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
We have amended The Government of Alberta’s Policy on Consultation with First Nations on Land and Natural Resource Management, 2013 and The Government of Alberta’s Policy on Consultation with Metis Settlements on Land and Natural Resource Management, 2015. The amendment is an aspirational statement added to the preamble of each policy, to reflect that the provincial government strives to ensure First Nations and Metis Settlements have the chance to benefit from economic development opportunities and to enjoy Alberta’s prosperity. This amendment does not impact the regulatory process or the consultation process and requirements.
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 and mitigation
- gravel pits
The ACO provides consultation management services in 2 operating regions of the province (PDF, 651 KB) to First Nations, Metis settlements, Government of Alberta ministries, the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER), and project proponents.
ACO services include:
- pre-consultation assessment advice and direction
- determining if consultation is required
- providing advice and 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 new ACO Digital Service (ACO DS) and are to follow the Government of Alberta’s Proponent Guide to First Nations and Metis Settlements Consultation Procedures (Proponent Guide).
Proponents seeking regulatory approval from AEP for activities requiring a Public Lands Act disposition (except for agricultural dispositions) may continue to use the Electronic Disposition System to seek consultation requirements.
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.
Connect with the Aboriginal Consultation Office, contact the office near you:
ACO contacts by region (PDF, 57 KB)
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