Doug Aberley MA 1985

Current Work:  Namgis First Nation in Alert Bay, BC as Director of their Treaty and Natural Resources Department                                            

My work experience includes 16-years as a regional planner and municipal administrator in Northwest BC, 17-years as bioregional planner for two BC First Nations, and 10-years as an Adjunct Professor at SCARP.  I have completed bioregional planning and mapping projects on four continents, and have written widely on the same subjects.  Over the last 10-years I have primarily worked for the ‘Namgis First Nation in Alert Bay, BC as Director of their Treaty and Natural Resources Department.  Collectively, we coordinate title and rights actions, conduct a wide range of cultural  and scientific research, have created a folio of 1,200 digital bioregional maps, and generally work to put a ‘Namgis ‘face’ on every square centimeter of their 2,800 square kilometer territory.        

Professional accomplishments include completing BA, MA, and PhD planning degrees in three different countries, enjoying a 10-year period of simultaneous work as an academic and practicing planner, developing bioregional mapping as a tool of community empowerment, and editing two anthologies on bioregional planning for New Society Publishers. 

My personal and professional goals have been to live and work at the edges of the world for rural communities and First Nations who remain connected to cultures of place.  These are communities where cascading impacts of awful injustice are experienced on a daily basis, but also where a powerful resistance is fostered by cultivation of wickedly defiant humour, and knowing more about ‘home place’ than any force attempting to exploit it.  Every day in nearly 40-years of my planning practice has been an adventure. 

I have special memories of my time as a student at SCARP.  Bill Rees was a supportive and persistently skeptical mentor.  I was encouraged to explore the idea, bio-regionalism, that is a constant ideological touchstone in my life’s journey.