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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Building collaborative institutions for government-to-government planning : The Nanwakolas Council’s involvement in Central Coast Land and Resource Management Planning Barry, Janice Marie


This dissertation expands institutionalist approaches to the study of collaborative governance through a case study of Aboriginal-State planning arrangements in coastal British Columbia. As one of the province’s lengthiest resource planning exercises, spanning several significant court rulings, the Central Coast Land and Resource Management Planning (CCLRMP) process has emerged as a key site for examining the interface between land use planning and Aboriginal reconciliation. First Nations’ rights, title and government status were, at least partially, acknowledged through the development of new ‘government-to-government’ (G2G) structures and approaches to collaborative land use planning. This dissertation adopts a case study method and is approached through the lens of the Nanwakolas Council, the only First Nation coalition to be involved in the entire CCLRMP process. In-depth interviews and document analysis are used to identify the dimensions of institutional change. Micro and macro-level interactions are analyzed through the use and refinement of three conceptual frames: 1) historical institutionalism’s treatment of external shocks and punctuated evolution (Pierson & Skopol 2002; True et al. 1999); 2) the grammar of institutions (Crawford & Ostrom 1995); and 3) the institutional capacity development framework (Healey et al. 2003; Magalhães et al. 2002). G2G planning is found to be a result of the convergence of key changes in the internal and external environments. Changing relationships between non-governmental and corporate actors outside the official CCLRMP process combined with significant court decisions to create the impetus for change. Equally important were the ways in which these macro-level changes were interpreted and acted upon within the CCLRMP process. New strategies were enacted and more streamlined relational networks were created, which facilitated greater information exchange, increased rapport and, ultimately, allowed for the development of alternate policy frames. Emergent planning practices and relationships were formalized and expanded through five G2G protocol agreements. Beyond these more substantive research findings, the study also contributes to the growing body of literature that links planning and new institutional theory. It introduces new methodological orientations and analytical tools, while also extending existing conceptual frames to clarify the relationships between the different dimensions and drivers of institutional change.

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