Indigenous Rights Studies

Having comprehensive information as to how, where and when Section 35 rights can or cannot be practiced is critical for the protection of those rights.

MNP uses terms such as Indigenous rights studies (IRS) or Indigenous and treaty rights studies (ITRS) to replace the use of traditional land use studies (TLUS).

We have adopted this terminology to illustrate that “traditional uses” of land and water by Indigenous peoples are not separate from the exercise of their treaty and Indigenous rights. Section 35 of Canada’s Constitution does not make this distinction, but rather protects Indigenous peoples’ activities and places including and not limited to, hunting, fishing, trapping, gathering, sacred and ceremonial activities, transfer sites, feasting, teaching and storied places.

The right to hunt, fish and trap remains inextricably bound to the ability to be, live and learn on the land.

Further we challenge static notions of the term “traditional” which imply such activities are part of a bygone past. We maintain, and can demonstrate, treaty rights and Indigenous rights are contemporary activities that, while rooted in historic practices and worldviews, are nonetheless part of vibrant and continuous Indigenous people’s cultures and ways of life.

When used within an environmental assessment, Indigenous rights studies play a critical role in identifying adverse impacts to Indigenous and treaty rights.

MNP strives to find tailor-made solutions for collecting and documenting Indigenous rights study information. MNP will ensure confidentiality measures to protect representation of Indigenous rights study information, supported through enhanced data management security.


  • Progress

    March 06, 2024

    How Indigenous communities can achieve equity ownership in major energy projects

    What steps should Indigenous communities take to successfully navigate the complex transaction process with energy companies?

  • January 16, 2024

    The challenges of capital project management within Indigenous community settings

    Delivering capital projects within First Nation and Indigenous communities presents unique aspects that require a tailored approach.

  • December 04, 2023

    Considerations for reporting Asset Requirement Obligations by First Nations communities

    An asset retirement obligation (ARO) is the expected costs associated with the retirement of a tangible capital asset.

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.