Local government and land use engagement with First Nations : surfacing positive stories for future land use consultation successes
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Subjectconsultation; engagement; Indigenous peoples; intercultural; local government; thematic analysis
In 2004, a Supreme Court of Canada ruling established that the Crown has a duty to consult and accommodate when there is knowledge that land use proposals may impact Indigenous rights. In 2015, the Canadian federal government’s Truth and Reconciliation Committee [TRC] published a report that deviated from past practices by recommending the creation of working relationships with Indigenous peoples that recognizes the need for reconciliation, by honouring Indigenous knowledge, by displaying “intercultural understanding, and by demonstrating empathy, and mutual respect” (Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada [TRC], 2015, 63, iii). Canadian industry, provincial and federal governments recognize that authentic engagement with Indigenous peoples is required, but local governments often face difficulties in enacting effective land use negotiations. The purpose of this interpretivist, phenomenological study is to use appreciative interviewing to draw knowledge from the experiences of six participants previously involved with successes in land use consultation with local governments to identify the elements that contributed to success to answer the research question and sub-questions. A thematic analysis of their stories yields a model of “the consultation journey” that sets out factors to guide the design and protocols for future land consultations. Keywords: consultation; engagement; thematic analysis; intercultural; appreciative inquiry; Indigenous peoples; local government
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