“What do we want and how do we get there” - A comparative review of First Nations Comprehensive Community Plans in British Columbia




Kobzik, Juraj

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First Nations are important regional development actors, and yet, their development ambitions and goals have often been ignored or poorly understood by settler governments. Since 2004, the federal government has supported First Nations band governments and Tribal Councils to develop and implement their own community plans. The Comprehensive Community Planning process has been completed by 130 communities in British Columbia (approximately 66% out of total First Nations). These plans outline a community’s strengths/assets, opportunities, goals, and ambitions for the future across eight thematic areas that are important for community development and well-being. While this exercise is meant to strengthen community governance, it is a valuable source of information to better understand First Nations’ interests and priorities. To date, there has been no comparative analysis of First Nations Comprehensive Community Plans. This study employs comparative content analysis of all publicly available CCPs in British Columbia (n=70) in order to understand communities’ development ambitions across the eight main thematic areas. In doing so, it provides a broad overview of community priorities, differentiating by community type (urban, semi-urban, rural, and remote). Understanding community development objectives is fundamental to more effective regional development and multi-level government relations.