Navigating Complex Planning Processes: The Experiences of Two Aboriginal Governments with Large Mineral Development Proposals in their Traditional Territories

Kenny, Caitlin
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University of Guelph

In the Canadian north, the impacts of large resource developments are disproportionately experienced by Aboriginal communities. Managing a project’s negative impacts and ensuring capture of its benefits by Aboriginal communities is important to their continued well-being. Environmental Assessment (EA), Impact and Benefit Agreements (IBAs), government-to-government (G2G) agreements, litigation, and modern land claims are planning processes through which impacts can be mitigated and benefits can be distributed. There is a need for increased knowledge surrounding how these complex processes are being navigated by Aboriginal communities, and to what end. This research investigates the experiences of the Taku River Tlingit First Nation and the Nunatsiavut Government with proposed mineral development. Through a mixed methods approach, records of each government’s experience were developed to identify how planning processes were navigated, conceptual maps were developed to highlight how the processes interacted, and factors that seemingly influenced the effective navigation of these processes were analysed.

Aboriginal communities, Canadian north, Resource developments, Environmental Assessment, Land claims