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Interview with Michael Scully, AFNCNB's liaison for community consultation with SWN Resources Canada

Everything you ever wanted to know about the 'Duty to Consult' process

by Miles Howe

Sign at the sacred fire encampment. [Photo: M. Howe]
Sign at the sacred fire encampment. [Photo: M. Howe]

ELSIPOGTOG, NEW BRUNSWICK - Michael Sully is the Assembly of First Nations' Chiefs in New Brunswick's liaison in the community consultations that have taken place in relation to SWN Resources Canada's desire to seismic test in Kent County, New Brunswick.

Information circulating at the sacred fire encampment in Elsipogtog First Nation - now entering it's fourth week of protest against SWN's presence in traditional Mi'kmaq territory - suggests that Elders were brought to these sessions, paid $200 and were given SWN information pamphlets. These sessions, for the moment, are taken to comprise a significant portion of the Crown's 'Duty to Consult' when Aboriginal rights or treaty rights are potentially impacted.

In the following interview, Scully walks us through the 'Duty to Consult' process as it applies to seismic testing in Kent County, New Brunswick. We learn that these sessions were only related to the testing aspect of SWN's desire to drill for shale gas in New Brunswick, and that neither Elders, nor other community members, could at any point use the consultation process to veto SWN's presence in their traditional lands.

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