Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in Canada – Indigenous Peoples

In Canada, mining companies engage directly with Aboriginal communities and groups. Company-community initiatives such as the negotiation of agreements can directly address the adverse effects of company activities on local communities and environments, while ensuring that these communities receive benefits from the development of natural resources located in their traditional territory. Below are some examples of how Canadian mining and exploration companies ensure they engage with Aboriginal Peoples while upholding and respecting their rights:

Responses by Company

AuRico Gold Inc.

As stated elsewhere, each site has an established communications process with Aboriginal peoples and continues to meet with these groups on a regular basis to ensure we gain a thorough understanding of any aspects that may be of concern to the parties. In Canada, each project or mine has Exploration Agreements or Impact Benefit Agreements in place with local First Nations Communities.

Cameco Corporation

Cameco has a myriad of programs that are directed at northern and Aboriginal peoples through our northern Saskatchewan five pillar strategy. Included in this strategy are targeted programs designed to provide education and training opportunities to northern and Aboriginal peoples, as well as contracting opportunities to northern and Aboriginal businesses. 

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More information:

Canadian International Minerals Inc.

We do consultations very early. If there are concerns, we move on.

Cartier Resources Inc.

The company meets and discusses concerns with Aboriginal Peoples in respect to our projected exploration activities.

Casa Minerals Inc.

All First Nations are consulted before, during, and after our work in the areas.

Dios Exploration Inc.

Proactive written communications with the Cree Mineral Exploration Board on all work carried out on their land; oral communications with contacts in their communities and occasionally with their elders holding trapping rights; oral and written communications with the municipalities, when applicable.

Gensource Potash Corp.

The company addresses Aboriginal peoples through both formal and informal engagement and consultation processes.  Additionally, Gensource has formal business partnerships with local First Nations to ensure that they are a partner in the project.

Goldcorp Inc.

At Goldcorp, our policy is to seek and encourage partnerships with all local communities, and particularly with the Aboriginal populations around our sites. We strive to make a positive impact in our local communities through economic contributions, community involvement and consultation, support to health and education initiatives, and sponsorship of special events. In particular, we strive to create employment and business opportunities for local Aboriginal communities, with sensitivity and support for their social and cultural practices.

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We also seek opportunities for cultural training for our non-Aboriginal employees and contractors to prepare them for working in the culturally diverse environment they may find on so many of our sites. We are also a member of the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) and as such we support and endeavour to implement the ICMM Position Statement on Mining and Indigenous Peoples, which was updated in 2013 and will come into effect in 2015. The Position Statement outlines the ICMM’s view of Free, Informed, Prior Consent (FPIC) and provides commitments that member companies make in order to put this into practice.

More information:

HudBay Minerals Inc.

In Manitoba we are participants in the Mining Advisory Council, a forum "for First Nations, industry and government to address key mineral resource exploration and development issues and increase Aboriginal participation in the mineral sector".

Independence Gold Corp.

We work in areas that are of importance to Aboriginal peoples, and promote conversation, to inform, to listen and to learn.  We have conducted archaeological surveys of our work areas, in an effort to determine where sites of cultural significance may be, and thereby avoid entering into or disturbing those sites.

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The company works with Aboriginal Peoples by contacting the local communities to open dialogue and determine what impact our activities may have, and then to adjust or mitigate our impact on the local peoples.

Muskrat Minerals Inc.

Our team, led by the President of the Company, is committed to building long-term, productive relationships with the First Nations people of Labrador and surrounding areas, based on mutually beneficial opportunities and mutual understanding.  Mr. MacKenzie maintains ongoing contact with the First Nations to share information, concerns and ideas.

Mustang Minerals Corp.

We work with the First Nations and governments to comply with requirements and keep a good working relationship.

NOVAGOLD Resources Inc.

Our projects are on Aboriginal lands in Canada.  Through our agreements with these Aboriginal landowners, we have formal requirements for ongoing dialogue and communication.  Beyond this, we maintain informal communication with key stakeholder contacts on essentially a daily basis.  Because our projects are on Aboriginal lands, we must ensure that they are active participants in our decision-making processes.

Softrock Minerals Ltd.

The company contributes money and guidance, when asked, for festivals, schools and projects, and attends functions on invitation. 

Suncor Energy Inc.

We know our operations have an impact on the environment and the communities where we operate. Many of our operations are located on or near the traditional lands of Aboriginal Peoples. We work with Aboriginal Peoples to understand and mitigate those impacts, and build effective, long-term and mutually beneficial relationships. To achieve this, we strive for relationships that are based on transparency, mutual respect, and trust. This approach is enshrined in our Aboriginal Relations policy that focuses on respect, communication, benefits and environment. 

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This policy has also been translated into Dene and Cree.  We also engage in extensive aboriginal awareness training and have identified and incorporated impacts on our aboriginal communities through our asset development and project management systems.

Tashota Resources Inc.

We have a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with First Nations.

Zenyatta Ventures Ltd.

We recognize the Aboriginal treaty rights and the importance of the traditional lands to the First Nation people. We also realize that mineral exploration must contribute to the benefit of all parties involved.  Zenyatta works cooperatively with all First Nations and local communities on the Albany Project. We feel that active participation and a close relationship with First Nation communities creates sound business opportunities.  The Company is focused and committed to Northern Ontario and has always accepted responsibility for strong community relations.

Other Practices

A company indicated that it used consultants experienced in Aboriginal rights to guide interactions, and to sensitize personnel to the issues that may arise.