The proposed Michel Coal Project : exploring ideal impact assessment relationships through an appreciative inquiry lens in an evolving reconciliation landscape
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In collaboration with a local Métis chartered community in British Columbia (BC), I used an appreciative inquiry lens to explore ideal impact assessment relationships within an evolving Indigenous capacity and reconciliation landscape. While Indigenous consultation and engagement change continues at legal, policy, and impact assessment process levels, the ultimate responsibility for setting and maintaining consultation relationships rests with individual impact practitioners. I interviewed a subset of impact assessment practitioners involved in a proposed BC coal mine to identify and describe the ideal impact assessment consultation relationship. Overall, participants described the ideal consultation relationship as proactive and long-term focused, one that facilitates ethical action, and one where government and industry practitioners respect and incorporate Indigenous self-determination. I provided ideal consultation relationship recommendations for impact assessment practitioners working within an evolving reconciliation landscape; Elk Valley Métis Nation; local BC Métis chartered communities and Métis Nation BC; and the broader impact assessment sector.