Roundtable Forum Also to be Held This Spring
Manitoba will invest $5 million over five years in a new Crown-Aboriginal Consultation Participation Fund and co-host a roundtable discussion with the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs on consultation and accommodation, Aboriginal and Northern Affairs Minister Eric Robinson announced today.
“I am pleased to announce the establishment of the Consultation Participation Fund to support the participation of First Nations, Métis and other Aboriginal communities in Manitoba’s Section 35 consultations,” said Robinson. “Our government remains committed to honouring our duty to consult with Aboriginal communities on provincial decisions or actions that may affect their Aboriginal and treaty rights. This fund will help these communities to effectively participate in our consultation efforts.”
The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled, under Section 35 of the Constitution Act, the Crown has a legal duty to consult with Aboriginal peoples about any action or decision that might affect Aboriginal or treaty rights.
In order to access funding support from the Consultation Participation Fund, Aboriginal communities are encouraged to work with provincial departments in developing joint consultation plans and budgets that require Section 35 consultations.
Departments will make applications to the fund to cover an Aboriginal community’s costs under these joint consultation plans. The fund is being managed and administered by the Manitoba government.
“In addition to the creation of this fund, the province and the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs will co-host a roundtable discussion on consultation and accommodation this spring,” said Robinson.
“This will provide a forum for meaningful government-to-government dialogue between First Nations and Manitoba on Section 35 consultations.”
Robinson said, based on the recognition and affirmation of Aboriginal and treaty rights under Section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982, Manitoba recognizes it has a legal duty to consult in a meaningful way with Aboriginal communities when any proposed provincial law, decision or action may adversely affect the exercise of an Aboriginal right or treaty right of that Aboriginal community.
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