Métis organization first to establish right to consultation

Chris Clegg
South Peace News

A northern Alberta Metis community is the first in Alberta with a credible assertion of Aboriginal harvesting rights.

On Feb. 13, Alberta Minister of Indigenous Relations Rick Wilson, recognized the consultation milestone reached by Fort McKay Metis.

“The government will require industry to consult with the Fort McKay Metis Community Association when natural resource development may adversely affect their credibly asserted Aboriginal harvesting rights and traditional use practices,” he says.

“Credible assertion is a legal test that creates clarity for industry and Indigenous communities on who needs to be consulted during proposed natural resource developments and Crown or land management decisions,” he adds.

“This kind of certainty gives communities, industry and governments a level of assurance on who to consult, leading to greater investor confidence.”

Three Metis communities are located in the High Prairie area – East Prairie, Gift Lake and Peavine but none have yet reached the same agreement.

Harvesting rights are precious to many Metis peoples’ hearts.

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