Marilyn Scales is a field editor for the Canadian Mining Journal, Canada’s first mining publication. She is one of Canada’s most senior mining commentators.
A new wave of co-operation between Aboriginal peoples and the mineral industry can be felt across Canada. It is evidenced by the growing number of impact and benefit agreements that are created every month. Gone are most of the adversarial relationships between mining and Aboriginals in favour of participation and sharing.
Time was, 35 years ago when I first took an interest in the Canadian mining scene, that the words “land claim” could strike fear into the heart of any mine builder. As long as a specific claim was not settled, the land under discussion was essentially off-limits for exploration and development.
Today’s impact and benefits agreements provide cultural, educational, training and employment opportunities for the descendents of Canada’s original inhabitants. Explorers and developers spend millions to provide these opportunities. The native population has taken up the challenge by becoming trusted employees and owners of their own businesses that serve the mineral industry. Read the rest of this entry »
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