Ontario Mineral Industry can be First Nation Friendly – by Bill Bradley

Northern Life, Greater Sudbury’s community newspaper, gave Republic of Mining.com permission to post Bill Bradley’s article. www.northernlife.ca

Canadian Arrow Mines Given Award by Chief

Though some prospectors fumed about consulting with First Nations at the provincial Mining Act consultations last week in
Greater Sudbury, one upstart junior company has already shown it can be done.

Kim Tyler, president of Sudbury-based Canadian Arrow Mines, with over a dozen properties in northwestern Ontario, is comfortable
with a new emphasis by the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines on dealing properly with First Nations and environmental concerns.

The province is hosting meetings across Ontario as part of an effort to modernize the Mining Act.

“Dealing with First Nations is easy. Try knocking on their door first. Inform them who you are, what you are doing and what
opportunities there are for their members in terms of future jobs,” Tyler said at the sessions.

He credits his sensitivity to Aboriginals and the environment to growing up in Sudbury and working internationally for major companies,
like Rio Tinto.

“Look at what the former Inco and Falconbridge management were dealt with in the 1980s – a mess from 100 years of mining. But they made a huge difference in 20 years. Look around you. I was impressed myself.”

Tyler said his work as a geologist with Rio Tinto instilled in him, and other staff, a respect for the environment.

“Management at Rio Tinto made sure our practices in the field had to be above the standards mandated by regulators. That was
their management style and this is common today in most major mining companies. It is the modern way of doing things,” he said.

“Dealing with First Nations is easy. Try knocking on their door first.”
KIM TYLER President, Canadian Arrow Mines

Tyler won an award from Grand Chief Arnold, representing Anishinawbe Nation communities in Treaty 3 in the northwest, for his business relations successes with them. 

He also won the Developer of the Year Award at the Northwestern Ontario Mines and Minerals Symposium in Thunder Bay in April for the quality of the company’s field work and for getting their development project quickly underway.

He noted that just being sensitive to the different Aboriginal culture is key.

“When I went to go into their ceremonial structure, I made sure I asked the chief if I was doing anything wrong. He just shrugged and said go on in,” said Tyler.

In many cases, first Nations have never been consulted directly by those companies doing exploration work in their traditional territory, he said.

“Private companies may have an advantage with Aboriginals because we are not government and do not have any past history with them in most cases.”

Canadian Arrow has also held consultations with nonnatives in areas they are interested in.

“Sometimes non-natives have little experience with mining activity. Many towns were based on the forestry industry and in places, that has collapsed. But they need to be talked to about how minimum the effect of mining is on the area,” he said.

Some prospectors attending the meeting fumed they were not being properly consulted and bolted from the room. Tyler said he thought the consultations may have been too fast-tracked for some people and he hoped all would turn out for the best.

Other Mining Act consultation meetings were held in Timmins (Aug. 11). Next will be Thunder Bay (Aug. 18), Kingston (Aug. 28) and Toronto (Sept. 8).

For more information phone 1-888-415-9845.