Indigenous Rights, Consultation and Consent

The Duty to Consult

The duty on States to consult with indigenous peoples in decisions affecting them is aimed at reversing the historical pattern of exclusion from decision-making, in order to avoid the future imposition of important decisions on indigenous peoples, and to allow them to flourish as distinct communities on lands to which their cultures remain attached.

– James Anaya, UN Special Rapporteur on Indigenous Peoples (2009)97

In Canada, “the government’s duty to consult with Aboriginal peoples and accommodate their interests is grounded in the honour of the Crown.”98 This means that provincial and federal governments (the Crown) must act honourably in all their dealings with Aboriginal peoples. Part of the honour of the Crown is the duty to consult Aboriginal peoples and to address their concerns in decision-making processes.99





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