About UsInukshuk Planning & Development Ltd.

About the Company

Inukshuk Planning & Development is a Whitehorse-based environmental planning and landscape architecture firm. The firm fulfills the need for experienced land use consultants to meet the needs of both the public and private sector. The company offers the following services to clients in Yukon, Northwest Territories, Alberta, British Columbia and Alaska:   

  • Community and regional land use planning
  •  Environmental assessment co-ordination and project management
  •  Land development feasibility assessment 
  •  Landscape architecture 
  •  Parks, tourism and protected areas planning 
  •  Integrated resource management policy and strategic planning 

About Our Name 

"Inukshuk" is an Inuit word that literally translated means "stone man that points the way". Inukshuks are stone cairns that were erected by early Inuit at prominent locations to serve as guideposts or markers. During his first trip on the land with elders in the mid 1970s, the firm’s principal Ian Robertson was given the nickname “the little Inukshuk” after he explained what he did for a living. The name stuck. 

The inukshuk is a good symbol for a planner. It comes from the land and remains part of the land. The purpose is clear - to show direction and guide the way. If we prepare good plans built on a solid foundation of scientific and local knowledge, common goals can be achieved. 

About Our Approach

We specialise in assembling small, project specific teams to meet individual client needs. Our approach is inclusive and we are committed to meaningful public participation at all phases of the planning process. Our focus is to build consensus and find practical and innovative solutions using techniques such as visioning workshops, bioregional mapping charettes, open house displays, camera exercises, local researchers and media technology (e.g. custom websites) for public information and feedback. 

Our projects consistently involve local project partners, and often offer learning opportunities for First Nation trainees, students, and other local people. We have extensive experience in inter-agency projects that necessitate cooperation amongst First Nation government bodies, municipal, provincial, territorial, and federal governments, and advisory bodies.

Inukshuk Planning-Whitehorse

About the Principal: Ian D. Robertson, MCIP

Ian Robertson is an accomplished senior executive with diversified planning and management experience in both the public and private sector. A resourceful, professional land use planner, Mr. Robertson has worked in five provinces and three northern territories. He has a reputation as a thorough, creative problem solver committed to finding environmentally sound and culturally appropriate solutions.

Mr. Robertson's commitment to good planning is evident in his range of accomplishments. He has worked on problems of single industry resource towns (Uranium City, Saskatchewan); the creation of arctic national parks (Quttinirpaaq, Ivvavik, Vuntut); the preparation of regional land use plans (Lancaster Sound, Beaufort/Mackenzie Delta); land claims (Yukon, N.W.T.); the creation of the Yukon's first ecological reserve (Coal River Springs); park policy and system plans (arctic national parks, Yukon Territorial Park System); linear corridor development (Alaska Highway Pipeline/Dempster lateral); and technology transfer (Canada/Yukon Remote Sensing Technology Transfer Agreement). He has examined a number of community development issues ranging from aviation, community planning, land development and tourism working with stakeholder groups and Steering Committees to prepare meaningful solutions.

Ian Robertson has held directorships in a national conservation organisation, provincial public advisory committee, city heritage association, and University of Waterloo senate. He is an active member of the Canadian Institute of Planners promoting northern planning interests. In 1989, a video introducing land use planning to native people prepared by his staff received the Institute's highest award for professional excellence.

During his tenure as a senior civil servant, Mr. Robertson represented both the Northwest Territories and Yukon in a variety of intergovernmental land use forums involving lands administration, land use planning and parks.

Mr. Robertson is a member of the Canadian Institute of Planners, Whitehorse Chamber of Commerce, Consulting Engineers of Yukon, Yukon Civil Air Search & Rescue Association, and a variety of related industry organizations in the parks, tourism, planning and economic development fields.