Feature Report on Environmental Law
Aboriginal consultation and accommodation: an essential step to project approval.
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]The Consultation Trilogy Since the release of the Supreme Court of Canada decisions of Haida Nation v. BC (Minister of Forests) Taku River v. BC in November 2004, and Mikisew Cree First Nation v. Canada (Minister of Canadian Heritage) in November 2005, Aboriginal communities have become the pre-eminent stakeholders to be consulted in advance of exploration and development on Crown lands. A consultation requirement is not new. It was established by the Supreme Court of Canada in 1990 in the case of R. v. Sparrow. However, these decisions set out a duty to consult and, where appropriate, accommodate in relation to treaty and Aboriginal rights and title, specify when the duty arises, whose it is, and what are its limits. The breadth of the obligation means that there are few, if any, Crown lands in Canada that are not subject to it. Though the obliga...