The politics of consent: Impact assessment and impact and benefit agreements in the context of Canada land claims settlement

Theme 5. Other
Session Name 5.1 Current research on extractive industries and the sustainability in the Arctic
Presentation Type Oral
Author(s) Thierry Rodon (Université Laval, Canada)
Abstract text

Indigenous peoples have gained considerable agency in shaping decisions regarding resource development on their traditional lands. This growing agency is reflected in the emergence of the right to free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) when Indigenous peoples and their traditional lands may be adversely affected by major resource development projects. While many governments remain ambivalent towards FPIC, corporate actors in the natural resource sectors are more proactive at engaging with Indigenous peoples in seeking their consent to resource extraction projects through negotiated Impact and Benefit Agreements. Focussing on the Canadian northern land claims context, this paper discusses the roots and implications of a proponent-driven model for seeking Indigenous consent to natural resource extraction on their traditional lands. Building on case studies, the paper argues negotiated consent through IBAs offers a truncated version of FPIC from the perspective of the communities involved. The deliberative ethic at the core of FPIC is often undermined in the negotiation process associated with proponent-led IBAs.

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