Engagement Session at the Canadian Aboriginal Mining Association Conference

November 2017 – Toronto, Ontario

Approximately 100 attendees at the Canadian Aboriginal Mining Association Conference engaged in roundtable discussions on the Canadian Minerals and Metals Plan to answer two questions.

Question no. 1: How can First Nations peoples participate in the minerals and metals industry, and how can federal, provincial, and territorial governments help make this happen?

Governance

  • Ensure the original spirit of treaties is implemented and reflected in legislation at all levels of government
  • Clarify the roles of the federal, provincial, territorial and First Nations governments
  • Support First Nations communities exercising their rights and responsibilities to protect the environment, including support for their own permitting offices for exploration activities and natural laws

Elders, women and youth participation

  • Involve elders, youth, and women in processes, activities and ceremonies

Mineral literacy

  • Educate communities about the mining industry and their rights through workshops and information sessions in communities.
  • Communicate large development changes ahead of time and keep communicating with communities while the changes are occurring.

Partnerships and agreements

  • The Government should help the industry understand how to engage with First Nations communities
  • Integrate First Nations culture into industry practices
  • Invite industry to more community events
  • Support First Nations-led initiatives to engage youth in science and engineering
  • Enable mentorship and youth job shadowing on project sites

Question no. 2: What are the economic, environmental and social priorities you would like to see reflected in the Canadian Minerals and Metals Plan?

Economic

  • Involve local- and First Nations-owned businesses in projects to support business development within the community
  • Ensure that benefits from joint ventures go to the community and not individual members

Environmental

  • Encourage best practices and improve mining practices that generate less pollution and protect land, air and water (e.g., tailings management)
  • Address cumulative effects by taking a holistic and longer-term approach to environmental management, including respect for land use planning

Social

  • Give more consideration for the socio-economic barriers that prevent First Nations communities from participating, including mental health and well-being, training and education
  • Ensure benefits from projects include measures to upgrade community infrastructure
  • Improve communications, including between First Nations communities and industry, and between communities and the Government (e.g., issuing licences and permits)