Archive | Aboriginal and Inuit Mining

Educate Aborigines in STEM skills to help them and the nation – by Andrew MacKenzie (The Australian – May 27, 2016)

Andrew Mackenzie is the chief executive of BHP Billiton.

The benefit that Australia stands to gain from making Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people part of the nation’s economic growth is an opportunity we can’t afford to miss.

On this day 49 years ago, Australians voted overwhelmingly to allow Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to be included in the census. It was Australia’s most successful referendum and the message of inclusion was made crystal-clear.

This time last year our company was one of a growing number of businesses that publicly stood up to support formal recognition of the first Australians in the Constitution. As we celebrate Reconciliation Week this year, I’m convinced there is more we can do to support a reconciled Australia.

One powerful way that businesses like ours can contribute is to make sure all Australians have the opportunity to share in our country’s growth and prosperity. Continue Reading →

Indigenous Australia is open for business – but we need investment to realise our potential – by Marcia Langton (The Guardian – May 26, 2016)

Marcia Langton is the professor of Australian Indigenous studies at the University of Melbourne.

Little has been said about Indigenous policy during this election campaign. With economic conditions high on the agenda, the potential for Indigenous Australia to contribute should be mentioned.

Indigenous Australia is open for business. After more than a half a century of change in the way Australian governments treat us, we now have the ability and assets to invest in the economic development of Australia.

It is important to understand the extraordinary opportunities that Indigenous corporations offer to those seeking to do business throughout Australia. Increasingly, our economic strengths, such as land holdings and other assets, and the value proposition in this vast area, are plain for all to see. Continue Reading →

Railway eager to have ties in Ring of Fire – by Len Gillis (Timmins Daily Press – May 26, 2016)

TIMMINS – If and when the Ring Of Fire mining development takes off, Ontario Northland is ready to get the wheels rolling and show them how to run a railway. That was the message from Ontario Northland president and CEO Corina Moore, who spoke in Timmins at the FONOM conference earlier this month.

Moore was in Timmins to give municipal leaders an update on the provincially-owned transportation company, which provides rail freight service, limited rail passenger service and bus passenger service across Northeastern Ontario.

The Ring Of Fire is a mining prospect located near Webequie and McFaulds Lake about 600 kilometres northwest of Timmins. The venture is identified mainly as a chromite project, valued in the tens of billions of dollars. There are huge deposits of other metals there too, but so far none of the significant mining companies involved has moved forward with any sort of a mining operation because market prices are too low. Continue Reading →

Ontario Regional Chief Concerned over Ontario Climate Change Legislation ( – May 24, 2016)

THUNDER BAY – Ontario Regional Chief Isadore Day is raising caution flags after the Province passed landmark climate change legislation yesterday and neglected any consultation with First Nation leaders.

“On behalf of the Chiefs of Ontario, I am very disappointed that the province did not include First Nations in discussion prior to the passage of this legislation,” said Ontario Regional Chief Day. “In this new era of reconciliation and a new relationship between Ontario and First Nations, we must be treated as equal partners in climate change and carbon economy policy and planning.

At the same time, I am very encouraged by Environment and Climate Change Minister Glen Murray’s commitment to fully engage First Nations in the co-governance of this legislation moving forward. In fact, Minister Murray has stated that our full involvement is critical in order to ensure that the Climate Change Action Plan is a success in the years and decades to come. Continue Reading →

Nunavut Inuit group shows its members the mining money – by Guy Quenneville (CBC News North – May 23, 2016)

The Inuit land-claim organization for Nunavut’s Baffin Island region is taking the lid off a traditionally hush-hush topic: how much money an aboriginal group receives in its financial deal with a mining company.

The Qikiqtani Inuit Association (QIA) Board of Directors released a version of its Inuit impact and benefit agreement (IBA) with Baffinland Iron Mines Friday that includes dollar figures for how much has been promised to the QIA.

“I was somewhat taken aback,” said Doug Paget, a retired consultant in Ottawa who has tracked such agreements for years, via email. “This is, I think, the first time that this has happened.” Article 5 of the QIA’s agreement spells it all out: Continue Reading →

Mining’s real cost – by Marilyn Baptiste (Prince George Citizen – May 23, 2016)

Marilyn Baptiste is a councillor with the Xeni Gwet’in First Nations Government in the Nemiah Valley, west of Williams Lake.

British Columbians now know that they are on the hook for cleaning up mining messes to the tune of hundreds of dollars for every man, woman and child in the province.

This certainly comes as no surprise to First Nations. Most British Columbians never experience the impacts of mining, but First Nations are all too familiar with seeing our lands taken and destroyed, our waters polluted, our fish and wildlife reduced, our rights and title ignored, our cultures undermined and our very way of life and future generations threatened.

The more puzzling question is this: why is the Liberal government of B.C. not rushing to hold mining companies accountable and responsible for the damage they can and do cause? It is not as if it is unaware of the problem, thanks to two detailed reports. Continue Reading →

Ontario Aboriginal Minister accused of betraying First Nations – by Alan S. Hale (Timmins Daily Press – May 20, 2016)

TIMMINS – Discussion during the final day of the Nishnawbe Aski Nation’s Spring Chiefs Assembly got quite heated after provincial Aboriginal Affairs Minister David Zimmer was the only one out of the three expected government ministers to come and field questions from the chiefs and other delegates.

When it came to his turn to ask a question, Mushkegowuk Council Grand Chief Jonathon Solomon tore into Zimmer about the Liberal government’s climate change legislation which was announced on Wednesday. Solomon called the legislation a “betrayal” and a continuation of the practice of considering the interests of First Nations as an afterthought.

“Mr. Minister I have a lot of respect for you, and I am being respectful when I say that I feel that I have been betrayed. I feel that there is a knife sticking in my back because we have been talking about an honourable relationship, but nothing has really changed,” said a visibly angry Solomon. “They say the Harper era was terrible, we say the Harris era was terrible in this province, but those practices are still continuing despite talk of a positive relationship.” Continue Reading →


TIMMINS, ON (May 18, 2016): Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) has condemned the passing of climate change legislation by the Government of Ontario today as a misleading and misguided approach to a green economy that will have significant and far-reaching effects across NAN territory.

“In its announcement today the Government of Ontario lauds extensive consultations before the adoption of this legislation, including engagement with First Nations. We find this offensive in its lack of truth, as neither NAN nor our communities were consulted before the adoption of this bill,” said Deputy Grand Chief Derek Fox.

“Our First Nations are not blind to the fact that this legislation produces potentially huge financial windfalls for Ontario, and they are justifiably concerned that there is no mention in the legislation of how these gains will be shared with them.” NAN is demanding a meeting with Premier Kathleen Wynne, Environment Minister Glen Murray and other members of cabinet to examine the ramifications of their government’s actions. Continue Reading →

Historic vase made from metals mined in B.C. goes on display in Whistler museum – by Kevin Griffin (Vancouver Sun – May 17, 2016)

A metal vase with a mysterious past and a connection to the mining wealth of B.C. is being exhibited for the first time in this province at the Audain Art Museum in Whistler. Called the Ptarmigan vase, it’s a kind of homecoming for the expertly crafted luxury item made out of metals mined in B.C. by silversmiths who worked for Tiffany & Co in New York.

In 1901, about one ton of copper, silver and gold was mined from Tunnel 3 of the Ptarmigan Mine in the Selkirk Mountains in southeastern B.C. A year later, the ore was shipped and refined in New Jersey into seven bricks of copper, 3½ bricks of silver and one button-sized piece of gold.

The Ptarmigan vase is made from 18 thin layers of copper and silver refined from that shipment. The mixed metal laminate vase was created by a technique called mokume, a Japanese metalworking procedure that creates surfaces which resemble wood grain. Continue Reading →

NEWS RELEASE: BC encouraging environmentally risky mining and creating massive taxpayer liability

(Coast Salish Territory / Vancouver BC – May 16, 2016). The BC government is enabling a dangerous disregard for environmental monitoring, reporting and protection among mining companies by letting them off the hook for the full costs of environmental reclamation – leaving taxpayers liable for more than $1.5 billion, a new report shows.

“Other industrial sectors treat accident insurance and security deposits as a routine and fundamental cost of doing business and if a warehouse catches fire, a pipeline bursts or a factory has to be shuttered, companies have money set aside to respond effectively and immediately,” said Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs.

Quebec and Alaska insist on full funding of project reclamation from mining, creating a powerful incentive for companies to focus on safety and best practices.

“By failing to follow suit, BC has reduced this incentive and placed taxpayers at huge financial risk,” remarked Grand Chief Phillip. Continue Reading →

No time line for Ring of Fire, Premier – by Alan S. Hale (Timmins Daily Press – May 16, 2016)

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne will not give a timeline for when people can expect the Ring of Fire chromite development to be up and running. But, she says, those who think the project is stalled or that the Ontario government isn’t doing enough to get the mining project off the ground may not be seeing the full picture.

Minutes after she had promised a group of miners at Kidd Operations that the Liberal government would “position Ontario over the next decade as the global leader in sustainable mineral development.” The Daily Press sat down with the premier and asked when the project will be operational.

“I want to get shovels in the ground to build related infrastructure as soon as we can, but I’m not going to preempt the process. But by the time I finish my first term as premier, I want us to be able to point to progress that we can point to,” said Wynne. Continue Reading →

Roads, not rail preferred to transport Ring of Fire chromite, miners told – by Matt Sookram ( – May 13, 2016)

“Hopefully if we get everything right it will be ready for the next commodity cycle.”

After 10 years the Ring of Fire remains stalled at the earliest stages of development, and that’s bad news for North Bay with up to 70 mining related companies located here. A roundtable discussion, part of Mining Week in North Bay, tackled different ideas last night on how to move forward with the project.

David Paul Achneepineskum is the Chief Executive Officer for Mattawa First Nations Management and says they are really building the foundation first, before they can begin discussions and, more importantly, negotiations.

Achneepineskum says there are still many factors to consider, “We have four pillars that we want to address and agree upon. One is environment, the other is revenue sharing, and there’s also infrastructure and community and social economic impacts.”

Some of the major discussions in the past have centred on whether the best way to transport chromite out of the Ring of Fire is by rail or road. Continue Reading →

Canada’s relationship with indigenous people should be a partnership – by John Ibbitson (Globe and Mail – May 13, 2016)

With a simple statement in New York this week about First Nations’ rights, the Trudeau government gambled that Ottawa can forge a new, productive partnership with indigenous Canadians.

The stakes are high. Failure could mean billions of dollars of economic opportunity lost and thousands of indigenous Canadians, especially First Nations living on reserves, consigned to another generation of poverty. Success requires everyone – government, business, indigenous and non-indigenous Canadians alike – to think and act differently.

“We are not in a good place now,” says Brenda Gunn, a professor of law at the University of Manitoba. “Canada’s not at peace. But recognizing rights is how we actually live together in a harmonious relationship. This is how we can reconcile.” Continue Reading →

First Nations have growing influence in developing the North – by Len Gillis (Timmins Daily Press – May 12, 2016)

Former Ontario premier Bob Rae told Northern Ontario’s political leaders on Wednesday they have to recognize and accept the place and role of First Nations in the growth and economic development of this part of Ontario from this day forward.

Rae, who is the advisor and chief negotiator for the Matawa Tribal Council, was the keynote speaker at the opening of the annual conference of the Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities (FONOM), which is on this week in Timmins.

More than 260 delegates from across Northern Ontario consisting of mayors, councillors and key staff members are at the McIntyre Community Building for the next two days to debate and discuss issues of common concern. What makes this conference stand out is the participation of so many high profile provincial leaders including Premier Kathleen Wynne and the Ontario party leaders. Continue Reading →

Power project focuses on First Nations – by Bryan Meadows (Thunder Bay Chronicle -Journal – May 11, 2016)

Residents of 21 remote First Nations communities are being given an opportunity to comment on a plan to extend power transmission lines to their communities. Wataynikaneyap Power is hosting community consultations on Phase 2 of a project to connect communities north of Pickle Lake and Red Lake to the Ontario power grid.

“Wataynikaneyap is holding these engagement meetings in the First Nation communities to provide information on the project, the preliminary corridor routing studies, and initial environmental assessment considerations,” company board member Frank McKay said in an email to The Chronicle-Journal.

“Importantly, the project team would like to hear community member’s concerns and collect feedback on the project and its planning. The information collected in these engagement meetings will help us to prepare an initial design for the project and to understand what should be included in the environmental assessment.” Continue Reading →