About Us

The Aboriginal Consultation Office and its Role

The Aboriginal Consultation Office (ACO) provides consultation management services to Government of Alberta ministries, First Nations, Metis Settlements, the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER), and project proponents in a manner that is efficient, coordinated, and consistent.

The ACO manages the operational aspects of Alberta’s First Nations and Metis Settlements consultation processes in a manner consistent with the ACO’s objectives as stated in Alberta’s First Nations and Metis Settlements policies and guidelines.

The primary functions of the ACO include:

  • Providing pre-consultation assessment advice or direction (determining whether consultation is required);
  • Providing advice or direction during the consultation process; and
  • Evaluating consultation records and providing an assessment of consultation adequacy.

The functions noted above may be carried out as decisions for activities administered by the AER, or as support and recommendations for activities administered by Government of Alberta ministries.

The primary functions of the ACO are largely carried out by Approval Specialists and Consultation Advisors with support from their respective Region Leads.

Administered by the Ministry of Indigenous Relations, the ACO was established on November 1st, 2013, under The Government of Alberta’s Policy on Consultation with First Nations on Land and Resource Management, 2013.

On April 4th, 2016, the Government of Alberta implemented The Government of Alberta’s Policy on Consultation with Metis Settlements on Land and Natural Resource Management, 2015. As a result, the ACO’s consultation management responsibilities were expanded to include Metis Settlements.

The Aboriginal Consultation Office and the Alberta Energy Regulator

Direction on ACO and AER interaction regarding First Nations and Metis Settlements consultation is described in

  • Ministerial Order on Aboriginal Consultation Direction (Ministerial Order Energy 105/2014 and ESRD 53/2014, 31 October 2014), and
  • Ministerial Order on Metis Settlements Consultation Direction (Ministerial Order Energy 39/2016 and Environment and Parks 16/2016, March 30, 2016).

The Joint Operating Procedures, developed by the ACO and the AER, provide detailed information on the interaction between the ACO and the AER regarding First Nations and Metis Settlements Consultation. For information on these documents, visit:

Proponents seeking information on how to acquire consultation direction from the ACO regarding AER administered activities under the specified enactments should refer to: