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Science Seminar: The Battle for Hill C-69: Canada’s Duty to Consult Indigenous Nations’ Knowledge Systems in Federal Environmental Assessments
In 2016 the Canadian Government 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/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 Bill C-69 as the new legislation regarding federal EAs. 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 and their respective knowledge systems. Detailed examination of the Panel’s review and Canada’s response shows clearly that the Crown’s Duty has not yet been fulfilled by the proposed legislation, in either spirit or practice. In October 2018, each of Canada’s 105 Senators individually received a copy of the peer-reviewed version of this analysis, published by the International Indigenous Policy Journal (https://ir.lib.uwo.ca/iipj/vol9/iss3/4/). As of January 2019, Bill C-69 has been passed by the House of Commons, and is currently under intense scrutiny by the Senate generally – the Standing Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources specifically (14 Senators, including Indigenous representation). The future of this proposed critical legislation is highly volatile.
Seminar presented by Dr. Steve Crawford, Associate Professor at the University of Guelph.
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