Monique Ross and Peggy Smith
Indigenous Peoples occupy a unique place in the world’s forests and can play a key role in the management of those forests. At international, national and local levels, Indigenous Peoples and forest managers are struggling to give practical meaning to the broad recognition of the principle of protecting Indigenous Peoples’ customary land uses and rights. One key level where these issues are being addressed is in the arena of Indigenous participation in decision-making processes. This paper explores the legal background of the “duty to consult” in Canada; best practices being developed by Indigenous communities, governments, the forest industry and non-governmental organizations; and the challenges in maintaining and improving these best practices.