Aboriginal and Northern Affairs Minister Eric Robinson and Fisher River Cree Nation Chief David Crate signed an historic agreement between the Manitoba government and the Fisher River Cree Nation that will guide future development by ensuring meaningful consultation on any proposed use of Crown land or resources within Fisher River’s traditional territory.
“We recognize and thank Chief David Crate and the Fisher River Cree Nation leadership for their thorough and thoughtful approach to working with us to develop mutually beneficial consultation processes,” said Robinson. “This agreement improves on the existing process and could serve as a model for agreements with other First Nations in Manitoba.”
“I am honoured to formalize the important relationship we have shared with the Government of Manitoba for many years,” said Crate. “This protocol will further the process of reconciliation and understanding between the Crown, as represented by Manitoba and our community.”
The agreement is reflective of current case law and sets out a clear process whereby any proposed provincial law, regulation, decision or action within Fisher River Cree Nation’s traditional territory is reviewed by its chief and council. Consistent with Manitoba’s approach to Crown‑Aboriginal consultations, the agreement also includes provisions for establishing a formal consultation plan in cases where the proposed decision or action may infringe upon or adversely affect the exercise of a treaty or Aboriginal right of the Fisher River Cree Nation membership.
The agreement also refines and expands the current single-project consultation approach. The new protocol will bring clarity and consistency to Crown-Aboriginal consultation processes for Fisher River Cree Nation in its participation in multiple-project consultation processes. The value of traditional land use is also recognized in the agreement along with a commitment to work together by entering into discussions to provide assistance with respect of Fisher River conducting a traditional land use and occupancy study, and mapping initiative.
“Working together we can create more economic opportunity and prosperity for First Nations families,” said Robinson.