4. Business Legislation in Canada

The Constitution Act and the Duty to Consult Indigenous Peoples

The Constitution Act, 1982 recognizes and affirms the existing Aboriginal and treaty rights of Indigenous people (Section 35). To protect these rights, the doctrine of the duty to consult and, where appropriate, accommodate Indigenous groups, was developed by Canadian courts. Furthermore, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, endorsed by Canada in 2010, provides that member states must consult and cooperate with Indigenous peoples on certain matters, such as “legislative or administrative measures that may affect them,” in order to obtain their free, prior and informed consent. The duty to consult is a key foundation to the rules and regulations that govern how businesses and industry interact with each other and with First Nations as having inherent and treaty rights. A deeper analysis of the duty to consult as it relates to business, industry and economic development can be accessed here: https://lop.parl.ca/sites/PublicWebsite/default/en_CA/ResearchPublications/201917E The Government of Canada is developing and updating programs and policies to improve access to business and investment opportunities generated via international trade for Indigenous Peoples.


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