Alberta backs off consultation proposals after pushback from aboriginals

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EDMONTON - The Alberta government is backtracking on proposals to change the way resource companies consult with aboriginals on development projects.

A government spokesman says a provincial plan to manage talks between companies and First Nations has been pulled.

Kevin Zahara (zah-HEHR-ah) of Aboriginal Relations acknowledges that the proposal was widely opposed by aboriginal leaders.

First Nations are legally entitled to be consulted on development and all sides agree that better ways to work together would reduce expensive and time-consuming court challenges.

Zahara says the government will try again with new proposals in the spring.

He adds that it's too soon to tell how a recent court decision granting constitutional rights to Metis and non-status aboriginals may affect the talks.

Organizations: First Nations

Geographic location: Alberta, EDMONTON

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