Backgrounder: Benefits for Indigenous peoples

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The Government of Canada is committed to renewing its nation-to-nation, Inuit-Crown, and government to government, relationship with Indigenous peoples based on the recognition of rights, respect, cooperation and partnership. Reconciliation must guide partnerships with Indigenous peoples. We will recognize and respect the rights, culture and interests of Indigenous peoples, their deep connection to their lands, territories and resources, and their desire to participate as partners in the economic development of their territories.

As proposed in the new rules, we would work in partnership with Indigenous peoples from the start through early and inclusive engagement so we can get to better project decisions. Indigenous traditional knowledge will be protected and it will be mandatory to consider it along other sources of science and evidence to inform decision-making.

Building a Better Impact Assessment System

  • New partnerships based on recognition of Indigenous rights and interests up front
  • Legislated requirement to consider impacts on Indigenous rights and culture in decision making
  • Opportunities for Indigenous jurisdictions to exercise powers and duties under the Act
  • Legislated provisions for greater Indigenous expertise on assessment boards and review panels
  • New opportunities for Indigenous partnerships
  • Increased support for  Indigenous participation and capacity development
  • An Indigenous Advisory Committee will provide policy and technical guidance on issues of concern to Indigenous peoples

A New Canadian Energy Regulator

  • New partnerships based on recognition of Indigenous rights and interests up front
  • Legislated requirement to consider impacts on Indigenous rights and culture in decision making
  • Legislated provisions for greater Indigenous expertise on assessment boards and review panels
  • At least one member of the Board of Directors and one Commissioner must be Indigenous
  • More open, accessible, inclusive and transparent regulatory reviews

Restoring Lost Protections To Fish and Fish Habitat

  • Requirement to consider adverse effects on Indigenous and treaty rights in decision-making
  • Indigenous jurisdictions have the same ability as Provinces and Territories, to be able to enter into agreements with the Government of Canada
  • Indigenous representation to be sought for advisory panels
  • Certainty for harvesters by enabling new regulations that would allow leases or licences to be issued for a period of more than 9 years

Protecting Canada’s Navigable Waters

  • Expand definition of navigable waters to explicitly include those where Indigenous peoples use vessels to exercise existing Indigenous rights
  • Enhance opportunities for Indigenous communities to participate in monitoring, enforcement and decision-making activities
  • Require decision-makers to consider any adverse effects that decisions may have on Indigenous rights
  • Tailored process for Indigenous peoples to proposed additions to the schedule of waters that will receive extra oversight
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