Community Update: Sipekne’katik External Consultation Process

Community Update
Sipekne’katik External Consultation Process

To: Sipekne’katik Band Members
From: Consultation Team
Re: Sipekne’katik External Consultation Process

This document is a summary of the Sipekne’katik Consultation Protocol. It focuses on the external consultation process between Sipekne’katik and the Crown (Government) when consultation is required. The intent of this document is to inform Sipekne’katik Band Members on the important aspects of the proposed process and seek comments on it.

The Sipekne’katik Consultation Process document was drafted in the Fall/Winter of 2016 after community engagement sessions were held. These sessions gathered information which was used by the consultants to draft the Sipekne’katik Consultation Protocol. Since this time, the Consultation Team has been studying this document and working internally to ensure our processes line up and keep consistent.

Since time immemorial, the Mi’kmaw have lived in highly organized societies in the traditional territory of Mi’kma’ki. Mi’kma’ki included all of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, portions of Quebec, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Maine in the United States. Mi’kma’ki has been, at times, exclusively governed, used and occupied by the Mi’kmaw.

Colonial governance since the 17th century has disregarded enforceable Treaties and operated in the interest of non-Mi’kmaw. This has impacted the sophisticated and complex Mi’kmaw governance over the entire territory and has resulted in the Nation struggling to govern effectively and efficiently.

The Mi’kmaw have continuously used and occupied the land regardless of the impact of colonialism. The Mi’kmaw belong to the land and therefore the wellbeing of the Mi’kmaw depends on the wellbeing of Mi’kma’ki.

The Sipekne’katik Mi’kmaw Nation strives to maintains close relations with neighboring Mi’kmaw and non-Mi’kmaw communities. Collaboration and relationships between all Mi’kmaw people is necessary when issues of shared interests are discussed including developing and maintaining positive relationships with the Crown and neighboring Mi’kmaw and non-Mi’kmaw communities.

The Duty to Consult
The Crown (Government) has a duty to consult when constitutionally protected rights and title have the potential to be impacted by their decisions (like policy change and project approvals). Constitutionally protected rights and title are protected in Section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982.

Consultation Team Contact Information:

Michael Cox Jennifer Copage
email: email:
phone: 902.758.4598
James Michael

If you are interested in reading the full Sipekne’katik External Consultation Protocol, please contact us.

Sipekne’katik External Consultation Process Summary

Phase I: Consultation Initiation
When a project or action is known or considered, Sipekne’katik will be informed of the potential proposed project or action prior to any assessment on the required consultation spectrum breadth and depth.

Sipekne’katik will be provided with the following information:

A. A detailed project description with all project elements;
B. Detailed mapping of the location showing the proposed boundaries of the proposed project site (if applicable), the land tenure of the proposed project site, water features located on the proposed project site, locations of heritage resources, significant land features, species at risk, current use of the area and any other relevant details to the consultation;
C. Proponent and Crown information.

Phase II: Initiation Response
Within 30 business days of the receipt of all information required for consultation initiation, Sipekne’katik will respond and provide an initial assessment of the proposed project or action including:

A. A preliminary issues assessment that identifies what is required to be assessed;
B. An evaluation of the depth of the consultation spectrum required by Sipekne’katik, including a rationale;
C. Propose the next steps (ex. Face-to-face meeting).

Phase III: Consultation Plan Development/finalization
Within 30 business days, the Proponent or Crown will respond acknowledging receipt of the correspondence and identifying next steps (ex. Proposing a date for a face-to-face meeting). After, a consultation plan will be developed by all parties to the consultation that describes the goal(s) of the consultation, the timelines and milestones for action, the roles and responsibilities of all parties and other information related to the consultation.

The consultation plan will function as the governing document to the consultation. As such, a draft consultation plan will be jointly developed and it will be provided to the principles of each party to the consultation for approval and sign-off.

Phase IV: Consultation Plan Implementation
Once approved, the consultation plan will be implemented. This phase of the process correlates with the current start of Crown consultation processes.

Phase V: Consultation Plan Implementation Conclusions
Once the consultation plan is fully implemented the results of the process will be communicated to the principles for each party to the consultation. This will include what was done, how it was done, the gaps or unattainable results and any other information related to achieving the stated consultation goal(s).

Each party will get direction on the next steps, identify lessons learned from the process and identify project related opportunities for Sipekne’katik.

Phase VI: Follow-up Programs and Benefits
The parties to the consultation will identify any follow-up to the consultation that is required. This includes any project related monitoring and follow-up programs or conditions that are required to be completed.

There may also be a need/opportunity to develop an agreement between the Proponent and Sipekne’katik. While this will be done in the absence of the Crown, relevant aspect of the agreement will be shared in the event they are considered to be accommodations to any infringements to rights.

Phase VII: Results, Next Steps, Sign Off
The results of the consultation will be provided to the principles (file lead) of each party to the consultation:
A. If satisfied, the principles will sign-off on the consultation;
B. If not satisfied, the principles will identify next steps.