Process of consultation

STAGE 1 - RECEIVING REQUEST AND PRE-EVALUATION

Letter of Acknowledgement.
A letter of acknowledgement is sent to acknowledge the consultation letter that was received and to outline what the MMS consultation procedures will be.

Conduct pre-evaluation review. The pre-evaluation review is a quick screening of the consultation to determine if it is relevant to the Mi’gmaq and if the consultation request contains all the information and related resources to conduct proper evaluation of the undertaking. This stage is a determination if consultations are meaningful, and ready to begin.

Send pre-evaluation letter. This stage involves sending the consultation request letter to a specialist/expert to review the letter and determine whether there are any concerns with the consultation letter/request, whether there are deficiencies that the proponent (agency that sent the letter) needs to address, or whether the letter is sufficient.

STAGE 2 - ANALYSING A REQUEST

Conduct Analysis and Draft Map Memo (if needed). Specialists/experts conduct their analysis of the consultation request and upon completion, will upload two main documents: (1) summary “analysis report”; and (2) “briefing note”. The Biologist / Impact Specialist may also request the preparation of a map memo by the Mapping and Planning Specialist, as background for the analysis and/ or briefing notes.

Briefing note to Chiefs and Councils – Results of Analysis. The briefing note includes a template cover letter noting the name of the consultation, general activity, concerns and the time required for feedback from the Chiefs.

STAGE 3 - THE DECISION

Decision from Chief and Council. This phase is triggered in situations where the Program Manager follows up with the Chiefs. The Chiefs may ask for more information, more time, community meetings, meeting with the proponent, etc. before a decision is made.

Letter of Response sent to proponent. Based on feedback from the leadership, the Program Manager will draft a letter of response to the proponent saying that there are no concerns, that there are concerns, or that the request is declined.

STAGE 4 - FOLLOW-UP AND MONITORING

Follow-up letter to the proponent. If a request is favorable, a letter of acknowledgement is sent out to thank the proponent and that the Mi’gmaq reserve the right for site visits, monitoring and continued information exchange on the issue is requested. If the request is not favorable, a letter of acknowledgement is sent out outlining our concerns and asking for a meeting with the proponent.

Issues or concerns resolved or dispute resolution procedures initiated. If meetings with the proponent do not resolve issues or concerns, then the project is moved into dispute resolution (e.g. mediation, legal action, direct action, etc.).

Close project. A file is considered closed once issues and concerns are mitigated (addressed) or once it is decided that they are no longer worthy of dispute resolution, or if no additional action or monitoring is needed. All archived documents is stored within the consultation program offices to allow easy-access should these documents be needed again.