WINNIPEG — The province of Manitoba is developing a new mineral development protocol with First Nation communities.
Manitoba premier Brian Pallister announced on July 31 that the process will be co-chaired by Chief Ron Evans of Norway House First Nation and former deputy premier Jim Downey, and is intended to engage First Nation communities interested in participating in immediate or potential mineral development.
The protocol will define the parameters of consultation during the grassroots exploration, mechanized disturbance, advanced exploration and mine development phases of a given project, explains a release.
The new approach will allow greater certainty for mining companies interested in development, as different phases have different impacts on aboriginal and treaty rights, Evans said, as well as identifying possible adverse effects on those rights.
"Working in partnership with First Nation communities to develop this protocol will enable us to establish a clear pathway forward on mineral development with a stable and predictable consultation process that will ensure Manitoba is informed of, and addresses, potential adverse effects to the exercise of aboriginal and treaty rights," Pallister said in a statement.
Indigenous and Municipal Relations Minister Eilleen Clarke said First Nation communities have expressed interest in participation in resource development, but have faced barriers that could be addressed by building relationships and strengthening communication with government and industry.