Supporting Indigenous Led Impact Assessment

Overlooking Tŝilhqot’in lands. Credit, Max Nishima

Indigenous led Impact Assessment (IA) will be different from the approaches typically employed by the provinces and Canada. Indigenous led assessment will entail a range of new resource, process, and information needs for Indigenous communities and governments that want lead the assessment of projects within their territories. Research by CEAR members helps support the planning and work by Indigenous governments and communities looking to develop assessment approaches that reflect their setting and history.

Objectives and Outcomes:

  • Sustain and expand a unique research cluster at UBC focused on supporting information and process needs for Indigenous led IA.
  • Develop case studies that can help advance practice and support new assessment models.
  • Outline and develop best approaches to data management, data collection and analysis to support Indigenous led IA.
  • Advance work in baseline studies to support planning, project assessments, and land and resource management.
  • Provide broad access to the information and knowledge we collaboratively produce.

The work at CEAR has strong collaborative qualities. Research questions and activities are framed and guided by the work and needs of Indigenous governments and communities.

While there are a range of projects across BC, a key collaboration is with the Tŝilhqot’in National Government. Faculty members and graduate students at CEAR have been working together to support cumulative effects assessments, and the creation of a Tŝilhqot’in led approach to conducting project assessments. Research includes support for natural resources and land use data collection and management, wildlife management and planning, and process design.

Funding for this project is provided by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada, Mitacs, and the Eminence Fund at UBC.