Dumas Contracting and Goldcorp graduate more First Nations miners

This article was provided by the Ontario Mining Association (OMA), an organization that was established in 1920 to represent the mining industry of the province.  

Ontario Mining Association members Dumas Contracting and Goldcorp facilitated the training and graduation of eight First Nations residents from a four month training program recently.  All graduates will be starting work with either Dumas or Goldcorp.  The ceremony in Timmins followed the recent mining academy graduation of six students at the Young-Davidson mine near Kirkland Lake involving Dumas and Northgate Minerals.

The training in Timmins was carried out by Dumas in a partnership program with Wabun Tribal Council, the Matachewan Aboriginal Access to Mine Jobs Training Strategy (MAATS) and Goldcorp.  Steve LaRocque (Matachewan First Nation) graduated as a heavy duty mechanic apprentice and Natasha Lefebre (Metis affiliation) completed her orientation as a human resources assistant.

The other six graduates completed training in basic underground mining – Courtney Batisse and Paul Denomme (Matachewan First Nation), Steve Denomme (Matachewan First Nation affiliate), Jean Loiselle (Mattagami First Nation), Paul Minarik (Mattagami First Nation affiliate) and David Tookate (Attawapiskat First Nation).

“On behalf of the graduates, we want to thank Wabun and our respective communities for the support and encouragement you have provided over the course of the training,” said graduate Mr. Minarik.  “We were also privileged to have the opportunity to work with Goldcorp for our training and we are thankful for the valuable instruction we received from Dumas.”

“Dumas has always had a good relationship with Wabun Tribal Council and the partnership has had positive results,” said Stephen McGinn, Director of Human Resources for Dumas.  “We are very happy with the results of this training and we are grateful for the support and assistance we received from both Wabun Tribal Council and the MAATS team for making this possible.”   

“It was a privilege to help bring together these graduates and work with all our partners to give them a start in the mining world,” said Paul Miller of Goldcorp.  “Partnerships such as this establish a way forward for First Nations to have their members gain access to the experience and job skills that they need to take on high paying and secure employment,” said Shawn Batise, Executive Director of the Wabun Tribal Council.  “Dumas has opened up a lot of doors for our people in the mining field and we appreciate that.”

Mining is the largest private sector employer of Aboriginals in Canada.  Aboriginals represent 7.5% of the mining workforce.  Between 1996 and 2006, there was a 43% increase in the number of Aboriginals employed in the mineral sector rising from 2,600 to more than 4,500.  In the five years since 2006, this number has increased significantly as more mining exploration and development takes place in areas close to Aboriginal communities.  Also, according to Natural Resources Canada’s “Mining Sector Performance Report,” females accounted for 14% of Aboriginal employees, up from 11.5% in 2001.

Miners and mining companies are responsible, solution-providing partners in society. They do more than find, extract and process minerals essential to our modern lifestyle. These companies are economic enterprises operated by men and women who are innovative members of society and community builders.  They add great value to the quality of life in their communities and beyond.

June 30, 2010

More than 800 people participated this week in the International Indigenous Summit on Energy and Mining in Niagara Falls.

Assembly of First Nations National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo said “We see the opportunities in resource development as a key to unlock the full potential of Indigenous peoples across the globe in ways that are responsible, sustainable and mutually beneficial to all parties.”