Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge in Environmental Assessments

Considering Aboriginal traditional knowledge in environmental assessments conducted under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act — Interim Principles

There is growing recognition–both in Canada and abroad–that Aboriginal peoples have a unique knowledge about the local environment, how it functions, and its characteristic ecological relationships. This Aboriginal traditional knowledge (ATK) is increasingly being recognized as an important part of project planning, resource management, and environmental assessment (EA).

Section 16.1 of the recently amended Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA), gives responsible authorities conducting an EA the discretion to consider Aboriginal traditional knowledge in any EA:

“Community knowledge and Aboriginal traditional knowledge may be considered in conducting an environmental assessment.”

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