(April 6, 2016) – The Alberta government is taking action to ensure Metis Settlements have a greater say in land management decisions that may impact them.
Indigenous Relations Minister Richard Feehan has announced the implementation of a consultation policy that will provide a clear direction for consulting with Settlement communities.
With a policy in place, Alberta will have a consistent process for Metis Settlement consultation. This will create greater certainty for resource development projects, and management of Crown land as well as resources with Metis Settlements’ harvesting or traditional use activities.
“Establishing a consultation policy for Metis Settlements is an important step towards a stronger, more collaborative relationship between our government and Indigenous people,” stated Richard Feehan, Alberta Minister of Indigenous Relations. “The development of this policy also aligns with our commitment to implement the objectives and principles of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.”
The Government of Alberta’s Policy on Consultation with Metis Settlements on Land and Natural Resource Management was a co-operative process between the Alberta government, the Metis Settlement General Council, the eight Metis Settlements of Alberta, and industry.
“Our communities not only benefit from having open communication and consultation with industry, Alberta does,” noted Randy Hardy, President of Metis Settlement General Council.
“Full economic participation for the Settlements in the Alberta economy leads to more jobs, more development, and ultimately, more prosperity for all.”
The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) welcomed the announcement.
“CAPP welcomes the efforts to clarify the consultation process with Metis Settlements and encourages the ongoing dialogue between the government and Metis Settlements across Alberta.” Stated Brian McGuigan, Manager of CAPP’s Aboriginal Policy.
Alberta’s Metis Settlement consultation policy was developed in collaboration with Metis Settlements, which enabled them to provide meaningful input into the design of the policy and into government decision-making processes concerning resource development and land management.
The Metis Settlements consultation policy came into effect on April 4.
Alberta is the only province in Canada with a recognized Metis land base entrenched in provincial statute. Approximately 5,000 people live on the eight Metis Settlements, which cover a land base of 505,857 hectares.