The comprehensive community plan (CCP) was developed in 2012 by Chief Dean Vicaire, his administration at the time, and was coordinated by Tracey Metallic in collaboration with Dalhousie University. The plan was put into motion to collect feedback from community members and to use this data as a tool for long-term community development. The plan was put on hold, picked up again in 2016/2017 by Economic Development, and coordinated by Alicia Simon (Isaac). “Coming together and making a community-led plan was something that really spoke to me,” Isaac said.
Germain-Metallic joined the coordinating team in 2017. Simon and Germain-Metallic engaged with over 400 people, they held several events, feasts, and more. The plan was updated in 2017 and was given the title: Listuguj Mi’gmaq Community Plan (LMCP), it was adopted in March 2018 and has been in implementation since then.
It has been five years since the LMCP was revised and Germain-Metallic and Simon have returned to meet with community members and re-evaluate the plan. This time around, Germain-Metallic is taking on the role of Comprehensive Community Planning Coordinator, and Simon is the Assistant Coordinator. Germain-Metallic said, “To see it at the very beginning stage, to have it officially adopted, to go through five years of watching the community work on it, and grow with it, and then to be able to come back and do the revision, I’m excited about that.”
Back in 2012 and 2017, the data received helped identify four major action areas for Listuguj:
Action Area 1 – Healthy Community
Action Area 2 – Environmental and Resource Stewardship
Action Area 3 – Entrepreneurship and Employment
Action Area 4 – Mi’gmaq Laws and Governance
The CCP team will touch base with community members to see how they feel about these areas, if they still consider them a priority, and how Listuguj has been working to achieve these important aspects. They are expecting to receive similar results to the ones from previous years, with an emphasis on these four action areas.
This time around the team will be engaging with all community members but are really interested in the feedback from the youth in Listuguj. Since they are the future generation, it is important to hear their thoughts and concerns when it comes to the existing LMCP, and what they feel would be beneficial to adjust. They have met with various youths and Simon said, “We ask them, ‘What do you envision 25 years from now?’ It might seem like a long time, but it goes by so fast. The kids pick up on so much in the community.”
The team stressed that the community plan is so much more than a list of project ideas for Listuguj Mi’gmaq Government directors to take on. Germain-Metallic said, “It’s an overview of your entire community all at once, projected itnto the future.” Not only is the plan important for the constant growth and well-being in Listuguj, but if there is no plan in place, there is a chance the community will not be considered for funding opportunities.
The CCP team, which includes an advisory committee, is very eager to engage with various groups of people of all demographics. Their goal is to collect data over the summer and craft a new plan with the updated information in the fall months. The plan will then be presented to the general community, and once it has been validated, it will be presented to Chief and Council for formal adoption. Once the plan has been adopted, the team can work with the entire Listuguj organization to put plans into motion to achieve some of these goals.
You can find Listuguj’s current community plan on Listuguj Mi’gmaq Government’s official website. If you would like to meet with the CCP team and share your opinions on the plan, or what you feel could benefit the community of Listuguj as a whole, you can contact Dawn Germain-Metallic at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Alicia Simon (Isaac) at email@example.com. The team will also be hosting various workshops over the summer months open to all community members.
Be on the lookout for future Wi’gatign issues for updates on the Listuguj Mi’gmaq Community Plan!
By Ann Marie Jacques