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"It might be legal. It's not lawful."

Interview with senior policy developer on New Brunswick's 'Duty to Consult' or lack thereof

by Miles Howe

Earlier in the summer, AFN Regional Chief Roger Augustine confronted First Nations women handcuffed outside his yearly 'Fishermens' Pow Wow' [Photo: Miles Howe]
Earlier in the summer, AFN Regional Chief Roger Augustine confronted First Nations women handcuffed outside his yearly 'Fishermens' Pow Wow' [Photo: Miles Howe]

K'JIPUKTUK (HALIFAX) - Traci Braaten, a former long-time public servant with the Saskatchewan provincial government, was involved in developing that province's guidelines on the 'Duty to Consult' with First Nations Communities.

Braaten has been following the shale gas story in New Brunswick for some time, particularly the ongoing fiasco that passes as provincial consultation.

We have learned that key players in the Assembly of First Nations Chiefs of New Brunswick - the organization with the lead role on First Nations' consultation - co-own private consulting firms with siblings of provincial government ministers.

We have also learned that the Assembly has been funded by SWN Resources Canada, the very natural gas company it is supposed to be deciding upon neutrally.

So-called consultation by SWN has included bringing representatives of the Assembly on trips to Arkansas - ostensibly to see hydraulic fracturing operations in the works.

Consultation has also involved paying off unsuspecting First Nations community members, including elders, who didn't even know they were taking part in a consultation process.

We caught up with Braaten by phone in Saskatchewan and spoke with her about the 'Honour' of the Crown and other consultative misnomers.

Please enjoy the following audio interview with Traci Braaten.

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