Since the 1987 Brundtland Report, which strongly influenced the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio, sustainable development has become an essential feature of national and global resource management policy. However, the increasing exploitation of mineral and energy resources in Canada supported by the Canadian government itself seems to be questioning the country’s commitment to sustainable development. In this context, Canada should keep in mind the relevance of these two principles listed in the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development: Environmental impact assessment, as a national instrument, shall be undertaken for proposed activities that are likely to have a significant adverse impact on the environment and are subject to a decision of a competent national authority (principle 17). Indigenous people and their communities and other local communities have a vital role in environmental management and development because of their knowledge and traditional practices. States should recognize and duly support their identity, culture and interests and enable their effective participation in sustainable development (principle 22). From this starting point, the following study will aim at showing how these two principles are articulated in Canadian legislation, and therefore to what extent Indigenous traditional knowledge is taken into account through the environmental assessment process set up by the Canadian federal government in relation to mineral and energy resource development projects
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