Alberta's management and development of provincial Crown lands and natural resources is subject to its legal and constitutional duty to consult First Nations and, where appropriate, accommodate their interests when Crown decisions may adversely impact their continued exercise of constitutionally protected Treaty rights and traditional uses. Traditional First Nation uses of land include burial grounds, gathering sites, and historical or ceremonial locations and do not refer to proprietary interests in the land.
Alberta also consults with Metis Settlements on potential adverse impacts of Crown decisions on Metis Settlement members’ harvesting and traditional use activities.
- Consultation is a process intended to understand and consider the potential adverse impacts of anticipated Crown decision on First Nations and Metis settlements, with a view to substantially address them.
Alberta consultation policies
First Nations policy
When the Crown contemplates a decision on land / natural resource management that has the potential to adversely impact First Nations’ Treaty rights or traditional uses, the Government of Alberta's Policy on Consultation with First Nations on Land and Natural Resource Management, 2013 is applied.
First Nations guidelines
To clarify expectations (including roles and responsibilities) of all parties involved in a consultation process, the Government of Alberta’s Guidelines on Consultation with First Nations on Land and Natural Resource Management 2014 is available.
Metis Settlements policy
When the Crown contemplates a decision on land / natural resource management that has the potential to adversely impact Metis settlement members’ harvesting or traditional use activities, the Government of Alberta's Policy on Consultation with Metis Settlements on Land and Natural Resource Management, 2015 is applied.
Metis Settlements guidelines
The Government of Alberta’s Guidelines on Consultation with Metis Settlements on Land and Natural Resource Management 2016 provide an overview of the steps to follow in the consultation process involving a Metis Settlement.
Aboriginal Consultation Office
Working closely with other government ministries and regulators to ensure that Alberta’s duty to consult is met, the Aboriginal Consultation Office (ACO) reviews regulatory applications for a wide range of developments including:
- oil sands
- conventional oil and gas
- public infrastructure
- flood recovery / mitigation
- gravel pits
The ACO provides consultation management services in 3 operating regions of the province (PDF, 1.2MB) to First Nations, Metis settlements, Government of Alberta ministries, the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER), and project proponents.
ACO services include:
- pre-consultation assessment advice / direction
- determining if consultation is required
- providing advice / direction during a consultation process
- consultation record evaluations
- assessment of consultation adequacy
- outreach and training
Proponents are required to submit consultation assessment requests and related consultation files through the Electronic Disposition System (EDS) and are to follow the Government of Alberta’s Proponent Guide to First Nations and Metis Settlements Consultation Procedures (Proponent Guide).
Consultation capacity funding
The Indigenous Consultation Capacity Program (ICCP) provides all Indigenous communities who participate in Alberta’s consultation process an annual core funding allotment to assist with consultation-related activities regarding land / natural resource management.
To connect with the Aboriginal Consultation Office, please contact the office near you:
ACO contacts by region (PDF, 82 KB)