Introduction: This policy is in response to the GOA Land Management and Resource Development Act of 2005 and the amendments of 2007. The duty to consult flows from our status as the original nations of this land and Treaty 6. Pressure from industry required us to define a process that will protect and retain aboriginal and treaty rights with our traditional/ancestral land use areas. The procedures will be outlined and defines. The process for the dissemination and gathering of information will also be outlined within this policy.
History of Consultation Process:
The Government of Alberta has developed a Land Management and Resource Development Act which was passed on May 6, 2005. This legislation was developed to define a working relationship with Industry and First Nations within the Province of Alberta. The past decade has been one of intense industry activities within the Traditional/Ancestral Land Use Areas of Treaty Six. There was a push by the GOA to honor the duty to consult as identified in Mikesew Cree, Nisga’a, Delgamuukw and Sparrow cases. These cases agree that there was indeed a duty to consult from the Crowns of Canada and Provinces within Canada. Hence the development and recognized need of a Consultation Policy for Ermineskin Cree Nation that protects Aboriginal and Treaty Rights on proposed lands within our Traditional/Ancestral Territory.
This Policy will develop procedures which shall protect the interests of the ECN within Traditional Land Use areas which are being proposed for development by governments and industry. This Policy will protect the existing Aboriginal and Treaty Rights of the Ermineskin Cree Nation as well as identify the process by which we will work with other Governments and their agents as well as industry proponents.
The duty to consult and accommodate First Nation Peoples has been defined and affirmed by various decisions of the Supreme Court of Canada. The Crown has delegated it authority to third parties such as proponents of Industry while maintaining a supervisory role. The Alberta Consultation Guidelines on Land Management and Resource Development guides how industry must consult with First Nations. The Ermineskin Cree Nation need only to assert that there may be an infringement or derogation of Treaty or Aboriginal rights to trigger consultation. In order to provide consistency and certainty to industry as they enter into consultation with the ECN, we have developed this protocol.
The Consultation Committee will be comprised of at least two (2) Councilors and one (1) Elder, as well as the Director of Operations, Manager of Lands, Manager of Ermineskin Oil and Gas and the Director of Economic Development. They are empowered by the Chief and Council to make decisions regarding small scale projects on reserve lands, all large scale projects (wherever located) and all proposed federal and provincial legislative, policy and regulatory decision. They provide direction to the Consultation Coordinator and will review all applications for consolation funding prior to submission.
The Consultation Coordinator will report directly to the Consultation Committee on a regular basis regarding all consultation requests, He/she will be responsible for coordinating communication to all departments regarding proposals that may affect an individual portfolio. He/she will be responsible for arranging community meetings to keep the membership informed of new developments. He/she will also be responsible for preparing all applications for consultation funding.
Comprised of Elders, youths and other members from the community, this council will shape the vision of Ermineskin Tribe regarding stewardship of the land and ancestral resources. They will provide guidance to Chief and Council, the Consultation Committee and the Consultation Coordinator regarding consultation activities.
These consultants will be utilized as part of the consultation process to review applications and provide advice. They may also be called as experts to give testimony in front of regulatory boards if necessary. They include:
- Traditional Scientists;
- Environmental Consultants and
The lawyer representing Ermineskin Cree Nation will be consulted in respect to:
- Changes to federal and provincial legislation, policies and regulations;
- Strategies surrounding expansion of our Nation’s influence over out Ancestral Lands;
- Initial Training of Consultation Staff;
- Advice to the Consultation Coordinator and Committee and Chief and Council as needed:
- Support as needed to review incoming applications;
- And other required legal advice
As follows, it is a visual description of the various roles identified:
- Chief and Council
- Consultation Committee
- Consultation Coordinator
- Advisory Committee Legal and Technical
Ermineskin Industrial Relations (EIR)
Ermineskin Industrial Relations (EIR) is the Division that contains: Consultation, Wanska, Ermineskin Resources Development and Economic Development.
This department was created in April of 2014.
EIR was created due to how close each department works with each other within Ermineskin Cree Nation.
Each of our expertise has been relevant in creating and finding new opportunities and contacts.