Archive | Aboriginal and Inuit Mining and Oil/Gas

Centre of Excellence for Indigenous Mineral Development set up – by Staff (Sudbury Star – January 16, 2019)

Ottawa will pump more than $3.4 million into Manitoulin Island to establish a Centre of Excellence for Indigenous Mineral Development.

The goal of the Centre for Indigenous Mineral Development is to enhance the participation of the Indigenous people in the mines industry, as well as to assist industry and government through information sharing and best practice protocols with Indigenous engagement, federal officials said in a release Tuesday.

Access to information will help employers and prospective employees fill or secure jobs, and facilitate networking and business development opportunities. The FedNor funding will support five initiatives that, among other things, will enable Waubetek Business Development Corporation to establish and operate a Centre of Excellence for Indigenous Mineral Development for four years. Continue Reading →

Indigenous Energy Summit to tackle pipeline ownership, leadership issues – by Geoffrey Morgan (Financial Post – January 16, 2019)

First Nations will hear presentations on how they might take ownership of major energy projects, including the Trans Mountain pipeline

CALGARY — First Nations that produce oil and gas in Canada will tackle some of the most contentious issues facing the sector at the Indigenous Energy Summit on Wednesday, including potential ownership bids for, and protests about, pipelines.

One of the biggest issues in the Canadian energy sector is the ongoing fight between hereditary chiefs and elected chiefs over the the $6.2-billion Coastal GasLink pipeline in British Columbia, which has opened wounds for current and former northern B.C. chiefs.

Meanwhile, First Nations will hear presentations on how they might take ownership of major energy projects, including the Trans Mountain pipeline. Continue Reading →

Development group lands $1.1 million for mining centre – Staff (Northern Ontario Business – January 15, 2019)

Waubetek’s Centre of Excellence for Indigenous Mineral Development was launched in 2015

The Waubetek Business Development Corp. has received a key piece of funding to help them move forward with a Centre of Excellence for Indigenous Mineral Development. On Jan. 15, the federal government announced $1,131,913 from FedNor to help fund the project, which was launched in 2015.

The project will help engage Indigenous people in the mines and minerals industry in Northern Ontario, creating new employment and business opportunities. It will also assist mining companies to address critical gaps in numerous mining-related occupations.

“Our First Nations’ primary interest is to ensure that we are adequately consulted when it comes to mining and exploration within our traditional territories and to ensure that we have more opportunities to participate in the benefits that might come from this development in a sustainable way, including meaningful jobs, business opportunities, joint management and care of the lands on which these projects operate,” said Martin Bayer, Waubetek’s chair, in a news release. Continue Reading →

This pipeline is challenging Indigenous law and Western law. Who really owns the land? – by Justine Hunter, Brent Jang, Wendy Stueck and Shawn McCarthy (Globe and Mail – January 12, 2019)

Pipeline owners say they have consent, but Wet’suwet’en leaders are divided

With members of the Wet’suwet’en First Nation blockading a pipeline project on their traditional lands, Na’moks was standing by a crackling campfire, next to an RCMP checkpoint, drawing in the snow with his right boot.

The hereditary chief of the Tsayu clan made a small circle to represent the authority of elected band councils within reserves. Outside that circle, he explained, is where Wet’suwet’en clans wield power over a vast territory. “We are hereditary chiefs,” he said, “and we have control of this land.”

The temporary checkpoint was set up earlier this week in a remote area of the B.C. Interior as things got tense, with RCMP officers arresting 14 protesters on Monday at a blockade erected last month along a logging road. Continue Reading →

Why First Nations need more leaders like Crystal Smith – by Gary Mason (Globe and Mail – January 12, 2019)

“We want our people out of poverty,” Ms. Smith told me. “We are tired of managing poverty.”

When Crystal Smith considers the current pipeline dispute involving the Wet’suwet’en First Nation, she strains to hear the voices of those she believes matter most: the Wet’suwet’en people. It is true. As it so often is in standoffs of this nature.

We hear from politicians, hereditary chiefs, elected First Nations leaders, but we seldom hear from those in the community whose futures are affected most by decisions around resource development.

“They are the forgotten people in this situation,” Ms. Smith, the 39-year-old elected chief councillor of the Haisla First Nation, told me this week. “They are the only ones that can solve this dispute; not governments, not the courts. It’s the people in the community.” Continue Reading →

Yukon woman’s role in Klondike gold rush to be honoured at Toronto ceremony (Canadian Press – January 10, 2019)

WHITEHORSE—An Indigenous woman is being inducted into the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame for the first time. Kate Carmack of Yukon will be recognized as one of the handful of prospectors whose discovery of placer gold set off what the Hall of Fame describes as “one of the world’s greatest gold rushes” in the Klondike more than a century ago.

In 1999, the organization recognized four men who were known as the Klondike Discoverers by inducting them into the Hall of Fame for locating the site where the gold was found on Rabbit River in 1896.

But the president of Yukon Women in Mining says many stories also say Carmack may actually have found the first gold nugget while fishing with her family. Anne Turner said Carmack was “missed” in the first round of recognition but it’s “really exciting” that she is finally being honoured. Continue Reading →

This is why conflicts with First Nations often seem insoluble – by Kelly McParland (National Post – January 11, 2019)

As in the case of the LNG protests in B.C., how can you reach agreements with a community that can’t agree with itself?

It might not seem immediately evident, but it’s possible the confrontation that has been taking place in a remote northern area of British Columbia will prove to be an important moment in Canada’s long, difficult struggle to come to terms with First Nations bands.

The situation offers a distillation of the dilemma that often makes relations with natives seem insoluble. That is, how can you reach agreements with a community that can’t agree with itself?

The dispute between Coastal GasLink, a subsidiary of TransCanada Corp., and some elements of the Wet’suwet’en Nation, rests not with the gas company, the government, the police, the courts or any of the people doing their best to meet all required parameters for dealing fairly and equitably with First Nations. It’s an argument between one set of native leaders and another. Continue Reading →

Klondike Kate: Shaaw Tláa, part of the prospectors group who kicked off the Yukon gold rush, is finally recognized for essential role in Canada’s mining history – by Jordan Faries (CIM Magazine – January 10, 2019)

Shaaw Tláa – also known as Kate Carmack – was an often overlooked but essential part of the prospecting group that kicked off the historic Klondike Gold Rush. Carmack was the rumoured discoverer of the first nugget of Yukon gold and became, for a time, the wealthiest Indigenous woman in America, but was nearly forgotten by the industry she had a central role in launching.

Carmack was nominated to the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame (CMHF) in October, almost two decades after the four male members of her prospecting party that made the discovery were recognized.

The induction, which places her on equal footing with the other four and acknowledges her as “instrumental” to the expedition’s success, comes as researchers aim to correct a trend of underrepresentation of the contributions of Indigenous women to Canada’s mining history. Continue Reading →

Politics and plans that got most everything wrong led to LNG protests – by Terry Glavin (National Post – January 10, 2019)

Blame those obstreperous Wet’suwet’en people all you like, but it was governments avoiding tough questions that caused this mess

There may be no right way to do fossil-fuel megaprojects at all anymore if we’re going to have a hope in hell of meeting our 2015 Paris climate accord commitments, but as far as the massive LNG Canada Kitimat plant and pipeline project goes — with the showdown this week on a remote British Columbia back road that immediately escalated into protests and marches and sit-ins across the country — the politics, promises and planning seem to have gotten just about everything wrong.

You could start with the way Prime Minister Justin Trudeau cheered LNG Canada’s announcement last October that the green light LNG got from B.C.’s NDP government meant full steam ahead for its long-planned $40-billion project, which is to include a new pipeline from Dawson Creek in the Peace River country to a liquefaction plant and export facility at Kitimat on the B.C. coast.

“Today’s announcement by LNG Canada represents the single largest private-sector investment project in Canadian history,” Trudeau said. “It is a vote of confidence in a country that recognizes the need to develop our energy in a way that takes the environment into account, and that works in meaningful partnership with Indigenous people.” Continue Reading →

B.C. pipeline protesters say they’ll obey injunction to end blockade – by Justine Hunter, Brent Jang and Alastair Spriggs (Globe and Mail – January 10, 2019)

Protesters blocking access to the site of a proposed natural gas pipeline in the British Columbia Interior say they will comply with a court injunction by Thursday afternoon and give access to construction workers, days after the RCMP arrested 14 people.

“For now, there is a peaceful resolution,” Jeff Brown, one of the five hereditary clan chiefs within the Wet’suwet’​en Nation, said in an interview on Wednesday night. “The injunction said to grant access, so if we grant access, that should be good enough,” said Mr. Brown, who also goes by Madeek.

He cautioned that the timing of complying with the injunction will hinge on a meeting between the RCMP and Wet’suwet’en hereditary leaders on Thursday morning. Mr. Brown made the comments after hereditary leaders of the Wet’suwet’en announced the concession at a news conference near the site of the blockade. Continue Reading →

Court ruling to grant First Nations a much bigger cut of resources royalties in Ontario – by Sean Fine (Globe and Mail – January 5, 2019)

Forty thousand members of 23 First Nations communities in Northern Ontario have been receiving $4 a person each year from the Crown for ceding rights over a resource-rich territory about the size of France under 1850 treaties.

The Indigenous groups filed a court challenge against the Crown, saying the $4 annuity did not reflect the spirit of the treaties. And now a judge – after an exhaustive examination of the history of the treaties – has ruled that the signatories intended that the annuities should grow to allow the First Nations to share the growth in revenues governments receive from resource companies in the territory.

Wiikwemkoong Chief Duke Peltier, who was involved in the case, said the ruling shows that the courts are pushing government to “place our people back to the way we once were, that is as true partners in the development of this country, living together in harmony.” He described the $4 annuity as barely enough to buy a coffee in Toronto. Continue Reading →

Celebrating a century of mining at Yukon – by Anne Turner (nee Lewis) and Lindsay Wilson (Northern Miner – January 8, 2019)

Northern Miner

Anne Turner (nee Lewis) is the executive director of the Yukon Mining Alliance (YMA). Lindsay Wilson is communications manager at YMA.

It was finding gold at Rabbit Creek and along the riverbeds of the Klondike that forever changed one of the world’s final frontiers — the Yukon Territory — and cemented the region’s roots as an inspiring Canadian mining district.

Yukon’s rich mining history continues to provide exciting discoveries, varied commodities and significant opportunities for northerners and investors alike. As we kick off 2019, we reflect on our history and the last year that has proved — through achievements, advancements and accolades — that Yukon is a mining district to follow and to celebrate.

In 1896, a hundred-thousand stampeders journeyed north, following the news of “Gold, gold, gold!” and “The Klondike gold rush begins” in papers from Seattle to San Francisco. Kate and George Carmack, Skookum Jim Mason, Dawson Charlie and Robert Henderson discovered placer gold at Rabbit Creek (later renamed Bonanza Creek) on Aug. 26. Continue Reading →

Sweet success: The road to production was a long one, but it was not enough to sour Harte Gold on its Sugar Zone project – by Virginia Heffernan (CIM Magazine – January 07, 2019)

From early financing to final permitting, nothing about advancing the Sugar Zone project in northern Ontario to production has been easy or expedient. So the opening of the mine in October – the province’s first high-grade gold mine in a decade – was especially poignant for Harte Gold’s management and employees.

The operation near White River is expected to produce less than 50,000 ounces in 2019 but annual production will grow to 75,000 ounces by 2020 and average 106,000 ounces from then on as throughput expands. By mid-November, mill throughput had reached the initial target of 575 tonnes per day (tpd) and Harte expected it would reach commercial production and complete the tailings management facility and paste fill plant by the end of 2018.

Harte and former partner Corona Gold began exploring Sugar Zone 20 years ago, just after the Bre-X scandal decimated the junior mining market. They spent a decade outlining an NI 43-101 compliant, high-grade resource of almost one million tonnes grading about 10 grams per tonne (gpt) gold. But the project had trouble gaining traction. Continue Reading →

The story of Klondike Kate Carmack and the (modern day) sisters who moil for gold – by Joe O’Connor (Financial Post – January 4, 2019)

Five sisters are modern pioneers linked to a colourful prospecting past that includes Carmack, whose lying husband took credit for the Klondike strike and cheated her out of her fortune

During the summer, when by fate of their unpredictable schedules the five Bjorkman sisters actually find themselves together at their parents’ log home on Whiskyjack Lake, Ont., the conversation inevitably turns to rocks.

Jessica Bjorkman, the eldest sister at 38, might, for example, start talking about what she found or didn’t find, or the bear she had to run off, or the view from a B.C. mountain ridge that was so perfect she couldn’t quite believe it was real. Continue Reading →

First Nations win annual payment case – by Harold Carmichael (Sudbury Star – December 27, 2018)

SUDBURY – First Nations in Northern Ontario have a won a lawsuit that will require federal and provincial governments to pay them higher annuities.

“It feels great,” said Mike Restoule of the Nipissing First Nation near North Bay, who filed the lawsuit on behalf of 21 First Nations in the Robinson-Huron treaty area. “We heard the court ruling and it came down in our favour, but I don’t really have details,” he said.

“I find that the Crown has a mandatory and reviewable obligation to increase the treaties’ annuities when the economic circumstances warrant,” wrote Justice Patricia Hennessy in her decision. “The economic circumstances will trigger an increase to the annuities if the net Crown resource-based revenues permit the Crown to increase the annuities without incurring a loss.” Hennessy said the two sides need to sit down and negotiate new terms. Continue Reading →