Dawn Smith (a white settler) recently completed a practicum with Sq'ewlets First Nation in SCARP’s Indigenous Community Planning program. Her graduate research explores the possible implications of BC's Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act (DRIPA) on planning, particularly for housing.
Smith was this year’s recipient of PIBC’s Student Fellowship award. As part of the award, she was invited to speak at the Planning Institute of BC’s 2021 annual conference this month, “North of Normal”, a conference whose theme was "planning in wilderness communities, storytelling, First Nations-led planning, and building resilient & healthy communities".
In Smith's presentation, she elaborates what it means for Planners to take into account the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and how housing programs can and must be a part of realizing it. She teaches us that the promise of UNDRIP necessitates planners to become strongly proficient in its articles, to plan in compliance with Indigenous rights.
Not merely theoretical, the presentation involves comprehensive mapping of what UNDRIP-informed planning can look like moving forward.