Indigenizing City Planning Processes in Saskatoon, Canada

  • R. Ben Fawcett University of Saskatchewan
  • Ryan Walker University of Saskatchewan
  • Jonathan Greene University of Saskatchewan
Keywords: Indigenous, Aboriginal, planning


The article examines how the City of Saskatoon’s strategies for working with Indigenous
communities in high-level planning processes leading to its Strategic Plan 2013-
2023 relate to three concepts framing the academic literature on how to re-calibrate
state-Indigenous society relations at the urban municipal level: Indigenization, coproduction,
and coexistence. We argue that indigenizing mainstream city planning
processes through authentic forms of partnership will increase Indigenous density
within our shared cities. Qualitative interviews with leaders from City Hall and
Aboriginal communities revealed a disconnection between municipal and Indigenous
participants’ ideas about inclusion. The City’s mechanisms of consultation engaged
Indigenous communities as stakeholder interest groups, but not as autonomous
political communities wanting to share control as full partners. A civic culture and
institutional structures that affirm and operationalize indigeneity would have improved
the outcome of Saskatoon’s planning processes.

Author Biographies

R. Ben Fawcett, University of Saskatchewan

Department of Geography and Planning

Ryan Walker, University of Saskatchewan


Department of Geography and Planning