The Cities and Environment Unit was hired by Ouje-Bougoumou Cree Nation to guide this major planning process that defined community strengths, issues, and opportunities; identified community goals, values, and aspirations; and developed a clear strategy to focus energy toward achieving its vision for the future.
Engagement was paramount in this process, the CEU utilized a range of strategies and creative ideas to reach different people in the community with varying barriers to participation. It is the hard-to-reach people (marginalized communities) that are frequently the most impacted. Youth in particular played a major role in the development of the Plan. We partnered with the local school and students participated in a photovoice exercise, student “town hall” workshops, a physical community model workshop and a youth project competition. These engagements were meant to shift the power into the hands of the Youth and give them a real opportunity to shape the future of their community in a tangible way.
The plan describes a way of working together as a community and across action areas to implement projects to achieve maximum benefits for the community. Every project is thought of, developed, designed and built in a community-based way using local knowledge, skills, materials and resources. Every project consideres how it can support youth, Elders, build capacity, protect the environment, improve health, support self-reliance and strengthen community bonds.