Place, Story & Collaboration

Land collaboration with indigenous TOOLS: 2008-2012

The Land is present in Northern Canada. Access to it, Stewardship, and mapping its stories and diverse stakeholders’ relationships with it was my task through several engagements as a Facilitator for Land Relationship dialogues in Yukon Territory. Through a process I call StoryMapping, we created new categories of action and engagement, and placed ‘collaborative stewardship’ into federal land planning jurisdiction as actionable processes, never before done.

Facilitating for 4 years with the Yukon Land Use Planning Commission, and with the Ta’an Kwanch’an, Na Cho Nyak Dun, Kwanlin Dun and Carcross Tagish self-governing First Nations for planning with federal and territorial governments, I created the StoryMapping process for multi-stakeholder engagement. Drawing on history, role, personal and collective narratives, symbol language, action patterns and meaning-making, groups including resource development and the federal government quickly honed into essential planning elements and how they could be collaborated.

Story and land-based dialogue built the bridge between Indigenous and governmental concepts of planning and access. We opened the field to enable Indigenous principles of stewardship and collaboration with the land – not previously allowed in land planning processes – to become recognised categories of engagement. The key was to open participants’ vision of what’s possible – through relationships, systems interdependence and collective meaning-making.