Recent Supreme Court rulings have fundamentally changed the development process for many industries in Canada. The courts have found that First Nations, Métis, and Inuit communities must be consulted where their rights may be impacted. There continues to be an ongoing discussion and debate about the “Duty to Consult and Accommodate” in legal circles as well as in business. As the Supreme Court rules on various cases, the rules change, which can be frustrating for businesses struggling to keep up with the changes.
McLeod Wood Associates Inc. believes that developing a long-term positive relationship with an impacted First Nations or Métis community is a better outcome than merely complying with legislation to get a permit. Developing a positive relationship with First Nations and Métis will open up many new opportunities, and can make the formal consultation process significantly easier. We can help your business get from the first introductory handshake to a mutually beneficial long-term relationship.
McLeod Wood Associates Inc. has often acted as a bridge between First Nations and businesses, as we are uniquely positioned to understand and explain both perspectives to each other. Our firm can help you to understand your role as a Project Proponent, what steps you can take to help fulfill this duty, and how to go beyond simply fulfilling a requirement to building a strong and lasting, mutually beneficial relationship into the future.
MWA Inc. is able to provide a variety of community engagement solutions to businesses seeking to navigate the complex “Duty To Consult and Accommodate” process:
- Identification of impacted communities
- Consultation support
- Assistance with community visits
- Research support
- Government relations support
- Community workshops and education
McLeod Wood Associates Inc. has provided First Nations Awareness Training to business and government clients, providing a historical perspective and introduction to the aboriginal culture, while also demonstrating the significance and impact of recent court rulings. MWA Inc. can also assist clients in making initial contact with First Nations communities through its own extensive list of contacts and can accompany businesses on their first meetings to ensure that a positive relationship is developed.