The Canada-Nova Scotia Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Cooperation Regarding the Duty to Consult has been signed by the Minister and is in effect. It has been approved by the provincial Cabinet and signed by the provincial Premier.
The MOU follows the landmark Mi'kmaq-Nova Scotia-Canada Consultation Terms of Reference, finalized on August 31, 2010, that established a tripartite approach to consultation which may be used for Canada and Nova Scotia to consult the Mi'kmaq of Nova Scotia on proposed activities or projects. It was also part of broader negotiations to resolve outstanding questions in relation to Aboriginal and treaty rights and self-government among the parties.
The Memorandum and the Terms of Reference, along with the Government of Canada's March 2011 Updated Guidelines for Federal Officials to Fulfill the Legal Duty to Consult, are tools to assist the Crown in fulfilling the legal duty to consult. The commitment of the governments of Canada and Nova Scotia to exchange experiences, ideas and best practices in the field of Aboriginal consultation will foster innovative approaches and tools to assist in decision-making.