Community Development Plan


A Living Document for Future Growth
The O’Chiese First Nations Community Development Plan


In March 2015, the OCFN engaged Stantec to create a Community Development Plan to guide growth, development resource management, and identify opportunities within the Nation’s reserve lands. The plan will provide direction for growth over the next 20 years, as the OCFN grows from its current size. Through extensive collaboration with Chief and Council, Elders, Band Managers, and members of the community, Stantec helped guide the creation of a place that reflects the vision of the Nation, and identifies future plans for reserve lands.


The recommendations from the CDP aim to protect and improve all aspects of on-reserve life through a strategic, sustainable, forward-thinking, responsible vision. From new housing developments, community amenities, infrastructure, and servicing – the Community Development Plan seeks to not only the meet projected community needs, but to raise the standards of living, as illustrated by Chief and Council, Elders, Management, and members.


The Community Development Plan is a living document, containing recommendations to guide the OCFN as they grow over the next 20 years. Already, this plan has helped to identify critical projects, such as the Downtown Master Plan, Light Industrial sub-division plan near the existing Cultural Centre, O’Chiese Rural Addressing and new O’Chiese First Nations Grocery Store. Combined with open communication, the plan provides a framework to help ensure a sustainable and organized approach for the OCFN.




Over the past few years, the O’Chiese First Nation faced a number of development pressures. Increased population, aging infrastructure, a desire to provide a range of commercial and recreational amenities for residents, and enhanced financial income. In addition to these challenges, a number of natural resource leases were introduced on-reserve, resulting in a different set of opportunities and challenges. 


Over the past 20 years, significant oil and gas exploration also impacted the reserve. In 1994, O’Chiese First Nation had only two active well sites on reserve lands; in 2016, this number is over 75 well sites and related pipelines.  Complications from these pipelines and well sites – which restrict development – and the continued rapid growth of the OCFN reserve could lead to numerous challenges for the community, including over-extended resources and negative impacts on environmentally-sensitive areas. 


Future planning guided by a Community Development Plan will allow the OCFN leadership to take proactive steps, and provide direction to continue improving the Nation’s economic, cultural, and social growth while respecting the natural environment. 




Predicting the timing and rate of growth on the OCFN is not a simple process. A lot of time and thought went into the growth and population predictions, which are required to determine what types of infrastructure and budgeting are required at a given time. This prediction ensures infrastructure is built at the right time to support a growing population.  The plan also provides valuable information on the reserves geology to identify potential areas of development (See attached example of geological map) and existing information on oil and gas pipelines, setbacks, houses and other buildings including current land-use zoning (see attached example showing map on existing information)The plan will also ensure all the different business and development teams can work together in one, cohesive group, as they take action to grow OCFN community.


Creating sufficient and well timed infrastructure to support new neighbourhoods on the reserve is another key component identified in the CDP. The following plans show how the community development plan has brought together all aspects of life within the O’Chiese First Nation and will assist Chief and Council to plan for future growth on the reserve (see attached map of neighbourhood developments)




To support the creation of the OCFN Community Development Plan, Stantec utilized an array of community engagement techniques, each tailored to solicit information from different portions of the community. We were attending Treaty Days, hosting numerous meetings and having students on the O’Chiese visit elders to get their feedback. Stantec’s goal was to truly understand this Nation, its desires, and helped organize this document, allowing it to grow with the OCFN and address future needs. About 75% of the time dedicated to this project was in the form of community engagement, ensuring the final product was one that the entire community felt connected to.


Community Meetings

  • Community meetings and workshops were held throughout the planning process to gather feedback and different perspectives, from OCFN youth to its Elders.
  • More than 60 responses were collected from a community-wide survey regarding desired future amenities for the community.


Meetings with Elders

  • Explained the purpose of the CDP and gathered information regarding opportunities and constraints experiences by the community.
  • Elders provided valuable feedback about cultural values to be maintained and strengthened into the future. 


Engaging OCFN Youth

  • Several youth participated in a visioning exercise during the community workshops.
  • Through a mapping exercise, they helped to identify a unique perspective on areas of recreation, conflict, and cultural value.


Band Management

  • Band management was engaged throughout the CDP creation
  • Provided existing conditions information, insight into future vision and planning for the community, and illustrate future planning for developments currently underway. 



The core values of the CDP reflect the feedback heard from community, and is intended to aid the development of a sustainable community that is respectful of the OCFN’s culture, people, environment, and economy.


Healthy Environment

We will support the health of our planet by minimizing our footprint and impact on the environment. (Eg.  Industrial development setbacks, improved waste water treatment, recycling programs.)


Healthy Economy

We will meet the needs of existing and future members without becoming an undue burden on future generations. (Eg. Maximize efficiencies in servicing routes, increase longevity of homes and buildings, diversify revenue generation. 


Healthy Society

We will support the lifelong wellness, health, and education of all members. (Eg. New/improved facilities for housing, seniors lodging, youth centres, recreation amenities, roadways, water/sewer systems.) 

Healthy Culture
We will celebrate and support our culture through continued community engagement and education. (Eg. On-going community consultation.


For more details on the Community Development Plan and future visions, the O’Chiese Lands Department may be contacted