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Native leaders reject Alberta’s proposed changes to consultation process

Athabasca oil sands digger, Albian Sands, Alberta, Canada.

Dieter Blum/Shell

The Alberta government is running into a wall of aboriginal opposition to its proposals on how to reform consultations with First Nations over development on their traditional lands.

The government extended its deadline for comment after Aboriginal Relations Minister Robin Campbell met this week with dozens of chiefs from across the province.

The chiefs say the proposal gives too much power to the government to decide when industry has done enough to involve First Nations.

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They say their own suggestions for reform are completely ignored in the proposal.

They suggest the government's plan will only result in more court battles.

Department spokesman Kevin Zahara says the current document is only a proposal, but the plan is to have a new policy in place sometime next year.

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