Mining projects providing opportunities for Indigenous communities
Advancing the participation of Indigenous peoples in natural resource development should be based on cooperation and partnership as governments and industry work to recognize and respect their rights and interests. This can build trust, lead to opportunities for Indigenous communities, and advance the process of reconciliation.
Learn more about challenges and opportunities for advancing the participation of Indigenous peoples in mining
Their increased participation will also support a sustainable and competitive minerals and metals industry. For example, companies can benefit from traditional knowledge and local sources of information that improve the design of projects and provide greater certainty around access to land. More Indigenous-owned businesses can provide services to mineral projects or pursue or partner in mineral exploration and development themselves. Their involvement in the supply chain can help build capacity in the sector and deliver benefits for Indigenous communities.
Governments work with Indigenous peoples to improve community well-being and help individuals acquire the skills and training needed to participate in mineral development. This includes sharing information to increase awareness and mineral literacy to help communities make informed decisions about their level of participation.
Industry also plays a major role. For example, Impact Benefit Agreements and other agreements have proven successful in securing benefits for some Indigenous communities, while establishing engagement protocols. These are contracts specific to projects or communities and define obligations in areas such as engagement, employment, training, business opportunities, environmental monitoring and management, and funding arrangements. Nearly 500 mining agreements have been signed between the mining industry and Indigenous peoples in Canada since 1974, with more than 350 signed in the past decade.Footnote 1
Seabridge Gold provides opportunities for the public to comment on its KSM project in northwestern B.C. This has allowed it to incorporate feedback, including Traditional Indigenous Knowledge, into its project design. Feedback has also led to initiatives to support community readiness.
Seabridge has a Benefit Agreement with the Nisga’a Nation under which the Nisga’a Nation will support development of the KSM mine, participate in economic benefits, and provide advice on potential impacts from the project.
It also has an environmental agreement with the Gitanyow Wilps related to wildlife, fish, and water quality monitoring.