Principles into practice: Codifying UNDRIP into Canadian law is only the beginning. – by Tijana Mitrovic (CIM Magazine – October 21, 2021)

The challenge comes in understanding how to implement it, and how to engage Indigenous stakeholders in meaningful consultations

Denendeh is the land of the Dene People. The one-million square kilometre area is located in the western part of the Northwest Territories, mainly south of the tree line. It is territory that the Dene Nation wants to both protect and manage. It is also an area that is rich in mineral resources.

“We have gold, diamonds, iron ore, all kinds of minerals. And the Aboriginal People, we want to be involved in the whole [mining] process,” said Dene National Chief Norman Yakeleya.

It is also an area that has suffered because of mining. The Dene People live in the shadow of the former Giant gold mine and the 237,000 tonnes of arsenic trioxide dust it left behind.

“We have experience where Giant mine came in without any regard to the Dene or Denendeh, and look at the mess that it’s now in. Look how it’s devastated our communities. People in Denendeh talk about it with a sore heart, and [have vowed] to fight for many years to clean up the Giant mine.”

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