Duty to Consult

Duty to Consult

What is duty to consult?

Government and companies must consult with and accommodate Aboriginal people whenever they do something that could affect Aboriginal Rights and interests. This is a legal requirement under Section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982. This means that government and companies must talk with First Nations to find out how proposed projects could negatively affect their Aboriginal and Treaty Rights (including rights to land and resources). This also means that government and companies might have to change the proposed project to reduce the negative impacts on Aboriginal and Treaty Rights. This is an important step in reconciling the relationship between the Crown and First Nations, according to Canada’s courts.

Duty to consult & SON

Consultation must take place whenever the government knows, or ought to know, that a project or decision could negatively impact our Aboriginal or Treaty Rights. Government and companies must consult with the SON about activities that fall within, and may negatively impact, the land within the SON Territory, including areas in both the Aboriginal Title Claim and the Treaty 72 Claim. The duty to consult requires that the Crown act honourably and ensure that the rights asserted by the SON in its claims are not compromised before these claims are decided by a court.

When does consultation happen?

Consultation must happen when any developments take place within Anishnaabekiing. Some examples include:

  • Resource development
  • Selling properties
  • Shoreline alterations
  • Energy projects
  • Quarry projects
  • Wind/solar farm development
  • Municipal sewer and water systems