Sushil Saini

I am curious what, if any, changes have been wrought by the new president in office on this situation of poor consulting.

That said, I would strongly recommend to not go ahead with engagement online and find ways to build relationships in the meantime and build trust. We knew in the first few months (and the article was written in May 2020) that it would be about 18 months to normalcy. Considering the costs and delays of lawsuits and dissent, the delay is simply the cost of doing good business. In fact, by not doing project engagement and focusing on trust and relationship building, there is an opportunity to create more effective engagement in the future.

All that said, the cynical side of my brain is saying that engagement with Indigenous people has always been ‘box checking’ by government and resource industries – and as such the relationships and stewardship of land in trust is never a consideration (or if it is, it is very low on the list.) The powers that be are probably thinking future lawsuits are worth the cost as they can extract resources while arguing in court and keep churning profit.