EVENT: Decolonizing the City: The Future of Indigenous Planning in Vancouver

On September 25, 2019, SFU’s Vancity Office of Community Engagement, the PIBC South Coast Chapter, and the Vancouver City Planning Commission will host a panel that explores the work of Indigenous planners in Vancouver. It will look behind the scenes on what it takes to strengthen relations and create new practices and policies with Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations, and with urban Indigenous communities, from a City of Vancouver context.

Panelists will reflect on what reconciliation means for city planning, how Indigenous Planning in Vancouver has changed over time, and what Indigenous rights means for urban planning today.

The panel will be moderated by Ginger Gosnell-Myers, Decolonization Strategist, Urban Planner, and Researcher.

Panelists include:

  • Cha’an Dtut (Rena Soutar), Reconciliation Planner, Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation
  • Kamala Todd, Indigenous Arts and Culture Planner, City of Vancouver
  • Spencer Lindsay, Indigenous Social Planner, City of Vancouver
  • Khelsilem (Sḵwx̱wú7mesh-Kwakwa̱ka̱’wakw), Spokesperson and elected councillor, Squamish Nation Council will act as rapporteur.

There will be refreshments and a cash bar available on site, with service beginning at 6:30 PM.

Event Details

Wed, 25 September 2019, 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM PDT

Djavad Mowafaghian World Art Centre, 149 West Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC V6B 1H4

Advance reservations have closed, and the waitlist is currently full. Due to the high interest in this event, we’ll be live streaming it through SFU Woodward’s Facebook account: www.facebook.com/sfuwoodwards. You’re also welcome to check in again closer to the event in case any tickets have been released. Thank you!

Speaker Bios


Ginger Gosnell-Myers

Ginger Gosnell-Myers, of Nisga’a and Kwakwaka’wakw heritage, is a policy expert, researcher, and activist whose work focuses Indigenizing urban centres through decolonizing strategies, strengthening relations with Indigenous communities, and institutional change. Ginger was the City of Vancouver’s first Indigenous Relations Manager, where she advanced Vancouver as the world’s first “City of Reconciliation”, and ensured that Indigenous recognition and meaningful inclusion was reflected throughout all City departments and plans. 


Cha’an Dtut (Rena Soutar) is of Haida descent and works as Reconciliation Planner for the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation. Her portfolio includes the ambitious goal of decolonizing the Vancouver Park Board. Among other initiatives, she works intergovernmentally with local First Nations on a long-term comprehensive plan for Stanley Park.


Kamala Todd is a Metis-Cree mother, community planner, filmmaker, curator, and educator born and raised in the beautiful lands of the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ and Skwxwú7mesh-speaking people, aka Vancouver. She has a Masters degree in Geography (UBC) and is the City of Vancouver’s first Indigenous Arts and Culture Planner. Kamala’s film credits include Indigenous Plant DivaCedar and BambooRELAW: Living Indigenous Laws, and Sharing our Stories: the Vancouver Dialogues Project. She is the author of “This Many-storied Land”, in In This Together: Fifteen Stories of Truth and Reconciliation (2016),  and Truth-Telling: Indigenous perspectives on working with Municipal Governments (2017) for Vancouver Park Board.


Spencer Lindsay is of Red River Métis descent and has worked at the City of Vancouver since 2017, first as an Indigenous Engagement Specialist and now as an Indigenous Social Planner. Spencer’s work at the City has included facilitating the naming of šxʷƛ̓exən Xwtl’a7shn and šxʷƛ̓ənəq Xwtl’e7énḵ Square, developing an Indigenous Writing Style Guide, and serving as liaison to the Metro Vancouver Aboriginal Executive Council and the Urban Indigenous People’s Advisory Committee.


Khelsilem (Sḵwx̱wú7mesh-Kwakwa̱ka̱’wakw) is serving his first four-year term as an elected Councillor and spokesperson for the Squamish Nation Council. He serves on numerous committees, but has spent his first year in office focusing on housing, capital projects, language and culture, and economic development. He believes in progressive policy and ending the climate emergency.

Presenting Partners

SFU’s Vancity Office of Community Engagement supports creative engagement, knowledge mobilization and public programming in the theme areas of arts and culture, social and environmental justice, and urban issues through public talks, dialogues, workshops, screenings, performances and community partnerships.

PIBC logo

Planning Institute of British Columbia (PIBC) is the professional association of planners in British Columbia and the Yukon and has been dedicated to the advancement of the planning profession for more than 60 years. This event is supported by the PIBC South Coast Chapter which organizes local opportunities for planners to learn and connect throughout the year.

Vancouver City Planning Commission advises City Council on planning and development issues in the City, and may report to Council on any proposal likely to have a significant effect on the future of the City. The commission organizes conferences, consultations, competitions, presentations, and research.

We are privileged to host this event on the unceded traditional territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.

2 Replies to “EVENT: Decolonizing the City: The Future of Indigenous Planning in Vancouver”

  1. I think it would be really beneficial to have more Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil Waututh people on the panel. The people who are there now are great. But if this is about decolonizing, we need to hear from our educated Salish people. I would be happy to suggest names.

  2. Such a good episode. Coincidentally, I paired with Morgan Spurlock’s episode on elder care and was thoroughly inspired. BJ’s comments about the ends / absurdity paradigm of seeing things showed me why so many people can’t stand hanging out with seniors during this point of their lives — they can’t create meaning after having lived in a culture which only values cultivation and achievement. When we switch to the “fart around” template of living, we can focus on life and all of its aspects being ends instead of means. The Ricky Gervais show “Derek” was extremely boring to me until I listened to this episode. Afterwards, I wrestled with the story I was telling myself about old people not having meaning in their lives and resolved to check the show out again. Approached from the Absurdist perspective, the show is beautiful and even sublime.LikeLike

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *