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New tools will support First Nations' involvement in impact assessment process

by Mark Sabourin
EcoLog, 10/30/2020 1:04:00 PM

The First Nations Major Projects Coalition (FNMPC), an assembly of more than 65 First Nations in Canada, has released a technical guide and complementary videos (eight episodes) designed to enhance the capacity of Indigenous Nations to engage in the new federal impact assessment process. According to the FNMPC, these tools are intended to support Indigenous Nations’ active involvement as key players, rather than mere participants, in the new impact assessment process.

The four-part “Guide to Effective Indigenous Involvement in Federal Impact Assessment” introduces the FNMPC, reviews the new impact assessment process and highlights key changes, presents and discusses tools to help Indigenous Nations participate effectively in the new process, and discusses opportunities for additional technical support, including further guidance that will be forthcoming.

Angel Ransom, the director of Operations for the FNMPC who led the development of the resources, said the FNMPC would work to ensure the tools were used in major project assessments and decisions across Canada.

“These new tools contribute to filling an existing gap in guidance to ensure Indigenous Peoples can meaningfully engage in the impact assessments of major projects that are happening in their territory that have both benefits and risks to our well-being and way of life,” said FNMPC Chair, Chief Sharleen Gale, in a release.

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