If mining companies in Canada want to do their part in reconciling with Indigenous people, they need to focus on relationships, said Chief Dr. Robert Joseph in a sold-out address to some of the country’s leading influencers.
Joseph, the co-founder of Reconciliation Canada and hereditary chief of the Gwawaenuk First Nation, addressed the Association for Mineral Exploration annual Roundup conference, the second-largest annual mining conference in Canada.
He said most Canadians have an interest in doing their part in reconciliation. “You’re going to have to learn — as big and little companies — how to re-establish, create new relationships,” he told the audience at the Vancouver Convention Centre on Tuesday.
“Everybody around you feels they have an interest in what you do and how you impact the communities and the environment and everything else. And they want a say in how we’re all going to move forward and be respectful to each other.”
‘How do we change that relationship’
Joseph’s daughter, Karen Joseph, suggested a move toward meaningful, trusting and respectful relationships.
“People come into our territories and they take. They don’t come into our territories and share. And I think when we’re talking about economic reconciliation in particular, we’re talking about how do we change that relationship,” she said.