Ryan Walker MCIP RPP
BA (Lethbridge), MA (Waterloo), PhD (Queen's)
Office: Kirk Hall 112
Areas of expertise:
Urban planning; urban design; urban geography; comparative urban Indigenous studies in Canada, New Zealand and Australia; housing studies; multi-level governance and urban policy; First Nation community planning; citizenship theory; housing for people with serious mental illness
Canadian Institute of Planners - Saskatchewan Professional Planners Institute
Council for Canadian Urbanism
Canadian Association of Geographers
Adjunct Professor, The Frost Centre for Canadian Studies and Indigenous Studies, Trent University
School of Environment and Sustainability (Associate)
Department of Native Studies (Associate Member)
Indigenous Land Management Institute (Faculty Associate)
International Centre for Northern Governance and Development (Associate)
Jane Goodall's Peak Society
I was born in Winnipeg, grew up there as well as in St. Albert and Edmonton, then moved to Lethbridge to attend university. Though I enjoy life on the Prairies most of all, I have also been at home in New Brunswick (Pennfield Ridge), Quebec (Quebec City, Montreal), Ontario (Waterloo, Kingston) and British Columbia (Wells). Internationally, I have lived in Tanzania (Dar es Salaam), Swaziland (Mbabane) and New Zealand (Palmerston North). In 2006 I moved from New Zealand to Saskatoon for my current appointment at the University of Saskatchewan. The move brought me back to the region where my mother's side of the family was born and my great-grandpa Scharf homesteaded in the R.M. of Perdue. I am happily married to Saache, who works as a children's librarian at Saskatoon Public Library and violist in the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra. We have a dog, Lisa, who is funnier to spend time with than any stand-up comedian I have ever seen.
**check out my Image Gallery and Documents & Links for some highlights**
Teaching & Supervision
- 240.3 Sustainable Cities and Regions
- 341.3 Urban Planning
- 441.3 Challenges in Urban Development
- 490.3 Applied Planning Project
- 845.3 Advanced Urban Geography
Honours, Awards & Distinctions (Most Recent)
- Award for Planning Excellence, awarded by Canadian Institute of Planners, October 10, 2012
- Downtown Merit Award, awarded by International Downtown Association (United States of America), September 24, 2012
- Award for Distinction in Outreach and Engagement, awarded by University of Saskatchewan, June 5, 2012
- James Pooler Award, awarded by U of S Regional and Urban Planning Program, March 8, 2012
- Premier's Award of Excellence in Design, awarded by Design Council of Saskatchewan, November 18, 2011
My research programs delve into the fascinating areas of city planning and urban design, Indigeneity in the city, planning with First Nations and Métis communities, multi-level urban governance, and international housing studies. Most of my work is driven by the rewards of linking scholarship with public debate, decision-making and implementation.
For the next five years I will have the pleasure of working with a team of co-investigators across Canada as the Director of the Prairie Research Centre in the Urban Aboriginal Knowledge Network (UAKN). Four UAKN regional research centres (i.e., West, Prairie, Central, Atlantic) are funded by a SSHRC Partnership Grant under the national leadership of David Newhouse and in partnership with the National Association of Friendship Centres, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada and a number of other community, university, and government partners. Our work is guided by four broad research themes: 1) human development; 2) social cohesion; 3) economic development; and, 4) civic engagement. There are excellent opportunities for graduate studies at the University of Saskatchewan under this leading-edge community-driven research program.
During 2010-2011 I worked with Jill Gunn and a team of our undergraduate students on research for Phase One of the City of Saskatoon’s New Plan for the City Centre. Our research into the interactions between public spaces, built environment, pedestrian activity and urban quality contributed to the production of the City’s Public Spaces, Activity and Urban Form Strategic Framework, accepted by City Council in November 2011. The project was a three-way partnership between the City of Saskatoon, University of Saskatchewan, and Sweeny Sterling Finlayson &Co Architects Inc. Our work was awarded the 2012 Award for Planning Excellence (New and Emerging Planning Initiatives) by the Canadian Institute of Planners, the 2012 Downtown Merit Award (Planning) from the International Downtown Association, and the 2011 Premier's Award of Excellence in Design (Community Planning). Our public space research team at the University of Saskatchewan is continuing its partnership with the City of Saskatoon on the Junction Concept Plan study in 2012.
From 2009 to 2011 I served on Saskatoon's Culture Plan Advisory Committee. The Culture Plan, carried out by the City of Saskatoon and DIALOG, was accepted by City Council in September 2011 and awarded an Honourable Mention by the Canadian Institute of Planners in the 2012 Awards for Planning Excellence (Social Planning).
During 2008-2010 I worked with Trudi Bunting and Pierre Filion and a roster of some of Canada’s top urban geography and planning scholars to produce the fourth edition of Canadian Cities in Transition: New Directions in the Twenty-first Century (Oxford University Press).
Funded by the Canadian Pacific Partnership Program in Aboriginal Community Planning, I am working with a PhD student, co-supervised with David Natcher, who is applying spatial analysis techniques and geomatics to understand relationships between land-use change and property regimes on and off of First Nations reserves in Saskatchewan. One of my recent MA graduates developed new knowledge on process, substance and implementation of comprehensive community-based plans in Saskatchewan First Nations. Another of my recent MA graduates examined the creation of intercultural post-colonial communities among newcomers to Canada and Aboriginal peoples in Winnipeg.
Funded by a SSHRC Standard Research Grant from 2008-2012 I worked with two MA students on research aimed at understanding the connections between housing provided by Aboriginal organizations in cities and impacts on quality of life manifested in areas such as health, education, employment, and cultural development.
A project completed in 2010/11 examined multilevel governance and public policy in municipalities, funded by a SSHRC Major Collaborative Research Initiative Grant. As a co-investigator in this enormous project – led by Robert Young – I had the privilege of working with over 70 researchers from across Canada to produce the most comprehensive analysis ever undertaken of Canadian urban governance and policy-making.
In 2007 I worked with colleagues in the College of Arts & Science and at the City of Saskatoon to examine how municipalities can improve urban planning, design, governance relations, economic and social development with First Nation, Métis and Urban Aboriginal communities. This project was funded by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. In 2008, again with colleagues in Arts and Science, and funded by Canadian Heritage, I examined the creation of culturally distinctive outcomes and indicators for urban Aboriginal youth programming.
For two years prior to joining the U of S in 2006 I was a faculty member in the Resource and Environmental Planning Program at Massey University, New Zealand. There I had the pleasure of working with the Centre for Indigenous Governance and Development, and its director Manuhuia Barcham, on a comparative study of Indigenous urban housing development in New Zealand, Australia and Canada, funded by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. The project was initiated through a partnership between the National Aboriginal Housing Association and Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.
Walker, R C (2013) Gov't must lead regional planning, The Saskatoon StarPhoenix, Aug 16, A11 www2.canada.com/saskatoonstarphoenix/news/forum/story.html?id=b6ace4a7-8a9d-4cdf-acf7-562f9bff0655&p=1
Walker, R C (2013) Better transit will help build city, The Saskatoon StarPhoenix, Aug 3, A8 www2.canada.com/saskatoonstarphoenix/news/forum/story.html?id=1aa05d26-86a6-4e14-9de1-f88c57592d23
Walker, R C, Jojola, T, Natcher, D (eds)(2013) Reclaiming Indigenous Planning (Montreal-Kingston, McGill-Queen's University Press)
Walker, R C, Belanger, Y (2013) Aboriginality and planning in Canada's large Prairie cities, in R C Walker, T Jojola, D Natcher (eds), Reclaiming Indigenous Planning (Montreal-Kingston, McGill-Queen's University Press)
Walker, R C, Matunga, H (2013) Re-situating Indigenous planning in the city, Plan Canada 53(2) 14-17
Walker, R C (2013) Increasing the depth of our civic identity: Future seeking and place making with Aboriginal communities, in E Peters, C Andersen (eds), Indigenous in the City: Contemporary Identities and Cultural Innovation (Vancouver, UBC Press)
Walker, R C (2011) Equitable urbanism in Saskatchewan's large cities: Balancing environmental design, society, and our concept of place, in D McGrane (ed), New Directions in Saskatchewan Public Policy (Regina, Canadian Plains Research Centre Press)
Walker, R C, Moore, J, Linklater, M (2011) More than stakeholders, voices and tables: Towards co-production of urban Aboriginal policy in Manitoba, in E Peters (ed), Urban Aboriginal Policy Making in Canadian Municipalities (Montreal and Kingston, McGill-Queen's University Press)
Walker, R C (2011) Urban design responses: Cities in transition, in P Gordon (ed), Resiliency: Cool Ideas for Locally Elected Leaders (Vancouver, Columbia Institute Centre for Civic Governance)
Moore, J, Walker R C, Skelton, I (2011) Challenging the new Canadian myth: Colonialism, post-colonialism and urban Aboriginal policy in Thompson and Brandon, Manitoba, Canadian Journal of Native Studies 31(1) 17-42
Bunting, T, Filion P, Walker, R C (eds)(2010) Canadian Cities in Transition: New Directions in the Twenty-first Century (Toronto, Oxford University Press)
Townshend, I, Walker, R C (2010) Life course and lifestyle changes: Urban change through the lens of demography, in T Bunting, P Filion, R C Walker (eds), Canadian Cities in Transition: New Directions in the Twenty-first Century (Toronto, Oxford University Press)
Walker, R C, Carter, T (2010) At home in the city: Housing and neighbourhood transformation, in T Bunting, P Filion, R C Walker (eds), Canadian Cities in Transition: New Directions in the Twenty-first Century (Toronto, Oxford University Press)
Walker, R C, Barcham, M (2010) Indigenous-inclusive citizenship, the city & social housing in Canada, New Zealand & Australia, Environment and Planning A 42(2) 314-331
Walker, R C (2010) Traffic bridge must be saved, The Saskatoon StarPhoenix, Oct 15, A6 www2.canada.com/saskatoonstarphoenix/news/forum/story.html?id=14be9854-1ae8-4f03-bdce-61c0d5a595c8
Walker, R C (2009) The political challenge of implementing social housing policy in Saskatchewan, in H Leeson (ed), Saskatchewan Politics: Crowding the Centre (Regina, Canadian Plains Research Centre Press)
Belanger, Y, Walker, R C (2009) Interest convergence & co-production of plans: An examination of Winnipeg’s 'Aboriginal pathways', Canadian Journal of Urban Research 18(1) Supplement 118-139
Walker, R C, Patrick, R (2009) Cityscape must reflect values of citizens, The Saskatoon StarPhoenix, Feb 20, A11 (see my 'Image Gallery' for a copy of the article)
Walker, R C (2008) Indigeneity: A cornerstone of diversity planning in Canadian cities, Progressive Planning 177 8-13
Walker, R C (2008) Improving the interface between urban municipalities and Aboriginal communities, Canadian Journal of Urban Research 17(1) Supplement 20-36
Walker, R C (2008) Aboriginal self-determination and social housing in urban Canada: A story of convergence and divergence, Urban Studies 45(1) 185-205
Walker, R C (2008) Ottawa should change its housing policies for urban aboriginals, The Gazette (Montreal), Jul 2 www.canada.com/montrealgazette/news/editorial/story.html?id=b92c7562-8978-4d77-8d63-f06614a48c84
Walker, R C (2008) Social housing and the role of Aboriginal organisations in Canadian cities (Montreal, Institute for Research on Public Policy)
Walker, R C (2008) Condo restrictions serve public interest, The Saskatoon StarPhoenix, May 2, A10 (see my 'Image Gallery' for a copy of the article)
Sully, L, Kellett, L, Garcea, J, Walker, R C (2008) First Nations urban reserves in Saskatoon: Partnerships for positive development, Plan Canada 48(2) 39-42
Walker, R C (2008) Unsettled places: Aboriginal people and urbanisation in New South Wales, Book Review, G Morgan (Wakefield 2006), Urban Studies 45(5&6) 1293-1295
Walker, R C (2006) Searching for Aboriginal/Indigenous self-determination: Urban citizenship in the Winnipeg low-cost housing sector, Canada, Environment and Planning A 38(12) 2345-2363
Walker, R C (2006) Interweaving Aboriginal/Indigenous rights with urban citizenship: A view from the Winnipeg low-cost housing sector, Canada, Citizenship Studies 10(4) 391-411
Walker, R C (2006) We call it home: A history of state housing in New Zealand, Book Review, B Schrader (Reed 2005), New Zealand Geographer 62(1) 91-92
Walker, R C (2005) Social cohesion? A critical review of the Urban Aboriginal Strategy and its application to address homelessness in Winnipeg, Canadian Journal of Native Studies 25(2) 395-416
Walker, R C (2005) Reflections on planning with the urban Aboriginal community, Plan Canada 45(4) 38-41
Klein, J, Walker, R C (2005) Statutory and non-statutory approaches to crime prevention through environmental design, Planning Quarterly 159 (December) 15-17
Peters, E, Walker, R C (2005) ‘Chapter 1: Introducing a framework’ in E Peters, Indigeneity and marginalisation: Planning for and with urban Aboriginal communities in Canada, Progress in Planning 63(4) 327-404
Walker, R C (2003) Engaging the urban Aboriginal population in low-cost housing initiatives: Lessons from Winnipeg, Canadian Journal of Urban Research 12(1) Supplement 99-118
Townshend, I J, Walker, R C (2002) The structure of income residential segregation in Canadian metropolitan areas, Canadian Journal of Regional Science 25(1) 25-52
Walker, R C, Seasons, M L (2002) Planning supported housing: A new orientation in housing for people with serious mental illness, Journal of Planning Education and Research 21(3) 313-319
Walker, R C, Seasons, M L (2002) Supported housing for people with serious mental illness: Resident perspectives on housing, Canadian Journal of Community Mental Health 21(1) 137-151
Walker, R C (2001) Fundza libraries in Swazi schools: Programme evaluation and implications for performance and policy, Innovation: Appropriate Librarianship and Information Work in Southern Africa 23 31-40