Land use plans have been used or positioned as the primary tool in many jurisdictions in Canada, and in the North, to shape the management of resources in a region. Land use plans are typically a requirement of land claim settlement agreements, receive legal status and are meant to provide guidance on what types of land uses are acceptable and where. Although land use plans may be ideal in principle, they may not be living up to their potential in practice. While a great deal of effort and resources have been invested in developing land use plans, many are still in draft form and have been subject to political intervention; or are finalized with either lofty or watered down objectives. In absence of finalized or effective land use plans, regions and settlement areas are struggling to manage the way in which natural resource development unfolds and to sufficiently benefit from the opportunities that development presents. Consequently, new approaches and tools that are more practical, nimble and tailored to managing the development of natural resources are emerging. One of the approaches being used by Aboriginal governments is the development of mineral strategies and policies to provide an overall vision to guide development. This presentation will explore what has been learned from these approaches in Northern jurisdictions to date, how this can be further applied in the North and what this means for the evolving role of land use planning.