What We’ve Been Up To

As October comes to an end, we at Shared Path wanted to give you an update on what we’ve been working on these past few months and what we hope to achieve by the end of the year.

There’s no way around it: 2020 has been a tough year for everyone. You’d be hard-pressed to find an individual or organization who hasn’t had to change course in some form or another in response to the COVID 19 pandemic.

For us at Shared Path, the story is no different.

We’d planned to celebrate the launch of our new website in the early spring and host in-person workshops with some of our partnering communities shortly thereafter – those events were cancelled as emergency measures were rolled out. We’ve also altered our office space (though we continue to be housed at the formidable Centre for Social Innovation’s Annex location).

Despite the challenges our organization has faced in these unprecedented times, we are fortunate that we have also been presented ample opportunities and happy developments.

First, we are excited to welcome two new board members following our September AGM. Stephanie Burnham is a member of the Cayuga Nation, Wolf Clan from Six Nations of the Grand River Territory. She is also a recent graduate of Guelph University’s Master of Science Rural Planning and Development program and is a planner with Dillon Consulting Limited.

We are also excited that Chief Dave Mowat of Alderville First Nation has joined our board. With experience as a band council member, economic development officer and consultant, Dave brings with him a wealth of knowledge and leaderships skills.

This past winter we entered into a partnership with the Urban Land Institute to host a series of webinars about Indigenous issues related to planning. In June we hosted the first webinar, 13,000 years of Indigenous History in the GTA – And Why It Matters to Planning & Development.

We will be holding the second event in this series, Whose Land and Whose Law? Indigenous Land Rights in the GGH: Examining the Duty to Consult and Accommodate on November 3. (Click on the link for more information on the event, including registration details).

At the end of June board member David Stinson, along with co-founder Carolyn King and our former student intern/current program coordinator Dali Carmichael presentedSetting a Baseline: To what extent are Indigenous communities recognized in the official plans of Ontario municipalities? They shared insights into our ongoing data research on this matter – look for an upcoming blogpost detailing on the work and our top takeaways.

This semester, graduate-level planning students from the University of Toronto will be using this research to develop an analytical tool planners may use to strengthen their policies on consulting and planning with neighbouring Indigenous communities.  

At the end of the summer we kicked off a partnership with Capital One, where their tech experts will assist us with the development of a GIS mapping project tool that will be available to Indigenous communities, planning departments and developers. 

Finally, and most recently, we hosted Indigenous-Municipal Relationship Building: A panel discussion, where Treaty 20 parties described their recent experiences forming formal agreements and improving relations between First Nations and municipalities. This session featured a discussion between Tom Cowie, a Lands Resource Consultation Liaison at Hiawatha First Nation; Dr. Julie Kapyrka, a Lands and Resources Consultation Liaison at Curve Lake First Nation; and Mary Smith, former Mayor of Selwyn Township, and was facilitated by the First Nations – Municipal Community Economic Development Initiative (CEDI).

It’s been a trying time for many. We at Shared Path are fortunate to have continued working on our various initiatives, and we look forward to opportunities to come.

Want to follow our development and support our work? Become a member here or donate to Shared Path here.

This Post Was Published On October 30, 2020. Last Updated March 20, 2021

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