Archive | Aboriginal and Inuit Mining and Oil/Gas

THE DRIFT: A vested interest in natural resources: Entrepreneurially minded Pic Mobert First Nation takes its place in industrial services – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – March 22, 2019)

For generations, Pic Mobert First Nation’s economic situation was no different than many Indigenous communities across Canada: on the outside looking in at natural resource development.

The northwestern Ontario Ojibwe community of 300 was surrounded by an abundance of valuable minerals and forestry on their traditional territories, but as with most Indigenous communities, they were shut out of employment and ownership opportunities.

White Lake Limited Partnership CEO Norm Jaehrling recalls making that observation 25 years ago when he was working with the community on provincial negotiations over the locations of some hydroelectric dams on their lands. Continue Reading →

Canada, B.C., should honour commitments to Tŝilhqot’in and stop mine – by Russell Myers Ross (Vancouver Sun – March 21, 2019)

More than 10 years ago, Taseko Mines proposed an open-pit mining project in an area of immeasurable cultural and spiritual importance for our Tŝilhqot’in people. This area, about 125 kilometres southwest of Williams Lake, is known to our people as Teẑtan Biny (Fish Lake), Yanah Biny (Little Fish Lake) and the surrounding area (Nabas).

This area is home for many Tŝilhqot’in who were born and raised on these lands, a resting place for our ancestors, an active cultural school for teaching our youth, and an important place of ceremony and spiritual power.

We hold proven aboriginal rights to hunt and trap over these lands, and this area also sits near the headwaters of the Dasiqox (Taseko) River, a nursery for salmon that make the annual journey along the Fraser River. Continue Reading →

Network closing gap between First Nation businesses and mining – by Karen McKinley (Northern Ontario Business – March 20, 2019)

More mining companies are seeking to do business with First Nation businesses to take care of supplying services. Waubetek Business Development Corporation in the Whitefish River First Nation is making it easier for those companies to find each other with the announcement of the Association of Indigenous Mining Suppliers, at the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) on March 5.

Waubetek general manager Dawn Madahbee Leach and mining project manager Stacey Vincent Cress said the association has been in the works for months to meet the growing demand for more partnerships.

It is a nationwide initiative with dozens of companies already listed in the association and it is seeking out more. Cress said this announcement was just to let people know the association has been created. It is an initiative of the chiefs within Waubetek. Continue Reading →

[Canada Diamond Mining] GUEST COMMENT: I beg to differ with MLA O’Reilly – by Tom Hoefer (Yellowknifer – March 20, 2019)

Tom Hoefer is the executive director of the NWT & Nunavut Chamber of Mines.

Editor’s note: The NWT & Nunavut Chamber of mines was the recent recipient of the NAPEG Professional Award of Merit in Geoscience, from the Northwest Territories and Nunavut Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists (NAPEG). NAPEG recognized the chamber for its, “dedication to, and support of, the North’s mineral resources industry.” This non-profit association is an advocate for responsible and sustainable mineral exploration and development for the North.

In regard to Frame Lake MLA Kevin O’Reilly’s attempted rebuke (Hansard, March 14) of Premier Bob McLeod’s speech at the recent Arctic Oil and Gas Symposium in Calgary, let me provide a different perspective.

While it may sound strange that a minerals guy would attend, I also attended the conference. Organizers invited me to share experiences and successes in Northern mineral resource development, something oil and gas developers might find helpful. Continue Reading →

OPINION:Indigenous-Canadians are upset with the Liberal government’s Bill C-69, too – by Joseph Quesnel (Financial Post – March 2, 2019)

Indigenous communities are still upset with the government’s Bill C-69, legislation intended to speed up and streamline the large project assessment process in Canada but which may end up frustrating the process further.

A few weeks ago, a convoy of more than 30 trucks met in northern Alberta to support pipelines and oppose Bill C-69. The event was billed by CBC News as the first Indigenous-led rally in support of energy resources. The event was organized by the Region One Aboriginal Business Association (ROABA), a group that promotes the interests of Indigenous-owned businesses in northern Alberta.

The Senate energy committee studying the bill has decided to take the bill on the road for more public consultations. That is likely the best decision for First Nations and indeed all Canadians, as these major projects — especially critical oil pipelines to get Alberta oil to foreign markets — are in the national interests of Canada. Continue Reading →

Sorry Liberals – the ‘jobs’ excuse for the SNC-Lavalin debacle won’t fly – by Rex Murphy (National Post – March 16, 2019)

Whoever is masterminding the Liberal response to this scandal appears to be confusing the anchor with the life jacket

Whoever is masterminding the Liberal response to the SNC-Lavalin scandal is confusing the anchor and the life jacket. To be clear, the life jacket is the one that keeps you afloat … the anchor is the heavy thing.

The justice committee Liberals — who are obviously not mariners — met Wednesday only to shut the committee down for a week, to stall on allowing Jody Wilson-Raybould back to complete her testimony, giving every indication possible that they weren’t really very interested in hearing from her at all anymore.

There is nothing opposition MPs could have done more effectively to juice up an already highly-charged saga than the five Liberals’ blatant and televised amputation of what a committee named justice ought to be doing. Continue Reading →

New Mexican ambassador offers warning to Canadian companies in Mexico – by Stephanie Nolen (Globe and Mail – March 16, 2019)

Canadian mining companies operating in Mexico should be on notice that the sector is going to face increased scrutiny on its environmental practices and treatment of Indigenous people, according to the the country’s new ambassador to Ottawa.

“President [Andres Manuel] Lopez Obrador has been very public about this, that we really want a strong, profitable mining sector – and Canadian mining companies are large investors in Mexico – but we expect them to operate in this country with exactly the same standards as they do in Canada,” Juan Jose Gomez Camacho, who was ratified as the new ambassador on Thursday, said in an interview at the foreign affairs ministry in the Mexican capital.

Some 70 per cent of foreign-owned mining companies operating in Mexico are based in Canada, according to Global Affairs Canada. In 2015, Canadian firms held assets in Mexico totalling nearly US$20-billion. Continue Reading →

‘Repeal your laws but respect our laws’ Ontario First Nation chief tells Premier Doug Ford – by Matt Prokopchuk (CBC News Thunder Bay – March 15, 2019)

Letter from Donny Morris comes as Ontario takes input on proposed repeal of Far North Act

The chief of a northern Ontario First Nation says if the province goes ahead with a planned repeal of the Far North Act, whatever rules and regulations replace it will have to work with his community’s own laws.

Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug (K.I.) Chief Donny Morris wrote to Premier Doug Ford early in March, as the provincial government takes input on its proposal to do away with the 2010 legislation, enacted to set guidelines for land-use planning in the far north. The act itself, however, has drawn criticism from First Nations, saying they were never consulted when the previous Liberal government enacted it.

“The Far North Act may be on its way out, but our laws, our Indigenous legal orders will remain,” Morris’s letter said, adding that those legal orders include regulations surrounding how the community is to be consulted, rules around allowable activities on K.I.’s traditional territory, as well as a declaration that sets out laws to protect the local watershed. Continue Reading →

Agreements seen as reconciliation: Ontario chiefs and ministry talk about their experiences with negotiations with revenue-sharing – by Karen McKinley (Northern Ontario Business – March 13, 2019)

Several Ontario Indigenous chiefs say revenue-sharing agreements will be good for all communities in Northern Ontario because the First Nations are major supporters of businesses in the region.

And the provincial government says it is ready and waiting for the next proposal from communities. Revenue-sharing agreements have taken a more significant role in recent years as mining and forestry companies seek to harvest resources from Indigenous lands.

It was a hot topic at the 2019 convention of the Prospectors and Developers Association (PDAC) in Toronto. Several panels were dedicated to discussing personal experiences, legal frameworks and the benefits and challenges associated with them. Continue Reading →

PDAC Interview: PM Justin Trudeau speaks on Canadian mining innovation, aboriginal engagement (Northern Miner – March 14, 2019)

Northern Miner

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made a visit to the annual convention of the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) in Toronto on March 5, 2019, for a sit-in interview conducted by outgoing PDAC president Glenn Mullan.

Below is a full transcript of the 20-minute interview, edited for clarity. Topics that Trudeau and Mullan discussed included technological innovation, sustainable mining practices, federal regulatory changes and reconciliation efforts with Canada’s First Nations.

Glenn Mullan: We’re so much looking forward to the fireside chat without a fire. And we have a couple of topics that we thought would be agreeable for discussion, including Canada’s competitiveness, indigenous affairs and some of the regulatory things that we’re working on in collaboration with your government in particular. Continue Reading →

Brazil government kickstarts efforts to mine indigenous reserves: official – by Jake Spring (Reuters U.S. – March 13, 2019)

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazil’s government wants to enact rules that allow mining in indigenous reserves which occupy 13 percent of the country’s territory and hopes it can get Congress to reconsider a decades-old proposal to do so, a Mines and Energy Ministry official told Reuters.

Mining Secretary Alexandre Vidigal de Oliveira was asked to clarify comments made last week by Mines and Energy Minister Bento Albuquerque, who said while visiting the United States and Canada that Brazil would seek to open indigenous reserves to mining.

Albuquerque’s remarks sparked an angry response from indigenous advocates, who said it was disrespectful after the country had just suffered it’s largest-ever mining disaster that killed hundreds in January. Continue Reading →

Talk about ‘collusion’: How foreign-backed anti-oil activists infiltrated Canada’s government – by Gwyn Morgan (Financial Post – March 14, 2019)

Piece by meticulously researched piece, Vivian Krause has spent almost 10 years exposing this story

Canadians watching Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election might be tempted to find comfort in their certainty that such foreign interference could never happen here.

Except it already has. And while the Russian government at least denies interfering in American political affairs, the perpetrators who meddled in Canadian elections have publicly trumpeted their success in devising and executing their plan aimed at helping elect who they wanted.

This story has all the elements of a fiction novel. Unfortunately it’s real. Piece by meticulously researched piece, B.C.-based independent researcher Vivian Krause spent almost 10 years exposing the story. Every detail has been corroborated, including with American and Canadian tax records, together with documents and statements from the perpetrators themselves. Continue Reading →

‘A never-ending cycle unless you break it’: Snotty Nose Rez Kids push against racism – by David Friend (Canadian Press/City News – March 12, 2019)

TORONTO — Snotty Nose Rez Kids rappers Darren Metz and Quinton Nyce weren’t equipped as children to analyze the vicious Indigenous stereotypes and racist caricatures flashing on their TV screens.

Like many kids of the late 1990s, they were raised on a steady diet of Disney classics while living in Kitamaat Village on Haisla Nation in northwest B.C. Some of those animated movies sent clear negative messages about their identities that echoed throughout the community.

“Peter Pan” presented Native Americans as “savages” who spoke in monosyllables, while “Pocahontas” romanticized colonialism by framing it against a love story. Metz and Nyce remember how elders rarely questioned the ways Hollywood movies taught the Indigenous youth to devalue themselves. Continue Reading →

‘Nice and dirty’: Rio’s new mine taps aluminium boom – by Darren Gray (Sydney Morning Herald – March 9, 2019)

Construction jobs always involve a few risks, but for the workers who built Rio Tinto’s new $2.6 billion Amrun bauxite mine on Cape York, some of the safety procedures were particularly unique.

The advice to workers was quite snappy, much like the risk sometimes observed in the water or on the riverbanks in the area: always keep at least six metres from the water’s edge, always face the water when near it, and, of course, always carry a big stick.

Because a potential threat, which is also spelt out in large signs at a ferry terminal Amrun mine workers must travel through en-route to work, is of a potential crocodile attack. Continue Reading →

[Vancouver] Island Voices: We need to get tougher on the mining industry – by Bev Sellars (Victoria Times Colonist – March 10, 2019)

Mining in B.C. has a long history of being glamorized, romanticized, prioritized and given freedoms to act that no other industry or citizen enjoys. As a result, incalculable harm has been caused (and continues to be caused) since the province was colonized more than one and a half centuries ago.

Perhaps — as part of its recent throne speech commitment to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples — the current B.C. government will finally address the dark side of an industry that has for so long inflicted so much misery and destruction in pursuit of gold and other minerals.

This dark side is a shameful history that we First Nations know only too well, and which government after government, decade after decade, has ignored. Some might have been too easily bought by the promise of mining revenues, others too afraid of the political might of an industry used to always getting what it wants. Continue Reading →