Saskatchewan’s Treaty Commissioner says he doesn’t think pipeline developments are an infringement on treaties.

George Lafond recently attended an Aboriginal business conference in Ontario where the focus was on bringing value-added training to communities.

He says he knows there are many dialogues happening around the oil and gas industry.

But fortunately he says the government’s duty to consult and accommodate process is in place:

“The process that allows First Nations people to participate through the duty to accommodate comes from our treaties and comes from our Aboriginal right in Section 35.  So I don’t see that an an infringement, in fact it’s a right many of our First Nations are using.” he says.

Lafond adds the duty to consult process is invaluable in its ability to inform bands about what’s going on within their lands.

“I take a look at some of the discussions that are taking place, I don’t know the details around what happened in Fort McKay, Alberta but assuming that type of discussion took place in that community and they were very successful in dealing with the oil companies that wanted to develop in their lands.”

The Fort Mckay First Nation had filed regulatory objections against an oil company that was exploring in their region but recently dropped it.