Should Parliament Consult with First Nations when Drafting Legislation that Impacts Them?

Our answer: Of course.

The Mikisew Cree First Nation took their case to the Supreme Court of Canada this month, arguing that they have a right to be at the table for legislation relevant to their treaty rights, particularly environmental assessment, fisheries and navigable waters protection.

If successful, this precedent would forever change the way that Canadian governments consult First Nations. The reconciliation process hinges on respect for the sovereignty of First Nations, and legislating national policies absent First Nations leadership is a denial of that sovereignty.

As we continue to ask Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to keep the promise to make our environmental assessment process credible again, this court case reminds us that environmental assessments have never been adequate in terms of Reconciliation with Canada’s Indigenous Peoples.