Community Development

GGC staff are commited to utilizing a community development approach for planning and in the services we offer. Community development planning happens when people work together and use their strengths and diverse abilities to improve community life. Community development planning is a process that gives everyone a chance to create a vision and goals for community change. Community Development Planning (CDP) is a holistic process for building a pathway to being a healthier,  sustainable, and more self-sufficient community. This is the approach we utilized in the comprehensive community planning and community safety planning work. This way of doing our work also guides our day to day work.

The Gitksan Government Commission (GGC) has a Social Development Policy. This policy is for the member communities of the GGC, including Gitanmaax, Gitanyow, Glen Vowell and Kispiox, to guide and assist in the delivery of the social development program on reserve.

Under the multi-year funding agreement GGC in partnership with the bands made changes to the existing INAC Social Development policy guidelines. This revised GGC policy manual (2006) focuses on the unique needs of the Gitksan communities and better reflects their goals and objectives. It will eventually incorporate the traditional roles and responsibilities of the House and Clan system in caring for all members and residents of each community.

This policy manual has been thoroughly reviewed in detail through a series of meetings including Chief Councillors and their invited Band Council representatives, in collaboration with the GGC Social Development Advisor and each Band’s Social Development Staff.

This policy manual provides consistency and adherence to the multi-year agreement as signed by all four Bands. As such, it is applicable to all four Band Councils, their Community Social Development Committees, their administration staff and the Band members. Any changes to the Manual in future will require the agreement of all four Bands as represented by their Chief Councillors on the GGC Board.

Sandra Martin Harris, is the Advisor for the Social Development at Gitksan Government Commission and works closely with each of the community Band Social Development Workers and administration to implement the social development program.


GGC supports Gitanyow, Gitanmaax, Glen Vowell & Kispiox locally based training, and education programs.

Over the years we have developed a Job Readiness Workbook. After several training sessions, the working group came together and develop a 6 step case management approach that seeks to connect people to their Gitxsan teachings. The belief is that once someone feels good and strong about themselves they are best able to meet their own needs.

Here is the cover of the Ama Didils (a Good Life) Workbook. The sun was chosen as each step or sun ray was part of the larger Sun image. The sun represents healing energy. The community members and youth that evaluated the workbook also suggested we highlight the many successful men and women in our document. So in the panels of each page, we have asked members to submit names to showcase the many successful Gitksan, Gitanyow and Wet’suwet’en tradespeople or business people. There was quite a response to this! A role model program is needed for our area!

For more information please call our office at 250.842.2248 or 1.800.650.5518. haa miya

GGC Program Developer Role

Oversees the development, facilitation, coordination, and administration of all aspects of the innovative social reinvestment strategy, “Bridges to Sucess” project now completed. An evaluation of this social reinvestment strategy will be completed soon and posted when available.


GGC Social Development Advisor provides technical and administrative support, troubleshooting to the Band Social Worker and Band administration by:

  • Organizing regular meetings to review policy, case management, and troubleshooting
  • Community visits, social planning, and the development of community profiles
  • Work with Social Workers in preparation for program Audit Reviews
  • Provide case consultation on complex cases
  • Advise on and process formal appeals from Band members
  • Interpret and clarify policy for both Social Workers, Administration, and Band members

Monitor the Social Development Program and funding provided to communities by:

  • Reviewing monthly reports submitted to GGC to ensure policies and procedures are adhered to;
  • Complete and submit quarterly and annual reports as required to INAC as required
  • Ensure reports and proposals for funding are submitted accurately and on time
  • Provide training assistance and file maintenance as may be needed
  • Sandra is available to meet with Chief and Council to discuss the Gitksan social development policy.


Gitanyow Band


Gitanmaax Band

Glen Vowell

Sik-e-dakh Band