Exploring Ethical Space for land use planning in the Upper Columbia - Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative

Exploring Ethical Space for land use planning in the Upper Columbia

Columbia Headwaters
B.C.'s Columbia Headwaters are a key part of the Yellowstone to Yukon region. Photo: Douglas Thorburn

What are the opportunities and best practices for community-based planning in the Upper Columbia? 

Y2Y has published a research brief based on work by master’s student Maureen Nadeau for her thesis in Resource Management at Simon Fraser University.

Nadeau’s research follows British Columbia’s adoption of Bill 41: The Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act (DRIPA) in 2019.

DRIPA committed B.C. to developing a new planning framework, modernized land use planning (MLUP), that involves ethical collaboration with Indigenous Peoples.

Planning theorists have long called for planning practices that interrogate dominant power imbalances. However, planning policy and practice is missing clear frameworks to implement ethical decision-making in land use planning.

Ethical Space, a conceptual approach used to balance power between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people, may prove to be a promising framework to ethically advance land use planning.

Nadeau’s thesis examines how Ethical Space could be applied to land use planning, through an exploratory application in the Upper Columbia. Nadeau’s research has two goals: 

  1. To investigate how an Ethical Space framework could be adopted in land use planning; and
  2. To offer an exploratory application of Ethical Space for land use planning in the Upper Columbia region of present-day B.C.

Research methods include semi-structured interviews with practitioners and government representatives, document analyses, and reflective practices. Research findings present theoretical and practical applications of Ethical Space in land use planning.

Read the brief and full report now:

New to Ethical Space?

Review events, videos, readings, reports and more resources related to Y2Y’s Ethical Space series. This work examines how Indigenous and non-Indigenous people and organizations can work together to create and sustain prosperous communities and healthy landscapes in British Columbia — and beyond.

Moe Nadeau was a presenter in a June 2022 workshop hosted by Y2Y, Equity in Land-Use Planning: Insights from Love-based Practices and Ethical Space. She joined Elaine Alec from the Syilx Nation and Secwepemc Nation, and partner in Alderhill Planning Inc., for this live discussion.