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.