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Process Overview

Resource developments such as pipelines, hydroelectric dams, and mines alter the natural landscape. This disturbs land, water, and wildlife ultimately impacting the surrounding communities. These communities often rely on pristine environmental conditions for sustainable resource harvesting and other traditional First Nation activities. Even though these lands and waters are often considered "crown lands", the surrounding communities in many cases will have "rights" to the land, water, wildlife, and pristine conditions, defined by Aboriginal and Treaty Rights. Traditionally, proponents of resource developments have attempted to ignore impacts to Aboriginal and Treaty Rights due to profit maximizing behaviors inherent in firms. However, recently, the government is moving towards adequate resource sharing agreements, compensation payments, and Impact Benefit Agreements (IBAs). OE² is a process designed to fully capture and analyze the changes in the environment caused by any resource development, determine how this change will affect the communities and future generations of the communities, and then convert this loss to the community into monetary terms using sophisticated statistical techniques. The results provide the community with an accurately estimated value of what the community will be giving up in terms of its land and waters to allow the development to proceed.


GIS is used to understand and document the surrounding landscape. GIS experts build maps and databases pertaining to the proposed resource development, characteristics of the surrounding lands, waters, and wildlife, characteristics of the surrounding communities and subsequently prepare datasets for the next phase of OE². GIS data is stored in a secure, confidential location to be used by OE² analysts.


The federal government has a duty to consult with Indigenous communities when a proposed resource development might infringe on the communities' Aboriginal and Treaty rights. The community, with the assistance of OE², prepares a consultation work-plan and is provided funding by the government in order to facilitate the consultation process. This process normally involves community meetings, discussions with various government and development proponent representatives, and sometimes community focus groups and surveys. This consultation process allows the community members to participate in community planning surrounding the proposed development and to voice any concerns it might have with the proposed development. Often times, communities will oppose particular developments all together.  


OE² is a highly unique and specialized process which uses traditional knowledge data along with GIS and other external data in order to estimate the monetary value of lands, waters, and wildlife. There are several different methods that are applied depending on different characteristics of the resources being altered and population being affected. This stage of the OE² process allows communities to understand what it is giving up in terms of resources in order for the development to proceed. These values can be used to form resource sharing agreements, compensation payments, or IBAs. The methods used in this stage of the OE² process are highly technical and rely on complex data basing and statistical methods. At this point, the communities affected by the proposed resource development become aware of the value of the resources lost caused by the proposed development so that the community can begin to decide whether or not to support the development, and/or how much compensation it should be provided if it allows the development to take place.


Results from the OE² process often provide insight into how the proposed development might affect the community for current and future generations, and, how the community might adjust to these changes. This stage is when the community can start proposing additional actions that should be taken to mitigate any damages that might be caused by the proposed development.


OE² produces a comprehensive consultation report for the community to use for negotiations and other purposes. The report contains an executive summary which outlines the main conclusions of the analysis and technical appendices which provide detail of the process and results of the comprehensive statistical analysis. The body of the report contains literature reviews pertaining to each section, results of community surveys, maps and GIS output, and other information pertinent to the consultation process.


OE²is used as a tool for negotiations with project proponents and government. Based on the results and conclusions of the process, it can be determined what the best agreements for compensation are (i.e. IBAs, financial compensation, and/or resource sharing agreements), and how much the compensation should be. The OE² process also provides analysis on business, employment and training opportunities which may arise due to the resource development, and what the most effective way is for the affected communities to take advantage of these opportunities.

OE² is culturally and environmentally sensitive, yet highly technical and advanced. It provides insight into impacts the community will feel due to any changes in surrounding lands, waters, air, and wildlife. It is intertemporally configured in order to ensure future generations are considered with utmost importance.