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The community well-being framework: An exercise in reconciliation-informed planning

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Across Canada, a discourse of reconciliation has emerged and is strengthening. Reconciliation is based upon establishing relationships with Canada’s Indigenous populations that are built and maintained on trust, inclusion and respect. These relationships must also be premised upon the recognition of their rights for self-determination and the significance that land holds for Indigenous culture and values. Although Canada’s relationship with its Indigenous population has been underpinned by its colonial praxis, reconciliation calls upon all Canadians to acknowledge this legacy and work towards ending these entrenched, outdated and oppressive ways of thinking. Decolonial thought and postcolonial literature provide an avenue towards actualizing reconciliation, as contemporary Indigenous-rights discourses look to address questions of self-determination, sovereignty, and the recognition of land rights and title. In January of 2019, the Canadian Institute of Planners (CIP) joined the national movement towards reconciliation when they adopted the Policy on Planning Practice and Reconciliation. The goal of the policy is to present a vision of the future of planning in Canada by harmonizing key action areas with the TRC’s Calls to Action, the 10 Principles of Reconciliation, and UNDRIP. As practitioners that connect people, land and governance, planners have a responsibility to honour Indigenous ways of planning by critically examining the status quo and looking for ways to incorporate Indigenous practices into daily practice. While CIP’s new policy has succeeded in identifying what reconciliation means to the organization and the important role planners need to play to bring about these achievements, they have not addressed what reconciliation might look like to on-the-ground practitioners on an everyday basis. The following project attempts to consolidate and operationalize the growing volume of literature on the topic through the development of a reconciliation-informed planning framework.
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