The Government of Manitoba recognizes it has a duty to consult in a meaningful way with First Nations, Métis communities and other Aboriginal communities when any proposed provincial law, regulation, decision or action may infringe upon or adversely affect the exercise of an aboriginal right or treaty right of that Aboriginal community. This duty arises out of the recognition and affirmation of aboriginal and treaty rights under section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982.
Manitoba Innovation, Energy and Mines (the Department, now Manitoba Mineral Resources) has developed procedures for consultation with First Nations, Métis communities and other Aboriginal communities which outline the approach that the Mineral Resources Division of the Department will use to carry out the Crown’s duty to consult about mineral exploration or mine development projects.
The objectives of these procedures are to:
Manitoba also views the consultation process reflected in these consultation procedures as helping to build positive relationships between the Government of Manitoba, Aboriginal communities and the minerals industry on issues related to mineral exploration and development.
An effective consultation process will allow the Crown to make informed decisions about any potential effects on the exercise of treaty and Aboriginal rights without unduly delaying or discouraging investment in Manitoba’s mineral resources resulting in mineral exploration and development activities, which benefit of all Manitobans, including Aboriginal people who live and work near areas of mineral exploration and mine development.
The Government of Manitoba’s draft Provincial Policy for Crown Consultation with Aboriginal Peoples dated July 10, 2007 reflects the framework through which the Government is meeting its consultation responsibilities. These procedures will be used by the Mineral Resources Division to carry out consultation about mineral exploration or mine development projects. These procedures are expected to be reviewed and revised from time to time to reflect updates to the Provincial Consultation Policy and the Government’s experience in carrying out consultation.