Oil Sands Monitoring Operational Framework Agreement

The Department, in collaboration with the Agency, has already developed a revised Aboriginal engagement process based on the initial experience and feedback of First Nations and Métis communities. This revised process was presented to First Nations and Métis representatives in May and June 2014 and proposes to expand the influence of Aboriginal people in setting monitoring targets and to fund some Aboriginal engagement and participation. In addition, there are increased opportunities for the identification and effective integration of traditional environmental knowledge into monitoring. The Minister of the Environment accepted the panel`s report and pledged to quickly establish a world-class system to monitor the environmental impact of oil sands development. The objective of this study is to better understand the effects of Aboriginal Community Surveillance (ICB) on indigenous governance in extractive regions. Based on a comprehensive overview of the literature and personal commitment of the team of authors, we are examining an ICBM program in the Alberta oil sands region of Canada. We use sustainable self-determination in Aboriginal governance as a critical theoretical objective to assess the results of this program and its role in the broader environmental policy of the oil sands region. Finally, we propose some recommendations to promote a sustainable self-determination line for the ICBM. As these programs continue to spread across the country, it is now time to incorporate such a lens to support sound monitoring of environmental, economic and social changes while fostering the resurgence of Aboriginal nations.

2.6 In 2010 and 2011, the governments of Canada and Alberta commissioned independent audits of the adequacy of oil sands monitoring. These audits have raised growing concerns at home and abroad about the environmental impact of the oil sands and conflicting scientific opinions on their effects. The audits revealed significant deficiencies in oil sands monitoring (Figure 2.3). This expert panel, formed by Alberta`s Minister of the Environment, was tasked with verifying data and findings from some oil sands-related water monitoring studies.