Finding the Right Career Path in Land Use Planning

Angie - Test Knowles, | October-17-13


Guest Post by Amanda Kemsley, Interview with Dean Harper

BEAHR Training Programs

Figuring out your dream career is one challenge, but building the skills you’ll need and finding relevant jobs in your community is a whole other feat.
What kind of programs are out there to help you bridge the gap?
BEAHR Training Programs offer one solution to help Aboriginal communities (First Nations, Inuit and Métis) tackle this dilemma. In BEAHR offerings such as the Land Use Planning (LUP) program, job-seekers can build the top skills they’ll need for rewarding and viable careers.  
The LUP program features in-class and hands-on learning, with the option of a condensed two-day format to accommodate students who are working or juggling other commitments.
At the end of the program, graduates leave with the knowledge they’ll need to coordinate community mapping sessions, create and implement a land use plan, and identify land use options to support community development. 
How much of an edge can the LUP program give students? 
Take the case of Dean Harper, a recent graduate of the LUP program and current Lands Officer at Frog Lake First Nation. 
In his role, Dean manages GIS data collection, land use and occupancy studies, GPS pasture and fence boundaries, and any land use issues. According to Dean, the LUP program was a relevant career development tool that has given him “more insight and a clearer direction of travel for the lands team.” He notes further that, “What really caught my interest were the elements: community values and the fundamentals of LUP.”
Here’s Dean’s story.

Interview with Dean Harper, Frog Lake First Nation

Training Provided by: Watertight Solutions

How did you find out about this training program (Land Use Planning)?

In the fall of 2011, after working back in Onion Lake, I took a 7 week Environmental Training course with the BEAHR program north of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. I am now working in Frog Lake, Alberta where our Economic Development department gave us the opportunity to take more training with the BEAHR Program in Land Use Planning (LUP). Land Use Planning plays a major role in what we do in the Lands Department.


What motivated you to pursue this opportunity?

I really didn't need any type of motivation, it’s the connection I have with the land and my duty as a member of the First Nations community to be part of LUP.

Did you work in the environment industry before taking the BEAHR training program? What was your job?

In some of my previous work, I’ve worked as a Manager, Director of Fire and Rescue, EMS, Wild Land Fire Fighter, and Environmental Monitor. All of these jobs dealt with the environment in one way or the other.

Are you currently employed in the environmental sector? If yes, what is your title and what are your job responsibilities?

Yes, I am currently employed with Frog Lake as a Lands Officer. We deal with membership land issues, BCRs, GPS Pasture and Fence Boundaries, GIS Data collection and inputting into our GIS Community Mapper, Land Use and Occupancy Studies, as well as all land issues.

What was the most important thing that you learned during the program?

I guess this was kind of a refresher, but at the same time what really caught my interest were the elements of LUP, including the 12 steps of LUP, community values, and the fundamentals of LUP.

How has the BEAHR Training Program prepared you for your current job?

It has given me more insight and clearer direction for working with the Lands Team.

Would you recommend this program to others?

Yes I would, especially if their interest is related to land use and the environment.

Has your experience impacted your family, friends or community? If so, how?

I don't know if it impacted my family as much as it did me. It gave me and my family a better understanding of the current land issues in and around First Nations Communities.
Learn more about BEAHR Training Programs
If you are interested in becoming involved in leadership, environmental management or economic developments in your community, contact us or talk to your local band office today. You could be our next success story!
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