Rhonda Lee McIsaac
Working on a dream for your community takes ongoing and a sustained effort to fully consider all the community needs and activities.
Since wrapping up Phase 1 of the Comprehensive Community Plan (CCP) in March 2017 the Gaw Comprehensive Community Planning (GCCP) organizers have been busy working on Phase 2 since September, 2017. Phase 2 of the process has taken them through the winter and organizers have been asking the community to think about Health, Infrastructure, Culture, Social, Education, Economy, Land and Resources, and even Governance. In mid-April the organizers shared the results of Phase 2.
Coordinator Victoria Grosse worked alongside UBC School of Community and Regional Planning (SCARP) students, Hudson McLellan and Mallory Blondeau to gather and process all of the community’s suggestions and ideas – the team identified 175 actions from over a year of meeting. “We then had the community prioritize these actions which resulted in 36 top action items,” says Grosse.
The actions include regular public meetings with Chief and Council, more job opportunities for students and youth, ongoing management of the Mosquito Fleet, creating opportunities for tourism related revenue, extending open gym hours, and fixing the lighting around the village.
“It is an exciting time in Gaw to have the community produce a plan that is fully supported by Chief and Council. Just the other night they postponed their scheduled meeting by two hours in order to allow Council members to attend a community dinner we held, showing us buy in from leadership and dedication to moving forward with plans for the future,” Grosse says.
With Phase 2 coming to conclusion, Grosse is now waiting for Phase 3 funding
“Phase 3 will include creating implementation strategies for the top action items. This will ensure that we are continuing to work as a community to help build the steps for each individual or department that these action items fall under. This process has been a community-wide effort from the beginning and will continue to be as we enter the next phase,” she says.
One of the fulfilling aspects of Grosse’s involvement was connecting with local artists to include their work in the planning document. A logo contest wrapped up in HlgidGung K’ah Kung March with artist Wayne Edenshaw’s design being chosen.
“This one is called Planning the Future,” says Edenshaw. “It is members of the community planning the future. The beaver is a master builder so I thought he should be in there. With all of our hard working Haida, I see a bright future for us all.”