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.


  • April 18, 2023

    Bill C-92 is before the Supreme Court of Canada, where does this leave First Nations?

    MNP has partnered with MLT Aikins to summarize Bill C-92, highlight the current constitutional challenges facing legislation, and provide an overview of the practical considerations for Indigenous communities who are considering creating their own child and family services legislation.

  • Performance

    February 28, 2023

    Solving Human Resource Challenges

    First Nations face several unique human resource challenges that can be managed by taking decisive steps and getting external help.

  • Progress

    January 04, 2023

    How urban Reserves support local business and municipal economies

    Explore the concept of Indigenous urban Reserves — what they are, why they exist, and how they impact the local municipality and economic scene.

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.