Definitions

The following are key definitions related to consultation and engagement:

Consultations
Refers to processes through which Justice Canada seeks the views of external individuals or groups on policies, programs, services, legislation, and other initiatives that affect them directly or in which they have an interest.
Engagement
Refers to a process through which Justice Canada seeks to encourage deliberation, reflection, and learning on issues at preliminary stages of a policy, program, service, legislation, or project/initiative development, design, or evaluation process, often when the focus is more on the values and principles that will frame the way an issue is considered.
Statutorily mandated requirements to consult
In some legislation, there may be a clause that requires consultation concerning various aspects of the legislation (including with Indigenous Peoples). The legislation may or may not stipulate the form of consultation that must be undertaken.
Engagement with Indigenous Peoples
Refers to a process through which Justice Canada seeks the views of First Nations, Inuit, and M├ętis Peoples on policies, programs, legislation, services, and projects/initiatives that affect them directly or in which they have an interest. These activities are also part of Justice Canada and the Government of Canada’s commitment to renewing its Nation-to-Nation, Inuit-to-Crown and government-to-government between Canada and relationships with Indigenous Peoples based on recognition of rights, respect, cooperation, and partnership.
Duty to Consult (with Indigenous Peoples)
The duty to consult refers to a legal obligation of the Crown to consult with Indigenous rights-holding collectives on contemplated conduct that has the potential to adversely impact established or asserted section 35 rights of the Constitution Act, 1982. These consultations must occur when the conduct is being contemplated, in advance of taking action, whether to create policy, programs, or any other initiative and early enough to ensure that the concerns of Indigenous Peoples can be addressed.
Consultation and Cooperation with Indigenous Peoples
Section 5 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act (UN Declaration Act) requires that the Government of Canada identify measures and take steps to ensure consistency of federal laws with the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UN Declaration) in consultation and cooperation with Indigenous Peoples. This means that, when working on a legislative or regulatory initiative that has potential intersections with the UN Declaration, and the rights set out in it, there is a requirement to consult and cooperate with Indigenous Peoples on the proposed initiative. For other types of initiatives (policy, programmatic, administrative or other) that intersect with the UN Declaration, consultation and cooperation with Indigenous Peoples is recommended, where possible, to inform the development of the initiative in a way that furthers the implementation of the UN Declaration. In both instances, the primary objectives are to seek their views on whether the proposal aligns or is consistent with the rights in the UN Declaration and to identify measures to mitigate potential negative impacts.