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Waskaganish Community Plan Waskaganish is beginning an exciting project to create a Comprehensive Community Plan. Developing a Community Plan is about understanding the need for change and preparing to move forward together as a community. To do this, we need to have a clear sense of where we are, a vision for where we want to go and a strategy for how to get there. Speaking with the voice and values of our people, the Community Plan takes a big picture view and will provide a clear direction for community development. Helping to guide short and long-term decisions, the Community Plan is a tool for inspiring positive change and for organizing and developing new initiatives.
- The Plan comes from the community. The vision, strategies, projects and initiatives are based on the voice and spirit of community members.
- The Plan is owned by the community. It is widely understood and broadly supported by the community.
- The Plan inspires and motivates. It is a community tool that is inclusive and engaging.
- The Plan is holistic. It considers all aspects of the community and makes connections between them.
What Goes Into the Community Plan?
The Community Plan is a document that will contain the ideas, values and aspirations of the Waskaganish people. It describes the physical and social assests of community, expresses a long term vision. and sets out a strategy for improving the quality of life in the community.
The context is a snapshot of where the community is now. It includes information about the physical community and the experience of community life. Understanding the context shows strengths that can be built on as well as areas that can be improved or need more attention.
The vision describes what the people of Waskaganish value and what our aspirations are for future generations. The vision is an inspiring and memorable statement of where the community wants to go and the key qualities that are needed to move in that direction.
The strategy describes a way of working together and where to focus energy and attention in order to have the most beneficial impact in the community.
The Community Plan will show how Waskaganish can grow physically, and it identifies key projects, policies and programs for many sectors in the community. Broad directions and priorities are set out for areas including culture, education, health, environment, housing, etc.
The areas of focus and priorities of the Community Plan must be determined by the community. The image below shows an example of possible areas that the Community Plan can address. The vision is at the heart of the strategy.
What is the timeline for developing the Community Plan?
Planning takes time, energy and commitment. The Community Plan will be developed from April 2013 to January 2014.
Who can participate in the process?
A stong community plan will result from broad community participation.
There will be many opportunities to get involved in the planning process. The planning team will be visiting Waskaganish three times (1 week each time) to host workshops, activities, meetings and focus group sessions.
These meetings and gatherings are chances to share ideas, develop content and set prioritiesfor the Community Plan. The plannning process is a great opportunity to come together as a community and establish common goals.
Who is the Planning Team?
Waskaganish has engaged the Cities & Environment Unit (CEU) from Dalhousie University (Halifax, NS) to help develop a Community Plan. CEU is staffed by a team of professional community planners and designers. With over 10 years of experience working with First Nation communities across Canada, CEU has worked collaboratively in many different contexts to develop Community Plans with First Nations.
For more information about CEU, including personal bios of the team, visit www.ceunit.dal.ca
The Plan Coordinator from Waskaganish will help with outreach and be the main point of contact for the project. A Planning Work Group of community members will be set up to help guide the process.
For more information please contact:Roy Weistche, Community Capital Planner