University of Northern British Columbia

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Planning - First Nations Planning

University of Northern British Columbia

Faculty:Faculty of Environmental Planning
Field of Study:Aboriginal Studies
City/Urban, Community and Regional Planning
Length:4 Year(s)
Cost per year:*
National: $6,522
International: $23,010
Careers:Urban and Land Use Planners


The Bachelor of Planning degree provides a broad education in environmental planning. The focus is on understanding the relationship between people and the environment and on reducing the environmental impact of human activities. The study of planning examines public processes that improve the quality of decisions affecting the environment. Responsible planning integrates various private and public interests and identifies viable, workable options. Planners play a vital role in decision-making processes concerning the future of human settlements, resource management, environmental protection, human health and well-being, economic development, and many other areas. Ultimately, the work of planners becomes part of, or a catalyst to, public policy.

First Nation communities have significant and growing demands for qualified planners. As many First Nations move to define land claims in Canada, potentially giving First Nations significant responsibilities for land and community planning, and as others work to build upon existing treaties, the availability of skilled planners becomes essential. However, planning by, and with, First Nations requires specific skills and abilities in the planners, whether or not they themselves are First Nation. For most First Nation communities few distinctions are made between ecological/environmental planning and planning for social and cultural needs. Cultural and social needs are developed from within, and are grounded in, the ecosystem. First Nations planning must necessarily integrate all; First Nations wish to remain grounded in tradition and seek to move into the future through sound community economic development and skilled land management. Most face significant community development needs, including infrastructure development, housing, and health planning. Students need not just a sound grasp of planning principles, but also an understanding of the protocols, history, social structure, and ecology of Canadian First Nations. Further, cross cultural translation skills, community participation techniques, and a solid grounding in ethics are required. This stream integrates cultural and social needs that are developed from within and are grounded in the ecosystem, including infrastructure development, housing, and health planning. To undertake planning with First Nations, students will acquire a sound grasp of planning principles in conjunction with understanding the protocols, history, social structure, and traditional knowledge of First Nations.The aim of planners is to improve the livelihoods of First Nations peoples through sound economic development and skilled land management.


Grade for Entrance Previous Year (%)*65

* The entrance grade may change from year to year. Please contact the school for further information.

* We make every attempt to provide accurate information on prerequisites, programs, and tuition. However, this information is subject to change without notice and we highly recommend that you contact the school to confirm important information before applying.

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Modified on January 27, 2022

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