Article Title

The Canadian Crown's Duty to Consult Indigenous Nations' Knowledge Systems in Federal Environmental Assessments


In 2016, the Government of Canada undertook a review of regulatory processes for federal environmental assessments (EAs) in preparation for replacing the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. An EA Expert Panel was appointed to review numerous oral and written submissions from Indigenous nations, government agencies, and the public. The Panel's final report included recommendations that were considered by Canada in the development of its currently proposed new legislation regarding federal EAs: Bill C-69. The goal of this analysis is to evaluate the extent to which Canada’s review and proposed legislation actually addressed the Crown’s duty to consult Indigenous nations' knowledge systems. Detailed examination of the Panel's review and Canada's response shows clearly that the Crown's duty has not been fulfilled by the proposed legislation, in either spirit or practice.


This work was supported by the Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation–University of Guelph Faculty Partnership, in conjunction with the Environment Office of the Saugeen Ojibway Nation, and Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Grant 410-2006-0405. I am greatly indebted to the inspiration and scholarly guidance of Lorraine Land, John Borrows, and Roronhiake:wen (He Clears the Sky) Dan Longboat, and Bruce Morito—all of whom shared ideas in the development of this article. My thanks to three anonymous reviewers who offered suggestions that improved an earlier version of this manuscript.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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