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The Firelight Group

Cultural Investments: Responding to Industrial Impacts (2019)

The Firelight Group

In response to the growing number of environmental assessments (EA) and Crown consultation processes in recent years, this report examines the tools and programs for accommodating cultural impacts, in contexts where industrial projects are shown to impact rights, culture and way of life.

We describe the outcomes that strategic investments in culture can have for  Indigenous communities, to proactively protect against the impacts of industrial development. We also describe key features of many of the community-defined cultural programs and related investments, concluding that such investments in culture and cultural programs can have concrete individual, family, community and environmental benefits.

Our findings are not meant to suggest that all effects on Indigenous cultures can be mitigated by cultural programs or that any particular program will always be effective or sufficient for mitigating project effects on one or more parts of a community’s cultural fabric. The path to determining what measures, if any, are appropriate for dealing with potential cultural impacts of a project must be guided by Indigenous communities themselves.