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Engaging aboriginal populations in collaborative planning: an evaluation of a two-tiered collaborative planning model for land and resource management

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This paper evaluates an innovative two-tiered model of collaborative planning designed to increase participation of First Nations in resource and environmental planning in British Columbia, Canada. Like a one-tiered model, the two-tiered model engages stakeholders in face-to-face negotiations to develop a consensus plan. However, to finalize an agreement, recommendations from the first tier are then sent to a second tier of negotiations that includes only two parties – First Nations and the provincial government. This innovative two-tiered collaborative process was designed to meet the unique position of First Nations and address the problem of low First Nations participation in previous single-tiered collaborative planning processes. Results based on 26 evaluative criteria indicate the two-tiered process was successful in increasing First Nations engagement while still meeting the interests of non-aboriginal stakeholders who did not participate at the second tier of negotiations. However, results also indicate a need to revise the two-tiered process to improve buy-in from non-aboriginal stakeholders while continuing to respect First Nations' constitutional rights. With these revisions, results suggest that a two-tiered collaborative planning model is a viable option worthy of consideration for cases in which one or more participants, such as aboriginal populations, have unique rights and interests that need to be accommodated in the process design.
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Keywords: First Nations; collaborative planning; environmental conflict resolution; indigenous representation; land use planning

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: 6800 Desmond Road, Port Alberni,British Columbia,V9Y 8T5, Canada 2: School of Resource and Environmental Management, Simon Fraser University, 8888 University Drive, Burnaby,British Columbia,V5A 1S6, Canada

Publication date: May 1, 2012

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