Copies of the Consultation Protocol and the Minago Project Environmental Impact Statement Review by the Centre for Indigenous Environmental Resources are available upon request to members only.

Consultation Process

The Minago Project Consultation Protocol was signed by NHCN and Manitoba on March 25, 2011 and will guide the conduct of consultations between them related to the mine development activities comprising the Minago Project. The Consultation will take place over a 12 week period ending June 30, 2011, as agreed on signing. This timeline is subject to review and assessment by NHCN and Manitoba for the duration of the Consultation.

The Crown's duty to consult is recognized and affirmed under section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982. The principles of consultation include the Good Faith and Honour of the Crown, Protection and Preservation of Rights, Notice about new applications or activities, and that this Consultation is an Ongoing and Reviewable process.

Manitoba will consider and apply both Traditional Scientific Knowledge and Western Scientific Knowledge in the Consultation process.

The Consultation Protocol refers to an agreed upon Work Plan, Budget and the Rights, Interests and Concerns to be considered.

What does the Work Plan consist of?

In summary, it is a series of information gathering and sharing meetings facilitated by the Joint NHCN / Manitoba Consultation Group or the NHCN Consultation Team. Meetings will take place in Norway House and Winnipeg. The following groups or individuals will be invited to participate in some or all of the meetings, as appropriate:

  • NHCN
    • Membership
    • Resource users – trappers, fishers, hunters, and others
    • Chief and Council
  • Crown
    • Manitoba Department of Innovation, Energy and Mines
    • Manitoba and Canada's industry and environmental regulatory agencies / organizations - MB Technical Advisory Committee, Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency
  • Victory Nickel

The purpose of these meetings is to assist NHCN and Manitoba in understanding and assessing the Minago Project and its potential effects on NHCN Rights and Interests and to then consider potential accommodations for NHCN.

The Work Plan also allows for additional work that so far includes:

  • Review of Environmental Impact Statement Assessment – CIER
  • Land use planning – CIER
  • Legal Advisor – Mike McDonald
  • Review of Hydrology Report – Dr
  • Review of Fisheries Reports –
  • Proposal submitted to Manitoba for the development of an Online Registry
  • Other activities as required.
Please go to the "how can I participate" page to view the schedule of public meetings and open houses or visit the Facebook site, "Norway House Cree Nation Minago Project Consultation" for updates / changes, if any.

What does the Budget consist of?

The funding for this Consultation is provided by Manitoba and is based on their budget guidelines and is limited accordingly. There are allowances for further funding based on the submission of project specific requirements; as identified in the budget with amounts indicated as TBA.

Budget items include engagement of advisory services for land use planning, legal considerations, environmental technical assessments; meetings and travel; communications with the NHCN membership; and the development and maintenance of an information exchange Registry.

What are the Rights and Interests of NHCN?

The Consultation Protocol identifies a number of rights including:

a) hunting, fishing, trapping and gathering activities, including conducting activities reasonably incidental to the activities of hunting, fishing, trapping and gathering such as the building and use of cabins, campsites, and landing sites;

b) practices and customs that are integral to the distinctive culture of the NHCN, including the conduct of political, social (including recreational), ceremonial, cultural, spiritual and economic ways of life;

c) the use and preservation of sacred, cultural, burial, heritage and spiritual sites and sites of special interest to Norway House Cree Nation;

d) the preservation of wildlife, waterfowl, fish and their respective habitats, including their respective nesting, spawning and calving areas and their migration routes, in order that hunting, fishing, trapping and gathering activities will be able to be continued;

e) the use of water;

f) the right pursuant to section 13 of the Manitoba Natural Resources Transfer Agreement, of hunting, trapping and fishing game and fish for food at all seasons of the year on all unoccupied Crown lands and on any other lands to which the NHCN may have a right of access;

g) land entitlement interests under Treaty No. 5, including rights to reserve lands under the per capita provision of Treaty No. 5, as set out in Manitoba Treaty Land Entitlement Framework Agreement dated May 29, 1997 and the Treaty Entitlement Agreement for Norway House Cree Nation dated November 12, 1998, recognizing that Norway House Cree Nation has selected lands under those agreements that may be set apart as reserve for Norway House Cree Nation and Norway House Cree Nation has the entitlement to select the balance of its entitlement under those agreements; and

h) rights under the Northern Flood Agreement and Master Implementation Agreement dated December 31, 1997, including:

i. priority rights to the harvesting of fish and wildlife resources within the Norway House Resource Management Area as described in Article 15.1 of the Northern Flood Agreement and Article 5.5.3 of the Master Implementation Agreement; and

ii. land entitlement interests under the Northern Flood Agreement and Master Implementation

Agreement including rights to reserve lands and fee simple/permit lands as identified in the Master Implementation Agreement.

What concerns and potential adverse effects should we be concerned about?

The Consultation Protocol identifies the following:

a) protection of spiritual, cultural and heritage sites of Norway House Cree Nation and sites of special interests to Norway House Cree Nation;

b) the protection of fish spawning sites, particularly Limestone Bay;

c) effects on Norway House Cree Nation commercial and sustenance fishers;

d) effects on hunting and trapping grounds in the Norway House Registered Trapline District and hunting areas adjacent to the Project;

e) effects on wildlife, including effects on migration patterns, feeding and habitat, particularly the William Lake woodland caribou and moose populations;

f) environmental protection;

g) water quality (both surface and groundwater);

h) air and soil quality;

i) road construction, road maintenance and traffic;

j) camp construction and maintenance;

k) the protection and health of Norway House Cree Nation citizens;

l) economic interests, development proposals and community plans of NHCN;

m) emergency preparedness; and

n) other matters as identified by Manitoba and NHCN.