OTTAWA (ON), September 26, 2022 /CNW/ – Indigenous peoples have a deep connection to the land and resources. When we systematically incorporate their unique knowledge of these lands and resources into the impact assessment process, we can better understand and address the potential impacts of projects.

Today, the Honorable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada, announced the release of the Indigenous Knowledge Policy Framework for Project Reviews and Regulatory Decisions (the Framework) which was developed in partnership with indigenous peoples.

This important framework will inform the respectful, consistent and meaningful inclusion and protection of Indigenous knowledge in project reviews and regulatory decisions under the Impact Assessment Act; the Canadian Navigable Waters Act; the Canadian Energy Regulator Act; and provisions for the protection of fish and fish habitat Fisheries Act.

The framework provides a foundation for stronger relationships between the government of Canada and indigenous peoples based on respect for different worldviews and sources of knowledge. This will better integrate Indigenous knowledge into the impact assessment process to improve project design, strengthen mitigation and adaptation measures, and make sound regulatory decisions for sustainable resource development.

Recognizing the importance of Indigenous knowledge systems and planning for their respectful inclusion in assessments of major projects such as dams, mines and liquefied natural gas facilities is one more step in the government’s efforts to strengthen partnership with Indigenous Peoples. indigenous. This is a concrete example of how the impact assessment agency of Canada implements the goals of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

The framework is the first step in developing guidance specific to Indigenous knowledge in impact assessment, including on best practices for considering Indigenous knowledge in project submissions and establishing procedures for privacy.

The Impact Assessment Agency of Canada thanks the 79 Indigenous communities and organizations across the country, as well as the Agency’s Indigenous Advisory Committee, for their invaluable collaboration and guidance in developing this framework.


“Indigenous knowledge has made and continues to make valuable contributions to environmental, regulatory and other processes across the country. Today’s announcement is an important step forward for the Government of from Canada commitment to fostering reconciliation and partnership with Indigenous peoples by aligning regulators and federal decision-makers on how to respectfully and meaningfully include Indigenous knowledge in project reviews and regulatory decisions.

— The Honorable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada

Fast facts

  • “Indigenous knowledge” is a collection of complex knowledge systems based on the worldviews of Indigenous peoples. It reflects the unique cultures, languages, governance systems and histories of the indigenous peoples of a particular place. It is dynamic, evolves over time, builds on the experiences of previous generations and adapts to current conditions. First Nations, Inuit and Métis each have a distinct way of describing their knowledge. Knowledge holders are the only people who can truly define indigenous knowledge for their communities.

  • The framework will guide how the impact assessment agency of CanadaTransport Canada, the Canada Energy Regulator, and Fisheries and Oceans Canada implement Indigenous Knowledge provisions in the following statutes:

  • In 2019, twenty-five engagement sessions with Indigenous organizations were held across the country to seek feedback on what could be included in the framework. Fifty-five responses to a discussion paper on the framework were also received from Aboriginal organizations, government agencies and industry associations.

  • In 2021, seventy-nine Indigenous communities and organizations provided written responses on the draft framework. Advice was also received from the Indigenous Advisory Committee of the Impact Assessment Agency and the Assembly of First Nations.

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Related links

Indigenous knowledge policy framework for project reviews and regulatory decisions –

The framework is available in the following Indigenous languages. Additional translations may be available upon request.

Implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples –

Follow us on twitter: @IAAC_AEIC #IndigenousKnowledge

SOURCE Impact Assessment Agency of Canada


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