National Conference – Breakout Sessions

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


SESSION 1A: Negotiation Processes and Ensuring Community Support

An exploration of the negotiation process and key milestones along the way, including preparing your community for treaty and lessons learned from recent negotiations. . John Jack of the Maa-nulth TreatyDillon Johnson from Tla’amin and and Bob Potts of the Algonquins of Ontario share perspectives.


SESSION 1B: Consent and Consultation

Political scientist Martin Papillon, lawyer Jessica Orkin, and Alan MacDonald, Director General of Implementation Branch at Indigenous Affairs, 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 – legal, fiscal and other – support it? President Les Doiron, Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ Government (Ucluelet First Nation) and Ed Schultz, Deputy Chief of Little Salmon Carmacks First Nation and lawyer Peter Hutchins 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 Head Chief (Tayii Ḥaw̓ił) Derek Peters, academic Heather Castleden, Mark Smith from the BC Treaty Commission and Julie Mugford, 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

Join lawyers Jason Madden and Alan Pratt, Alastair Campbell of Nunavut Tunngavik Inc, for a discussion of membership and citizenship, including implications of the recent Daniels case, moderated by Matt Mehaffey.


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


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. Join deputy ministers Jean-Francois Tremblay and Hélène Laurendeau, political scientist Veldon Coburn and consultant Kirk Cameron in conversation.


SESSION 2C: International Relations

With a critically questioning look at  Indigenous participation in state-level international relations (NAFTA, the New Zealand context), the role of international civil society in supporting international indigenous rights, and the many forms of Indigenous inter-national relationships, join Vuntut Gwitchin lawyer Kris Statnyk, Public Policy Forum fellow Jane Hooker, Amnesty International’s Craig Benjamin, and Risa Schwartz of Risa Schwartz International Law, in what’s sure to be a fascinating discussion on this theme.


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

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. Bob Simpson and Mitchell White speak on data and information management in the modern treaty context.  Rodney Nelson and Mélanie Robert from the Treasury Board’s Open Government project speak on innovations in data for governance.


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. Join Bruno Steinke, Director of Operations at the Review of Laws and Policies Related to Indigenous People,  Jessica Torrance with the Modern Treaty Implementation Office, and Jim Aldridge with Nisga’a Lisims Government.


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


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, Gwich’in Tribal Council legal counsel David Wright, 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. Building on yesterday’s discussion of Consent and Consultation, this panel will also ask, What are the often-overlooked aspects of UNDRIP? What does this mean for the modern treaty context?  Lawyer Lorraine Land, Amnesty International’s Craig Benjamin, Diana Kwan, Senior Counsel at Justice Canada, and academic Brenda Gunn identify linkages, challenges, and opportunities.


SESSION 3D: $2.5 M Modern Treaty Research Grant: Priorities

The LCAC has secured a $2.5M, five-year research 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. This session provides an update on recent developments in these important legislative reviews.


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


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? Hear from Kluane Adamek, Founder of Our Voices, Karen Restoule, Fellow at the Public Policy Forum, Sashia Leung, Associate Director of the B.C. Treaty Commission,  Dustin Joanas, Student at Nunavut Sivuniksavut, and Sahar Golshan and Diane Hill with Canadian Roots Exchange.


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. Join Jason Akearok, Executive Director of the Nunavut Wildlife Management Board, Ryan Barry, Executive Director of the Nunavut Impact Review Board and Jovan Simic, Manager for Qausuittuq National Park, in an discussion of what’s happening in Nunavut, and what can be learned from their experiences.


SESSION 4C: Land Use Planning: Challenges and Opportunities

Land use planning in modern treaties takes many forms, but the bottom line is that development and planning in modern treaty regions require the support of the people who live there.

This panel tackles land use planning challenges and best practices with a range of northern perspectives: Ron Cruikshank, Director of the Yukon Land Use Planning Council, Hannah Uniuqsaraq, Director of Policy and Planning Division for Nunavut Tunngavik Inc, and Paul Pachand on the Tlicho Land Use Plan.


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. Thierry Rodon, Professor at Laval University, Shuvinai Mike, Director of Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit, Department of Culture and Heritage, Nunavut Government, and Audrey Giles, Professor at University of Ottawa explore wellbeing from different perspectives.


SESSION 4E: Consultation – Case Studies 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. Lawyers Jeff Langlois, Nuri Frame and Micah Clark, and Georgina Lloyd with the Consultation and Accommodation Unit, INAC, discuss lessons learned and best practices from previous initiatives. Also, models of successful (and unsuccessful) past consultation processes will be addressed.

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