Interim Overview: Indigenous Engagement and Partnership Plan

Context

The integration of Crown consultation and Indigenous participation in impact assessments supports the Government's commitment to reconciliation by providing tools for effective and meaningful participation, collaboration, and partnership with Indigenous peoples during the assessment process.

An Indigenous Engagement and Partnership Plan (the Plan) will be developed during the Planning phase for designated projects requiring assessment under the Impact Assessment Act (the Act). One plan will be developed for each impact assessment, outlining at a high level the groups that will participate in the impact assessment, and how they will participate, including, where available, information on proponent-led engagement activities. The Indigenous Engagement and Partnership Plan will inform community-specific consultation plans, where appropriate. The Plan will be developed collaboratively during the Planning phase with Indigenous communities that may be affected by a proposed project.

Indigenous communities will have the opportunity to inform the Agency as to how they would like to participate, and how they will work with the Government of Canada during the impact assessment process. The Plan will also indicate where, in certain circumstances, the Agency will work in collaboration or partnership with Indigenous communities, for example to co-draft parts of assessment reports.

Time line for Completion

In accordance with the Act, the Agency must post a copy on the Registry of the Indigenous Engagement and Partnership Plan within 180 days after the day on which the Initial Project Description of the project is posted on the Registry. As a result, the development of the Indigenous Engagement and Partnership Plan is initiated early in the Planning phase.

Contents of an Indigenous Engagement and Partnership Plan

An Indigenous Engagement and Partnership Plan will be tailored to each specific project and will include:

  1. Objectives of Engagement and Partnership.
  2. The Indigenous communities identified by the Agency for Crown consultation and those communities that have expressed an interest in engaging.
  3. Information related to the methods and tools that may be used as well as preferences for specific engagement methods. It would also include information related to more collaborative approaches such as Indigenous-led studies to inform the impact assessment or co-drafting parts of assessment reports.
  4. A table that describes the phases of the impact assessment and the engagement opportunities during each phase.
  5. Roles and responsibilities of federal authorities that may be required to issue permits or authorizations in relation to the designated project.

The Plan will be posted on the Registry. Community-specific consultation plans or protocols may also be developed to provide further details on engagement in the impact assessment process.

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