The Environmental Review Process Under the Impact Assessment Act

Presenting Organization

Indigenous Services Canada 


Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) works with First Nations, Inuit and Métis to support their independent delivery of services and to address the socio-economic conditions in their communities. This often involves supporting proposals for economic development projects on reserve lands. ISC has obligations under the Impact Assessment Act (IAA), legislation that establishes a framework for evaluating the environmental impacts of projects on federal lands. Under section 82 of the IAA, ISC is required to ensure that proposed projects on reserve lands are not likely to result in significant adverse environmental effects before they take action or make a decision that would enable such projects to proceed. In order to ensure these obligations are met, ISC developed its Environmental Review Process (ERP). This presentation will describe the steps in this process and the roles of proponents and the ISC Environment Officers involved in it.

This presentation will inform attendees of the ISC Environmental Review Process (ERP), and what proponents can expect of it while undertaking projects on First Nations reserve lands.

It will cover:

  • Typical triggers for an Impact Assessment Act (IAA) section 82 review and associated ISC Environmental Review Process and whether it applies – ie. instruments and authorizations such as leases, permits and funding.
  • Environmental Impact Assessment and determining environmental impacts and effects.
  • How ISC evaluates risks and makes determinations.



Chris McDonald, Lee-Ann Hamilton, Elizabeth Kovics and Ian McKeachie - The Environment & Natural Resources team

Speaker Biographies

The presenting team consists of environment and resource specialists working in the Indigenous Services Canada BC Region office with the Environment and Natural Resources unit of the Lands and Economic Development department, delivering project support, environmental impact assessment and specialist advice.