An HRA includes summary information about the project and proponent, project development plans, a series of maps including maps of general location and historical resources potential, and GIS shapefiles of the project. Following review of this information, the HRMB will typically respond in one of three ways:

  1. Grant Historical Resources Act clearance for the development;
  2. issue a conditional clearance (conditions sometimes as simple as providing updatemapping, or clearing those areas without known sites, but requiring some measure of HRIA work ranging from monitoring to excavations); or
  3. require that a Historical Resources Impact Assessment be undertaken on some combination of archaeological, palaeontological, or Historic Period resources.

If a proposed development is associated with a known Aboriginal traditional use site of a historical resources nature reported to the HRMB, they may also issue a requirement for a site-specific consultation through their process.

For certain types of projects, such as those requiring an EIA, Class 1 pipelines, or those associated with a known Aboriginal traditional use site, no historical resources fieldwork can be undertaken prior to the issuance of official requirements from the HRMB, and no clearances will be issued without other regulatory approvals in place, and without a firm planned disturbance footprint established and submitted to the HRMB.

Most HR Applications are submitted by historical resources consultants, but some proponents choose to use their own staff or land agents to do so. One of the benefits of having Lifeways submit an application on your behalf is that we review the project and can provide early guidance on the likelihood of an HRIA being required, and we can add our professional recommendation to the application on the need or lack thereof for HRIA work. Some proponents get saddled with unnecessary HRIA requirements by failing to use a professional to get the job done properly.

Saskatchewan employs a similar process using their Developers’ Online Screening Tool and a Heritage Resources Review Form.