Community Consultation


On November 18, 2004, the Supreme Court of Canada rendered two decisions concerning the obligation of consultation of First Nations and the duty to accommodate their interest. In Taku River Tlingit First Nation v. Tulsequa Chief Mine Project, [2004] S.C.C. 74 and Haida Nation v. British Columbia [2004] S.C.C. 73, the Supreme Court of Canada declared that the Crown has a duty to consult and accommodate in cases where Aboriginal title and rights have not been proved in court. The obligation of consultation and the duty to accommodate are based on the protection of ancestral right specified in section 35(1) of the Constitution Act of 1982.

When Does The Government Have To Consult Us?

Canada and Quebec have a constitutional duty to consult and accommodate First Nations before taking actions that may affect First Nation interests. This includes: modification or adoption of legislation, policy-making, planning processes, modification or adoption of resource allocation regimes and the approval of specific projects of resource allocations. Basically, the government must consult with us because it will impact us socially, economically or culturally.

Furthermore, in Haida, the court found that the province had a duty to consult with First Nation at the strategic planning stage. First Nations must be involved in the decision-making at the higher level where fundamental resource allocations are made. An example of this would be to not only have a say where and how the trees will be cut, but have a say in the total volume cut over an area.

What Is The Government Required To Do?

This duty requires that Canada and Quebec:

  1. act in good faith and ensure an effective process throughout;
  2. provide First Nations with information regarding the action contemplated;
  3. listen to the First Nationís concerns;
  4. incorporate those concerns into the decision-making process; and
  5. take steps to accommodate the affected Aboriginal interests made clear through the consultation process.

Related Information

Informational Posters
Community Consultation
Consultation de la communauté
Forest Management Plans
Harvesting Methods
The Forest Act
Climate Change
Lake Sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens)
Moose (Alces alces)
Species at Risk
Trapping Regulations in Certain Areas
White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus)
Wood Turtle (Glemptemys insulpta)

Community Consultation Maps

Legal Documents
Haida Nation v. British Columbia (Minister of Forests)
Taku River Tlingit First Nation v. British Columbia (Project Assessment Director)
R. v. Sparrow, [1990] 1 S.C.R. 1075
R. v. Sappier; R. v. Gray, [2006] 2 S.C.R. 686, 2006 SCC 54
R. v. Gladstone, [1996] 2 S.C.R. 723
Delgamuukw v. British Columbia, [1997] 3 S.C.R. 1010
R. v. Côté, [1996] 3 S.C.R. 139
Related Websites
First Nations of Quebec and Labrador Sustainable Development Institute
National Aboriginal Forestry Association
First Nations Forestry Program
Natural Resource Canada
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (bilingual)
Secrétariat au Affaires Autochtones du Québec
Ministry of Natural Resources and Wildlife Quebec
Ministère de l'Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l'Alimentation du Québec
Ministère du Développement durable de l'Environnement et des Parcs du Québec (bilingual)
Québec Mines - Bulletin d'information minière
Fedération des trappeurs gestionnaires du Québec (french only)
North American Fur Auctions (bilingual)
Federation Quebecoise des Gestionnaires de ZECS (bilingual)
Société des Établissements de Plein air du Québec (SÉPAQ) (bilingual)
Fedération des pourvoiries du Québec (bilingual)
Environment Canada (bilingual)
Species at Risk Program
Tribunaux Judiciaires du Québec (bilingual)

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Last Update: June 26, 2007
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