Nishnawbe Aski Nation

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Requirement for Free, Prior and Informed Consent in NAN

Eight months prior to Canada’s endorsement of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the NAN Chiefs-in-Assembly passed a resolution (10/23) which set out the requirement for free, prior and informed consent (“FPIC”) in the territory, the following is an excerpt:

“Proposed private development or Canadian government policy that affects any part of the NAN territory cannot proceed without the FPIC of the affected NAN First Nation or First Nations.”

As a result of this resolution, the obligation to obtain FPIC from First Nations has become the minimum standard in order for stakeholders/companies to earn and maintain their social licence to operate (“SLTO”) in the NAN territory. For those requiring more information on the SLTO, go to this report: Implementing a Corporate Free, Prior and Informed Consent Policy: Benefits and Challenges developed by Foley Hoag LLP as part of their corporate responsibility research.

NAN will continue to play a role in advocating the requirement for FPIC which is becoming a common position asserted by indigenous peoples in Canada and throughout the world. We will also be continuing to help everyone understand that gaining the FPIC of First Nations is less than the cost of losing a company’s SLTO.