The Crown is required to consult and, where appropriate, accommodate First Nations when making decisions that may affect aboriginal rights, aboriginal title or treaty rights. As a result, First Nations receive several hundred consultations per year, including on territory and natural resources. For several years, the FNQLSDI has provided a range of services and resources to support First Nations, Chiefs and community experts in the analysis of the federal and provincial consultations submitted to them. During the year 2016-2017, the FNQLSDI strengthened its action in this area by setting up the First Nations of Quebec-Labrador Centre of Expertise in Consultations.
Objectives and areas of focus of the Centre of Expertise are to optimize First Nations participation in government-initiated consultation processes by providing them with the information necessary for informed decision-making and by fostering networking and
engagement among First Nations. The Centre of Expertise also seek to equip First Nations and develop skills in consultation and accommodation, to promote improved government practices in consultation and accommodation and to raise awareness among project proponents and civil society on the issue.
A working group set up by the First Nations of Quebec and Labrador Sustainable Development Institute developed the First Nations of Quebec and Labrador Consultations Protocol. The document is a tool to help communities structure themselves in order to deal with the numerous consultation requests from various departments and individuals on their own ground. It also agrees with the First Nations’ will to establish consultations criteria and enforce the rights recognised by several Canada Supreme Court’s decisions with regard to the obligation to consult First Nations and provide the means so consultations be held properly and be coherent with the scope of the issue at the heart of the consultation.
- Participation and collaboration with First Nations in the new federal impact assessment system (December 3 and 4, 2019)
- Meeting of the Working Group on the Integration of Indigenous Knowledge (December 2, 2019)
- 3rd National Workshop on Consultation (March 20 and 21, 2019)
- Discussion Forums on Consultations (December 5 and 6, 2017)
- Workshop Consultations on “Territory and Natural Resources” and Modernization of the NEB (March 27 and 28, 2017)
- Workshops on the Review of federal environmental and regulatory processes (October 24 and 26, 2016)
- Workshop on Preparing First Nations to consultations processes (September 20, 2016)