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Balancing indigenous rights, energy plans – StarPhoenix

DECEMBER 16, 2013

Whether the issue is of the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline in British Columbia or shale gas extraction in New Brunswick, First Nations are asserting a more active role in resource development projects affecting their communities.

While Canadian governments have a constitutional duty to consult with affected communities in planning these projects, tensions can arise in the absence of guidelines for negotiating a balance between indigenous rights and energy development.

At the University of Saskatchewan, Dwight Newman, who holds the Canada Research Chair (CRC) in Indigenous Rights in Constitutional and International Law, and two of his students are developing criteria for what should be considered in these complex negotiations.

This includes gathering information on best practices internationally and developing categories to assess environmental impacts on traditional fishing and hunting.

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