A Court of Queen's Bench Justice has ruled against the Buffalo River Dene Nation in its attempt to halt oilsands exploration on what the band calls its traditional territory.
The legal action was launched last summer after two exploration permits were issued to Scott Land and Lease.
The First Nation believes granting the permits was a violation of treaty rights and says the policy of duty to consult was ignored.
But Justice Grant M. Currie has ruled the issuing of exploration permits does not "engage the duty to consult."
The province says the permits grant the company exclusive rights for exploration, but do not permit access to land or excavation.
It is not known if the First Nation will appeal the decision.