Integrated Cultural Impact Assessment

The HEG has developed an approach that facilitates cross-cultural understanding of the effects development may have on aboriginal culture and way of life. At the core of the ICIA approach, is the fact that culture affects the way in which people understand themselves, their relationship to the land, their community and their purpose, or relationship with the spiritual world.

What Makes the ICIA different from other environmental assessment approaches?  The ICIA approach is based on cultural values. It focuses on the set of beliefs, and principles that give order and meaning to a society and provides the underlying assumptions and rules that govern people’s behaviour.

Initial ideas focus on participatory methods as a way to identify a number of important cultural activities that reflect core cultural values. Activities are used as tangible elements of culture that can be discussed to help identify issues, impact pathways and indicators. Community members participate is crucial to determining the strength of the linkages between cultural activities and core cultural values for historic and contemporary timeframes. By discussing the factors that affect the way cultural activities were carried out in the past, and the way they are carried out today, community members identify a range of quantitative and qualitative indicators that can be used to evaluate locally important social, environmental and economic issues.

Project examples

  • Fort McKay Metis – Integrated Cultural Impact Assessment for the Teck Frontier Mine
  • Sto:lo Collective: Integrated Cultural Impact Assessment prepared for the Trans Mountain Pipeline
  • Fort McKay Metis – Integrated Cultural Impact Assessment for the Suncor Lewis Project
  • Fort McKay Cultural Heritage Baseline – Cultural Indicators Report