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Yaq̓it ʔa·knuqǂiʔit (Tobacco Plains) Land Use Plan

2020 – 2023 | Grasmere, BC 

The Yaq̓it ʔa·knuqǂiʔit (Tobacco Plains) First Nation wished to create and implement a land use plan for its Reserve lands to meet the needs of its people for current and future generations. McElhanney helped to develop the plan based on technical analysis and input collected through engagement with the community, including youth, Elders, Band staff, and Chief and Council. 


Engagement Process 

McElhanney’s engagement process made use of a variety of in-person and virtual strategies to address the community’s needs while responding to the unique challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. This included collecting input through both mail-out mapping workbooks and Vertisee virtual mapping exercises, as well as administering community surveys online, over the phone, and through paper mail-outs.  McElhanney also ran virtual workshops using Mentimeter to collect, compile, and present participant responses in real time with the use of smart phones.  Project information was further circulated and integrated with other engagement opportunities with an interactive StoryMaps project website. Finally, McElhanney created pre-prepared interview packages for Elders that could be administered by trusted community members to reduce the risk of coronavirus exposure. 

McElhanney provided: 

  • Land use analysis and recommendations 
  • Technical review of servicing and potential development constraints 
  • Policy development, design of supporting visuals, and document preparation 
  • Communications and technical writing services, including preparation and coordination of community notices, a project website, engagement summary reports, and Chief and Council presentations 
  • Engagement services, including the planning, coordination, materials preparation, and/or running of technical meetings, open houses, virtual workshops, community surveys, and Elder interviews 


Land Use Plan 

The land use plan is a tool to guide growth and development within the Tobacco Plains Reserve lands. It is a document that considers the needs (e.g. housing demand), values (e.g. environmental goals), and other priorities of the community to provide regulations and policies for different types of land uses, such as housing, commercial (e.g. shops, offices), industrial (e.g. warehousing, manufacturing), and areas of cultural and environmental importance. 

The plan included: 

  • A community vision and set of principles that serve as a guiding framework for the plan 
  • A growth strategy identifying suitable areas to focus future development 
  • Policies for nine distinct land use categories, such as housing, commercial (recreation), and protected areas 
  • Maps to visually identify uses for different areas of the Reserve 
  • An implementation strategy that includes a set of prioritized actions to help bring the plan’s vision to life 
  • A strategy for annual evaluation and reporting on plan implementation, including a set of indicators to monitor and track land use trends over time 
Tobacco Plains land use community engagement session