National Conference – Breakout Sessions

Conference participants will choose four sessions out of a total of 20 offered in four different timeslots.
Detailed session descriptions are below.

Tuesday November 14, 1:15-2:45 PM

Choose one of the following 5 concurrent sessions:


SESSION 1A: Negotiation Processes and Ensuring Community Support

An exploration of the challenges faced by groups in negotiations, including how to prepare your community for treaty, and lessons learned from recent negotiations. Hegus (Chief) Clint Williams of the Tla’amin Nation, one of the newest modern treaties, shares his perspectives on the negotiation process and gathering community support.


SESSION 1B: Consent and Consultation

Political scientist Martin Papillon and lawyer Jessica Orkin discuss the meaning of Indigenous consent in Canada. Is it a veto or not? What does it mean for project approval and policy making? How is consultation with modern treaty partners distinct from consultation with other Indigenous rights holders or organizations across Canada, and why? What are the links between the consultation requirements in modern treaties and new federal policy initiatives underway?


SESSION 1C: Building from a Cultural Foundation

What does a deeply rooted traditional Indigenous government look like? What structures – fiscal and other – support it? Maa-nulth President Les Doiron, former Tlicho Chief Negotiator and current advisor John B. Zoe, and a soon-to-be announced speaker from Nunavut discuss how culture, language and traditional ways of life underpin modern treaty governance structures, and how modern treaties can be a tool for cultural revitalization.


SESSION 1D: Roles of Research

Huu-ay-aht Chief Robert Dennis, academic Heather Castleden, and a senior director at INACs Modern Treaties Implementation Office explore the role of research in policy development with a deep dive into a community research project on the Maa-nulth treaty.


SESSION 1E: Membership and Citizenship: The Implications of Daniels

Métis lawyer Jason Madden and Métis academic Jennifer Adese engage in a legal and critical discussion of membership and citizenship, and the implications for modern treaties of the Daniels case on the Crown’s fiduciary duty to Métis and non-status Indians.


Tuesday November 14, 3:15-4:45 PM

Choose one of the following 5 concurrent sessions:


SESSION 2A: Communicating and Understanding Modern Treaties – Responsibilities of Generations to Come

If Indigenous youth develop an understanding of treaties, they will be able to contribute to implementing and strengthening them, as well as the relationships they establish. A facilitated discussion to gather ideas about approaches, methods and tools to develop the next generation of negotiators and implementers. (Part of a project undertaken by the Gordon Foundation to promote and support young Indigenous leaders.)


SESSION 2B: The INAC Departmental Split: Implications

The Prime Minister recently split the department of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) into the department of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs and the department of Indigenous Services. Take advantage of this opportunity to learn about the implications, opportunities and challenges presented by this change.


SESSION 2C: International Relations

Public Policy forum fellow Jane Hooker speaks on New Zealand’s approach to the role of Indigenous peoples in international relations, the current context of Indigenous collaborations and councils, and “decolonizing” the field of international relations.


SESSION 2D: Data – Needs, Uses, Tools and Technologies

Academic Rodney Nelson speaks on data and information management in the modern treaty context. Whether it’s “big data,” “government asking questions,” or the need to track success of certain programs, data is a part of social programs, fiscal transfers, citizenship records and taxation. What information do we need for internal governance? What is the role of data in a nation-to-nation relationship? What data should we share with each other? This session explores existing data needs, lessons learned and best practices.


SESSION 2E: Review of Laws and Policies

The Federal government has formed a Ministers’ Working Group to Review Laws and Policies affecting Indigenous Peoples in Canada. What should the scope of that review include? What are modern treaty holders’ priority areas for change? How can the views of modern treaty holders best be included in the review process? This will be a working session, including discussion of the new Assessment of Modern Treaty Implications (AMTI) tool.


Wednesday November 15, 10:45 AM – 12:15 PM

Choose one of the following 5 concurrent sessions:


SESSION 3A: Lessons Learned from the Collaborative Fiscal Policy Development Process

In May 2016, INAC and self-governing Indigenous Governments embarked on a new and unique collaborative process to build a new federal self-government fiscal policy for consideration by the Government of Canada. Now, more than a year into the process, progress is being made and lessons have been learned about how to respectfully and productively engage in nation-to-nation joint policy development. Panelists explore the challenges encountered and lessons learned from this process that brought diverse interests together in a very different approach to policy development.


SESSION 3B: The Peel River Case: Implementation Through Litigation

What happens when a government fails in its land use planning obligations under a modern treaty? The process becomes untenable and a legal battle ensues. Lawyer Micah Clark and Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in Chief Roberta Joseph speak on the Peel River Case currently before the Supreme Court of Canada. This session addresses how and why the collaborative process failed, the implications of the pending Supreme Court decision, and lessons learned for future land use planning.


SESSION 3C: Implementing UNDRIP: Tools or Distractions?

Implementing UNDRIP is a focus of the federal government. What might this look like in the modern treaty context? How does it relate to reconciliation priorities?

Lawyer Lorraine Rand identifies linkages, challenges, and opportunities.


SESSION 3D: LCAC/SSHRC Partnership Grant

The LCAC has secured a $2.5M, five-year Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Grant. This session provides an overview of the grant’s research themes and proposed program. The principal investigator, staff, and co-leads of the research themes will review how the grant is being administered and how LCAC members can participate, including accessing researchers and funding for treaty implementation research.

Research themes include:

  • Indigenous and Settler Legal Traditions
  • Lands
  • Treaty Financing
  • Intergovernmental Relations and Multilevel Governance
  • Socioeconomic Impacts and Evaluation

This session is of interest to LCAC members, academics and other organizations who may wish to partner on treaty implementation research.


SESSION 3E: Four Federal Legislative Reviews to Watch

In order to rebuild trust and modernize Canada’s regulatory processes, the federal government is considering reforms to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, the National Energy Board, the Navigable Waters Act, and the Fisheries Act. An update on recent developments in these important legislative reviews.


Wednesday November 15, 1:15-2:45 PM

Choose one of the following 5 concurrent sessions:


SESSION 4A: Building the Next Generation of Leaders

Treaty implementation is a massive effort and an ongoing process. How do we best support, motivate and mobilize our youth to take on the challenge of nation rebuilding in the modern treaty context?


SESSION 4B: Co-management in Nunavut – Unique Challenges and Opportunities

Co-management boards are public bodies with appointed federal, provincial/territorial, and modern treaty members. While these boards do not incorporate traditional decision-making processes, they are a negotiated approach to joint decision-making. This session explores how the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement mandates joint Inuit and federal/territorial decision-making on transboundary and wildlife issues. Examples include polar bear management, beluga whale quotas and caribou.


SESSION 4C: Land Use Planning: Challenges and Opportunities

Most modern treaties include sections covering land use management and planning. This takes many different forms, but the bottom line is that you can’t do development and planning in modern treaty regions without the support of the people who live there. Director of the Yukon Land Use Planning Council Ron Cruikshank, and academic Jocelyn Joe-Strack discuss challenges and best practices related to land use planning in modern treaty regions.


SESSION 4D: Finding and Measuring Wellbeing

At their heart, modern treaties are intended to make life better for their people, but how do you know if a program is truly helping? This session examines efforts to improve wellbeing through modern treaties, sharing challenges and lessons learned, and discussing data, measurement and evaluation, and barriers and opportunities.


SESSION 4E: Consultation – Case Studies and Lessons Learned

A survey of recent court cases and real-world scenarios highlighting challenges encountered and lessons learned. Consultation and engagement are major elements of the intergovernmental relationship, and are not only legally required, but necessary to ensure that the interests of modern treaty partners, distinct from other Indigenous groups, are reflected in the design and implementation of federal initiatives. Session participants will discuss lessons learned and best practices from previous initiatives. Also, models of successful (and unsuccessful) past consultation processes will be addressed, and policy gaps and policy recommendations discussed.