Consulting with First Nations
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Interim guidance on consultation with First Nations during COVID-19 pandemic
To ensure government is responsive to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on First Nations, the Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation has provided guidance to government agencies and proponents on how to approach consultations with First Nations and Indigenous organizations. This is a temporary measure, which will continue to be reassessed as the situation evolves. See Consultation Bulletin at:
Consulting with First Nations
The Province is legally obligated to consult and accommodate First Nations, where required, on land and resource decisions that could impact their Indigenous Interests. While the Province is responsible for ensuring adequate and appropriate consultation and accommodation, it may involve the proponent in the procedural aspects of consultation.
Also, proponents are generally encouraged to engage with First Nations as early as possible in the planning stages to build relationships and for information sharing purposes that may support consultation processes.
More information is available in the following guidelines and procedure manuals designed to assist government officials and proponents with meeting consultation obligations with First Nations. For further assistance, please contact the appropriate decision making agency.
Engaging First Nations: Proponent Resources
- Building Relationships with First Nations: Respecting Rights and Doing Good Business - English, (Mandarin), (Japanese), and (Korean): Provides practical advice and strategies to help businesses develop strong working relationships with First Nations.
- Guide to Involving Proponents When Consulting First Nations: Assists the business sector with a better understanding of the range of proponent’s roles in First Nations consultation.
- Proponent: First Nations Engagement Communication Log (Excel): A useful tool for proponents to track First Nations engagement communications.
- Updated Procedures for Meeting Legal Obligations When Consulting First Nations: Describes the Province’s approach to consulting and accommodating First Nations where a proposed decision or activity by the Province may affect claimed or proven Aboriginal rights (including title) or treaty rights. Proponents wanting more detailed information on the consultation process may consider reviewing this document in conjunction with the Guide to Involving Proponents When Consulting First Nations.
Sector-Specific Proponent Guides
- For information on engaging Indigenous nations in the environmental assessment process, please visit the Environmental Assessment Office’s website: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/environment/natural-resource-stewardship/environmental-assessments/guidance-documents
- Major Mines Authorizations Guide
Sets out information for proponents of major mine projects preparing to apply for multiple permits, licences or other authorizations to construct and operate a mine in the Province of British Columbia.
- Association for Mineral Exploration British Columbia's Aboriginal Engagement Guidebook: A Practical and Principled Approach for Mineral Explorers
Clean Energy Projects
- Clean Energy Production in B.C.: An Interagency Guide Book for Proponents
Brings together statutory, regulatory, and procedural information from resource-based ministries and agencies involved with the review of Clean Energy Projects.