Collaborator Profile

Industry / Sector: Government / First Nations / Environmental Sustainability

The Province of British Columbia’s Ministry of Water, Land and Resource Stewardship is accountable for integrated land and natural resource management, including objective setting for land and marine environments, effectively managing cumulative effects, and advancing reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, environmental sustainability, and economic growth.

The Sharing the Pen team is a collective of First Nations participants representing B.C.’s distinct language families and major watersheds. This partnership marks a new way forward and a demonstrates the government’s commitment to reconciliation to bridge Western Science with Indigenous ways of knowing to advance flood resilience within watersheds and facilitate a collaborative governance framework involving all stakeholders. 

Challenge

The Province of British Columbia Flood Strategy is a development of the Emergency and Disaster Management Act applying the Sendai Framework to enhance public safety while meeting commitments under the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act. Through an “All-of-society” approach, the Province builds relationships with and learns from the knowledge of First Nations peoples and traditions. To mitigate flood risk and implement flood disaster management, clear roles and responsibilities need to be defined while building through collaboration and reconciliation.

The Process

Prism joined the collaboration in Phase 2 (Drafting of the Strategy) participated in a Cultivating Safe Spaces workshop led by Sanala Planning (Formerly Alderhill Planning Inc) setting the framework for a trauma informed, culturally safe, and equity-centred approach combining tradition, relationship, innovation, and action. Through recognition of First Nations Rights and acknowledgement of the disproportionate flood risks of Indigenous people, an integrated decision-making process was developed through the Sharing the Pen team. 

Prism led the engagement between industry, community, and government through facilitated dialogue and surveys designed to synthesise multi-jurisdictional and multi-stakeholder interests across data sets. A What We Heard Report was written to articulate the insights that were generated through thematic categorisation and shared publicly to ensure transparency and data sovereignty.  

The Flood Resilience Plan will drive the Strategy’s implementation in phases, encompassing risk assessments, legislative review, guidance, funding, and performance monitoring

Impact & Learnings

The partnership with the Sharing the Pen team set out to authentically honour and incorporate First Nations rights and traditions to form an innovative and holistic approach to Flood Risk Management. This aligns with the Province’s framework for reconciliation and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act and the Sendai Framework, fostering steps towards reconciliation in good spirit and collective benefits for all of society.

Prism is the Strategic Communications Lead providing plain language review ensuring equitable and accessible language for all stakeholders. Throughout the process, Prism identified opportunities for visual storytelling to not only be inclusive of visual learners, but as a way to decolonise the way information is presented. The team led the development of the visual identity ensuring the design elements for the Intentions Paper and Summary as well as the B.C. Flood Strategy and Summary meet accessibility standards. For the Strategy Launch, Prism designed and facilitated the Celebration engagement between the Province and the Sharing the Pen team to honour and recognise the work that was developed together.

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