Caldwell First Nation launches online system for project consultations

·1 min read
The online portal will help Caldwell First Nation more easily determine which projects need the most attention, such as activities that could impact water and traditional food sources, said Nikki van Oirschot, director of operations. (Dan Taekema/CBC - image credit)
The online portal will help Caldwell First Nation more easily determine which projects need the most attention, such as activities that could impact water and traditional food sources, said Nikki van Oirschot, director of operations. (Dan Taekema/CBC - image credit)

The Caldwell First Nation has set up an online system to help manage the many consultation requests it gets every week.

Companies and organizations are required to consult with First Nations when they're planning projects on their territory — anything from power lines to building bridges.

Nikki van Oirschot, director of operations with the Caldwell First Nation, said the duty to consult is an important part of being a self-determining First Nation.

"Especially now that we have reserve status and we're going to be planting our roots back down in our home, it's even more important for us to ensure that what's happening that can affect our area is a priority, and not sort of something happening in the background without our input," she said.

The online portal will help the First Nation more easily determine which projects need the most attention, such as activities that could affect water and traditional food sources, she said.

The system requires organizations that are making proposals to answer questions, some of them regarding their awareness of the Caldwell First Nation and its history.

"It takes them through this process to make sure we're being engaged in the ways that we want to be engaged, and not in the ways they choose to engage," she said.

More from CBC Windsor