What is Consultation?
The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled (in the 2004 Haida and Taku River Tingit cases of British Columbia) that the Crown is legally obliged to consult with First Nations when it (Government on behalf of the Crown) knows about, or ought to know about, a potential existence of an aboriginal right or title or Treaty right and contemplates a decision that might adversely affect it. The duty arises then when government and its proponents make land and resource use decisions that have the ability to impact these rights or asserted such rights.
The principal of the Duty to Consult First Nations arises from these above mentioned cases and because the cases were decided at the Supreme Court level so the principle impacts Canada as a whole. In the case of the Ontario government, it created the New Relationship Fund in order to meet its constitutional obligations arising from the Supreme Court's decisions in Haida and Taku River. Consultation with First Nations can now be conducted in a meaningful way that ensures the First Nations are provided the necessary information and capacity that allows them to make informed decisions and develop opinions on the subject matter consulted on.
Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation (MSIFN), along with six other southern Ontario First Nations known as the Williams Treaties First Nations (WTFN), having created their consultation program departments, now work collectively on the one hand to review the development occurring in their treaty area, and on the other hand work independently depending upon where developments are occurring. The six other WTFN include the Chippewas communities of Beausoleil First Nation, Georgina Island First Nation and the Rama First Nation; and the Mississauga communities of Alderville First Nation, Curve Lake First Nation, Hiawatha First Nation. The treaty territories of the Williams Treaty First Nations extend from the north shore of Lake Ontario to Georgian Bay on the west to the Ottawa Valley in the east, as far north as the French River. These First Nations are also signatory (singularly or as tri-parties) to what are termed pre-Confederation treaties, which are adjacent to the Williams Treaty boundaries. Today then the WTFNs have an interest in literally millions of acres in southern Ontario.
MSIFN's priority is the protection and preservation of the lands, waters, wildlife, and fisheries within our treaty territories and monitoring the existing or potential impact on these interests. This is done for the sake of assuring a safe and sustainable community, as well as for providing equally sustainable economic opportunity for our people.
Areas of Main Concern Effecting MSIFN Are:
Dave Mowat - Community Consultation Specialist
|Renewable Energy - Solar, Wind, BioGas
||Energy - Nuclear, Hydro-Electric
|Resource Development - Aggregates: Pits and Quarries
||Stewardship - Species at Risk, Environmental, Archaeology
|Municipal - Water and Wastewater Plants
||Provincial - ETR 407, Roads, Bridges and Highways
Also certain private enterprises that have Provincial sanction
Monica Sanford - Community Consultation Administrative Assistant
Phone: 905-985-3337 ext. 229