The Certificate in First Nation Applied Lands Mangement (CFNALM)

The Tulo Centre and Thompson Rivers University (TRU) are developing an accredited certificate program in First Nation applied lands management. It is expected that this accredited certificate program will be available in January 2018. 

The Certificate in Applied Lands Management creates a practical skillset in surveying, mapping, GIS, planning and parcel/boundary principles. The focus of this program is on applied land management - surveying, mapping, boundary principles and land use planning, and culminate in a project that applies the skills learned to an existing issue in each student`s community.

The program will be of interest to people in First Nation lands management and development roles; those doing business with First Nations; and local, provincial or federal government employees involved with First Nation lands management systems.

All courses will be tailored to the environments of the First Nation communities of the students. Much of this will involve an open dialogue between students and instructors on what planning, mapping and data capture/surveying methods would most effectively work in their home communities.


The Courses

Data Capture I - APNR 1010

Introduction to observational methods for data capture using survey equipment (e.g. tapes, theodolites, electronic measuring instruments, GNSS equipment).  Surveying computations (units of measurements; plane trigonometry; traverses).  Data capture to focus on First Nation contexts of land allotment such as customary/traditional holdings, commonly held band land, and interests granted by First Nations on-Reserve.

Digital Mapping I - APNR 1020

Spatial models, GIS databases, data input and editing. The incorporation of First Nation spatial knowledge/data: oral histories; traditional and ecological knowledge; customary/traditional holdings; sacred sites; environmentally sensitive areas. Drafting using CAD and commercial GIS software: coordinate systems; plan/map design; topographical mapping; reproduction of plans.

Land use planning I - APNR 1030

Long term planning associated with official community plans and community/socio-economic visions; land use choices, development potential; environmental issues; public involvement. Examples of implemented First Nation land use plans will be explored in detail.

Land tenure - APNR 1040

Regimes (e.g. Indian Act, FNLM Act, ILT Initiative, informal); enabling legislation (e.g. CLS Act, land codes, First Nation bylaws); establishing/re-establishing parcels; boundary evidence (physical, occupational, coordinates); registering interests (Indian Lands Registry and other registries).

Data Capture II - APNR 1060

Using survey equipment for data capture (emphasis on GNSS).  introduction to legal surveys (lots, subdivisions, exterior boundaries, water boundaries)  and non-legal surveys (building stakeouts, site surveys, topographic surveys). Focus on data capture of interests/rights (i.e. CPs, traditional holdings, easements, permits, oil and gas/mineral leases, designated areas, environmental/wildlife preservation areas).  How to work with professional land surveyors to acquire their services effectively.

digital Mapping II - APNR 1070

Properties of maps; image processing and analysis; data collection and input, manipulation and analysis; spatial data quality and management.  A variety of spatial data sources into Geographic Information Systems will be performed: aerial imagery; road networks; utilities; FN Land Use Plans, sacred sites, traditional knowledge, protected areas. Spatial analysis of First Nation lands for: hazard planning; flooding models; emergency routing; road/site design.  Engaging with mapping professionals.

Land use planning II - APNR 1080

Site analysis (geo-technical, set-backs, negative externalities, intensity); zoning for various uses (e.g. residential, commercial, industrial, recreational); Building a First Nation land use plan; community engagement; developing long-term land use visions for the community; monitoring and enforcement; development permits; variances.  Engaging with land use planning professionals.

Independent Research Project - APNR 1090

Independent research on a land management issue in the student`s community to which the range of skills acquired are applied. Such application will result in a methodology for addressing the issue; a series of land use, parcel, boundary and topographic plans; a written report setting out the findings and the implications; and two presentations – one to Chief and Council and one to the class.

Benefits of the Program

The specific objectives of the proposed Certificate are to build capacity in surveying, mapping and planning in First Nation communities. That capacity will allow graduates to:

  • Provide essential geospatial support to land managers (or staff who work with land managers);
  • Support professional practitioners in First Nation communities, in institutions such as Tribal Councils or in neighboring communities that includes planners, engineers. environmental professionals, land surveyors/mappers and others to deliver services such as topographic surveys, staking, fencing, housing, grading;
  • Collect spatial data for mapping, land use planning, flooding/disaster management, emergency vehicle routing and spatial infrastructure inventories. These skills allow geospatial data to positively influence decision-making;
  • Understand, support and advocate for the use of geospatial tools in the community;
  • Provide a central resource for lands, housing, infrastructure, environment (and others) within a First Nation community;
  • Work as a survey technician under the direction of a professional land surveyor on legal surveys in the community or on provincial lands.