local resources, including people, organizations, finance, and equipment, among others.

Risk Assessment

Examination of risks arising from one course of action versus another course of action. Forms the basis for risk reduction and mitigation, including recommendations on communication activities, and financial and planning best practices.

Skills Inventory

Assessment of available skills and talent, also known as a skills audit or skills survey.

Strategic Plan

A plan setting out how a community or organization will achieve its missions, goals, and objectives over the long term.


Mechanisms and processes for goals to be attained.

SWOT Analysis

Determination of the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats affecting a community or organization's ability to achieve its vision and mission.

Traditional Use Study

A study documenting traditional uses of an area over an extended period of time, including information based on interviews conducted with community members and research from historical documents. Can be part of baseline information for a community aspiring to develop a community plan.


Set of beliefs or standards that an organization or community believes in and operates from. Values guide day-to-day operations, linking operations and long term direction.

Vision Statement

Identifies the future ideal state of where the organization or community intends to be.