Consultation Overview

There are usually three parties involved in a duty to consult process: the industry proponent proposing a project; a public regulatory authority considering a project approval and Indigenous nation(s) with Section 35 rights potentially affected by the project. Project proponents are typically delegated procedural aspects of the duty to consult from the Crown.

Nearly every square inch of Canada is subject to Section 35 rights, oftentimes with multiple Indigenous nations having overlapping Section 35 rights in the same area. Virtually every natural resource development project in Canada can involve the duty to consult, often requiring project proponents to consult with multiple Indigenous nations.

For Indigenous Nations

Indigenous and treaty rights are constitutionally protected. That means Indigenous consultation is triggered when a natural resource development project is proposed within your traditional territory and it has the potential to adversely affect your Section 35 rights. The Crown must consult your nation on the potential adverse impacts from that project.

MNP can:

  • Conduct a project-specific Indigenous Rights Study for use in environmental assessments
  • Assist with proponent discussions
  • Review completed environmental assessment reports and applications on your behalf

For Natural Resource Developers

Good Indigenous consultation manages legal risk. Although the duty of Indigenous consultation rests with the Crown, the Crown may delegate procedural aspects of consultation to your company. Knowing how to develop and implement a successful Indigenous consultation program is key to managing legal risk to your proposed project.

MNP can:

  • Provide internal Indigenous consultation training
  • Support an existing Indigenous consultation program
  • Develop and implement Indigenous consultation strategies for upcoming projects

For Regulatory Authorities

Good Indigenous consultation upholds the honour of the Crown. Ensuring that meaningful Indigenous consultation occurs in the context of regulatory decisions can both improve Crown decision making and manage risk that may result from a lack of Indigenous consultation.

MNP can:

  • Manage and support Crown Indigenous consultation process
  • Manage record of communication tracking
  • Provide internal Indigenous consultation training


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Contact our Indigenous Services Team

Clayton Norris CPA,CMA, CAFM, MBA

Vice President, Indigenous Services

Clayton Norris, CAFM, MBA, CPA, CMA, is the Vice-President of Indigenous Services and National Leader for Indigenous Audit Services for MNP. He has been the team leader for a variety of management and financial advisory projects with Indigenous Nations, businesses and individuals.

Clayton has extensive experience in advisory services working with Indigenous communities providing accounting, tax and consulting services. With nearly 300 members, Clayton’s team has become one of the largest in North America serving First Nation, Métis and Inuit communities and businesses.

Clayton is on the Board of Directors at MNP and is on the Board of the Alberta Heart and Stroke Foundation.