Indigenous Knowledge Policy Framework for Project Reviews and Regulatory Decisions
Working in collaboration with Indigenous Peoples, four federal departments developed an Indigenous Knowledge Policy Framework for Project Reviews and Regulatory Decisions (the Framework). This Framework will help guide how the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada (the Agency), Transport Canada, Canada Energy Regulator, and Fisheries and Oceans Canada implement the Indigenous Knowledge provisions of the following Acts:
- The Impact Assessment Act
- The Canadian Navigable Waters Act
- The Canadian Energy Regulator Act
- The fish and fish habitat protection provisions of the Fisheries Act
The Framework provides an overarching, principles-based approach to support the consistent application of the Indigenous Knowledge provisions in project reviews and regulatory decisions while recognizing regional, cultural and distinctions-based approaches to Indigenous Knowledge.
The Framework supports greater predictability in how Indigenous Knowledge is considered in project reviews and regulatory decisions. The four federal organizations responsible for implementing the Indigenous Knowledge provisions in the legislation will be able to use the Framework as a basis for developing policies and guidance tailored to each of their specific operational requirements.
Development of the Framework
The draft Framework was developed based on engagement with Indigenous Peoples through many workshops, meetings and submission of their comments dating back to 2019. The four federal departments also received advice from the Agency’s Indigenous Advisory Committee.
In May 2021, the Framework was shared for comment with Indigenous Peoples with 79 comments received. The Agency provided funding to support the review of the Framework. You can consult the What We Heard Report from this engagement.
Benefits of the Framework
The Framework provides the following benefits:
- It guides the respectful, consistent and effective consideration and protection of Indigenous Knowledge for project reviews and regulatory decisions under four Acts (the Impact Assessment Act, the Canadian Navigable Waters Act, the Canadian Energy Regulator Act, and the fish and fish habitat protection provisions of the Fisheries Act).
- It guides the relationship between federal officials and Indigenous communities when working with Indigenous Knowledge.
- It ensures federal officials working with Indigenous Knowledge understand the expectations of Indigenous rights holders and knowledge holders.
- It ensures better understanding of potential impacts of projects, improved project design, strengthened mitigation and accommodation measures, sound regulatory decisions and effective long-term monitoring of project impacts for Indigenous Peoples and all Canadians if projects are approved.
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