MANDATE AND MISSION

  1. To preserve and protect O'Chiese First Nation Inherent and Treaty Rights inthe Treaty 6 territory and other treaty territories.
    • Hunting
    • Fishing
    • Trapping
    • Gathering plants, berries and medicines
    • Ceremonial grounds and cultural practices
  2. To ensure that the Government of Alberta and Government of Canada consult with O'Chiese First Nation.
  3. Work and liaise with industry and other (municipal governments) who have projects that may affect O'Chiese Inherent and Treaty Rights.

GOALS AND OBJECTIVES

  • Work and liaise with industry and other (municipal governments) who have projects that may affect O'Chiese Inherent and Treaty Rights.
  • Work with Chief and Council on various external legislative initiatives to ensure that our interests and concerns are heard by the Government of Alberta and the Government of Canada.
  • Coordinate Traditional Land Use Studies (TLUS) for the purposes of protecting O'Chiese Inherent and Treaty Rights.
  • Document all files for all industry projects and document all TLUS sites and GIS coordinates of TLUS sites and industry projects.
  • Liaise with O'Chiese Business Centre on procurement opportunities that are available fromwork that is taking place in our traditional territory.

Andrew Scott
CONSULTATION OFFICER
Email: andrew.scott@ochiesebc.ca
Box 2127 RMH, Alberta, Canada
T4T 1P2

Who is the Consultation Office?

Under the direction of Andrew Scott, the Consultation Office team’s goal is to make sure O’Chiese First Nation Inherent and Treaty rights are protected. The Consultation Office is doing this by focusing on identifying cumulative effects to O’Chiese First Nation territory and all of Treaty 6. The Consultation Office is also making sure that the Nation is being consulted by the government when there is a new project that may impact rights.

What are Cumulative Effects?

Cumulative Effects are all the combined effects of development and human activities within a focused area. For O’Chiese First Nation, the focus area is the consultation boundary created by the Government of Alberta.

Treaty 6 stated that lands could be “taken up” for industry, mining, and settlement but guaranteed O’Chiese First Nation the continuation of the way of life that we have always lived. However, the government has now taken up too much land and O’Chiese First Nation are unable to practice Inherent and Treaty rights as promised under Treaty 6. The Consultation Office completed a study that shows lands “taken up” in 2016. These areas are shown in red on the map below.

What is the Consultation Office doing about Cumulative Effects?

O’Chiese First Nation knows that there has been an unacceptable level of development activities (oil and gas, agriculture, forestry, mining) going on with O’Chiese First Nation’s territory and Treaty 6. The Consultation Office is making sure that all impacts from individual projects are added up together to show the overall large impact that continuous development of the land has for O’Chiese First Nation.

For example. there have been recent proposed changes to the Coal Policy and to the Trails Act in Alberta that have been brought to the Consultation Office’s attention. Each project individually might not directly have a large impact on Inherent and Treaty rights, but when these changes are looked at in relation to all other government policies, new proposed developments, and lands “taken up” that O’Chiese is currently dealing with, the impacts are extremely large and unacceptable. It is the goal of the Consultation Office to take these findings into all consultation meetings with the government, to show how large the cumulative effects are to O’Chiese First Nation.

The Consultation Office is excited about a court decision that was recently decided in British Columbia (known as The Blueberry River case), that finally recognized the impact of cumulative effects and stated that these impacts were an infringement to Treaty rights. The Consultation Office is hopeful that this decision, combined with the cumulative effects work currently being done, will allow the Nation to have a similar outcome of recognition of infringement on Inherent and Treaty rights in the future.