The government of Canada is actively engaging Métis in Consultations related to projects under Federal control. This includes Federal Agency projects (like Species at Risk) and private industry projects that require a Federal Permit to proceed. Canada consults with MNBC because they accept MNBC assertions of Métis Rights and Traditional Land Uses in British Columbia made on behalf of our citizens.
The Province of British Columbia continues to ignore MNBC assertions and have not engaged in consultations with MNBC. This is a reflection of BC's position that BC Métis have not proven Rights in Court. This is an obvious contradiction to the directions of the Supreme Court of Canada in the Haida /Taku decision. In Haida/Taku the SCC stated that "The obligation to consult does not arise only upon proof of an Aboriginal claim ... [it] arises when a Crown actor has knowledge of the potential existence of Aboriginal rights and title and contemplates conduct that might adversely affect them", and also says "so the trust-like relationship and its concomitant fiduciary duty permeates the whole relationship between the Crown, in both of its sovereignties, federal and provincial, on the one hand, and the aboriginal peoples on the other. One manifestation of the fiduciary duty of the Crown to the aboriginal peoples is that it grounds a general guiding principle for s. 35 (1) of the Constitution Act, 1982".
It seems clear that the Province of BC should be consulting with the MNBC as the representative of Métis in BC. It appears that the Province would prefer to risk the potential of a Métis court challenge of a Provincial decision where we were not consulted.
The MNBC Ministry of Natural Resources will continue to provide written notification of asserted Métis Rights and Traditional Land Uses to the Province of BC for all projects which we become aware of. In cases where any potential exists for a BC government decision to impact Métis, the Ministry will inform government that a potential impact exists, that MNBC has not been consulted and that if government proceeds, MNBC will look for redress in the courts at the appropriate time. It seems clear that Métis Rights will continue to be defined in future court cases. Once Métis Rights are affirmed in British Columbia, MNBC will be in a position to take the Province to task over their refusal to consult.
The MNBC Natural Resource Act became MNBC Legislation on September 27, 2008.
BCMANR definition of Métis Traditional Knowledge
Métis Traditional Knowledge is that body of information, values, beliefs and practices passed from one generation to another by oral means or through land-based experience that pertains to the identity, culture and heritage of the Métis people and their respect for the land and its resources.
The following chart is a summary schematic of the entire consultation process. It consists of seven distinct and detailed phases which ensures an effective and meaningful consultation.