Onus on First Nation to provide timely feedback.
In a decision rendered in February, the Supreme Court denied the request by the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation to hear an appeal on the Alberta Court of Appeal's decision which upheld a lower court ruling that the ACFN should have acted within the six-month period provided by the provincial government to respond to long-term oil sands leases that the government had granted to Shell Canada for development in close proximity to ACFN's Poplar Point reserve lands. ACFN argued they were not aware of the lease grants and that the Crown should have initiated the consultation. The leases were granted in 2006 and 2007 by the Energy minister. The ACFN asked for a judicial review of that decision in 2008. The Alberta Court of Appeal upheld the lower court's decision that the onus was on ACFN to be aware of potential leases on its land and for the First Nation to initiate the consultation process. "(The provincial government) put a package together and we only had six months to respond to that. That's what we challenged the case on. We should be able to continue on talking when it affects our First Nation territory long after six months," said ACFN Chief Allan Adam.