Archive | Aboriginal and Inuit Mining and Oil/Gas

Excerpt From Michael Barnes New Book – More Than Free Gold:Mineral Exploration in Canada Since World War II

More Than Free Gold - Michael Barnes

Our Best Friend
Kimberlites with Diamonds

With the discovery of diamonds in the kimberlite bodies of the Lac de Gras district in the N.W.T., Canada emerged as a major diamond producer, challenging South Africa, Botswana, Australia and Russia in both quality and quantity of diamond production.

Diamond hunting is difficult because kimberlite outcrops are rare, due to the fact that the rock is easily eroded; often a chunk of the stuff will crumble in the hand.

The big mining news in the eighties was of the gold at Hemlo, but in that decade two men were searching for a much more elusive quarry. Veteran prospector Chuck Fipke and geologist Dr. Stu Blusson spent all they had and all they could borrow to finance a quest for diamonds.

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PDAC-AFN Agreement Hopes to Encourage Mining Development and Alleviate Aboriginal Poverty – Stan Sudol

Excutive Speech Writer and Mining Columnist Stan SudolTwo weeks ago during Toronto’s annual mining convention, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) – Canada’s national organization for Aboriginal people – and the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) – an industry lobby group – was signed.

In a prepared speech for the MOU, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, Phil Fontaine said, “Two months ago, I had the opportunity to travel to the Attawapiskat First Nation to visit the community and the new Victor Diamond Mine…I was very impressed with De Beers’ commitment to working closely with Attawapiskat. This kind of economic development is bringing hope to so many people who are desperate to provide for their families.”

Patricia Dillon, the previous President of the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada, stated, “The deliberations and discussions leading up to the signing of this MOU have been undertaken with much goodwill on both sides. This historic document formalizes a relationship that has been flourishing for some time and lays a framework for the mineral industry to work cooperatively with First Nations and aboriginal communities.”

This agreement sends a tremendously strong message to governments and the environmental movement that Canada’s top Aboriginal leadership supports and wants to expand sustainable mining developments when proper consultation and economic agreements are implemented.

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Prepared Speech for AFN National Chief Phil Fontaine – At the MOU with PDAC – Toronto

Assembly of First Nations National Chief Phil Fontaine

I would like to thank everyone for taking the time away from this very busy convention to come here to witness this Memorandum of Understanding in our Corporate Challenge between the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada and the Assembly of First Nations.

I also want to sincerely thank PDAC President Patricia Dillon; Don Bubar, who is chair of the Aboriginal Affairs Committee, and Chief Glenn Nolan, who is a PDAC Vice President, for all of the hard work it took to get us to this important occasion.

I also want to thank all of the PDAC staff – particularly Philip Bousquet and Kim MacDonald – who have been in contact with the AFN since last May.

Some of you may be wondering why we want to work with the mining industry. It’s pretty simple. First Nations want to work with all industries and corporations in order to achieve economic self- sufficiency.

By doing so, this will empower First Nations to break the chains of dependency and despair; empower us to revitalize our languages and cultures; and empower us to participate and prosper in the Canadian economy.

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Memorandum of Understanding between the PDAC and the AFN

(L-R) Chief Glenn Nolan; AFN National Chief Phil Fontaine; former PDAC President Patricia Dillon; Donald Bubar PDAC - AFN Photo

Memorandum of Understanding between the PDAC and the AFN
signed by the AFN National Chief and the PDAC President
Toronto, March 4, 2008

MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING

Between
The Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada, a not-for-profit association formed under the laws of Canada, with headquarters at 34 King Street East, Suite 900, Toronto, Canada M5C 2X8

(hereinafter referred to as “PDAC”)

and

THE NATIONAL INDIAN BROTHERHOOD, incorporated under the laws of Canada and serving as the Secretariat of the Assembly of First Nations with its head office at the Territory of Akwesasne, R.R. #3, Cornwall Island, Ontario

(hereinafter referred to as “AFN”)

PREAMBLE

1. WHEREAS the AFN is a national First Nation organization that represents First Nations and all their citizens in Canada and is represented by a duly elected National Chief;

2. AND WHEREAS the PDAC is a national association that exists to protect and promote the interests of the Canadian mineral exploration sector and to ensure a robust mining industry in Canada, and encourages the highest standards of technical, environmental, safety and social practices in Canada and internationally;

3. AND WHEREAS the PDAC actively promotes greater participation by Aboriginal Peoples in the mineral industry as well as greater understanding and co-operation between First Nations communities and mineral exploration and mining companies;

4. AND WHEREAS the AFN and the National Chief have launched a Corporate Challenge to engage Corporate Canada to establish, enhance and increase their business activities with First Nations in order to realize the advantages of doing business with First Nations. Specifically, corporate Canada is challenged to increase partnerships with First Nations communities and businesses; investigate and increase investment potential; establish and foster procurement practices that benefit First Nations; and develop and enhance human resources development and labour force development activities with First Nations communities and people;

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Canada’s PDAC 2008 Convention – The Mining Boom Continues – Stan Sudol

Ontario Northern Development and Mines Minister Michael Gravelle and PDAC Mining Matters KidsThe annual Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) convention is the premier event in the global exploration and mining sector. The Toronto convention, which is always held in the first week of March, is expected to set another attendance record this year with about 20,000 visitors.

As I jump from presentation to event throughout this column I may sound like I have a severe case of “attention deficit disorder. This only reflects the many stories, people, lectures and events at the PDAC which just simply overloads the mind. Combine that with the networking, business deals, and the enormous amounts of partying and the frantic three and a half days can become a blur to any participant. Where to start? Continue Reading →

Ontario’s Mining Sins of the Father are being Repeated by the Son – Stan Sudol

Stan Sudol - Executive Speech Writer and Mining ColumnistIn last November’s Ontario Speech from the Throne, the Liberals highlighted their commitment, “to improve the quality of life and expand economic opportunities for all Aboriginal peoples in our province, both on- and off-reserve.”

A majority of people in Ontario desperately hope these words are not empty rhetoric however this Government’s current mineral policies seem to indicate that the “mining sins of the father are being repeated by the sons.”

In 1950, my Polish immigrant parents moved to Sudbury due to the many jobs in the nickel mines. At that time, Northern Ontario was experiencing an enormous resource boom, supplying the metals and forest products desperately needed by North American and European economies that were rebuilding after the Second World War. Continue Reading →

Assembly of First Nations Chief Phil Fontaine – Speech to the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada

I would like to thank the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada for your kind invitation to speak here today. In particular, I want to thank Don Bubar, the Chair of the Aboriginal Affairs Committee for his vision and efforts in bringing our communities together.

Before I start though, I want to congratulate PDAC on your 75th anniversary…….your diamond anniversary.

Speaking of diamonds, the newest diamond mine in Canada – which just happens to be located on Attawapiskat First Nation territory – has inspired this speech to you today. This is because the development model being used there is exactly the model we would like to see all mining companies in Canada embrace. 

DeBeers Canada is investing more than $980 Million to develop the mine. This could eventually pump more than $6 Billion dollars into Ontario’s economy … $6 Billion dollars!

The project will earn money for DeBeers and generate royalties for Canada. However, the most important aspect of the development from our standpoint, will be the hundreds of jobs it will create for residents in local First Nations communities as well as sustainable education, training, and business opportunities for our people for decades to come. Continue Reading →

Assembly of First Nations National Chief Phil Fontaine – An Introduction

National Chief Phil Fontaine - Assembly of First NationsPhil Fontaine has devoted his life to improving the quality of life for First Nations citizens.  He was born in 1944 at Sagkeeng First Nation, 150 kilometres north of Winnipeg.  He attended residential schools in Sagkeeng and Assiniboia, later emerging as a leading critic of abuse in that system.

In the 1970s, Phil Fontaine served two terms as chief of his own Sagkeeng First Nation, promoting autonomy and treaty rights. In 1982, he was elected Manitoba’s Vice-Chief for the newly formed Assembly of First Nations.
 
Following the defeat of the Meech Lake Accord, Fontaine was elected Grand Chief of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, serving three consecutive terms from 1991 to 1997.  In 1997, he was first elected National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations.  As National Chief from 1997 to 2000, Fontaine fought to protect the rights, treaty obligations and land claims of First Nations people.  He became the first aboriginal leader to address the Organization of American States.
 
In 2002, he was appointed Chief Commissioner of the Indian Claims Commission, where he helped resolve several significant land claims.  In July 2003, he was elected to his second term as National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations. He is currently serving is third term as National Chief (2006-2009). 

The crowning achievement of his career to date is leading the successful resolution and settlement of claims arising out of the 150 year Indian residential school tragedy. The Final Settlement Agreement now being implemented and is worth over $5.2 billion in individual compensation. The settlement also includes a Truth and Reconciliation Commission, an education fund, healing resources and commemoration funding.

The next posting is a speech that Fontaine gave to the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada discussing Aboriginal participation in the mining sector.

Northern Ontario Settlers Mining on Indian Land in the 1840s – Michael Barnes

Across the North American continent there are many stories from earlier times of conflict when the interests of First Nations people came up against commercial greed.

One such incident took place at Bruce Mines in 1847 and fortunately for all concerned the situation was defused and settled amicably.

The rush to obtain copper and other minerals at Bruce Mines was the first instance of commercial mining operations in the northern Ontario. Continue Reading →

Canadian Mining and Aboriginal Communities in Conflict – Glenn Nolan

Glenn Nolan - Chief of the Missanabie Cree First NationMining activity in Canada is on the rise due to higher metal prices and the metals shortage worldwide. According to Natural Resources Canada, “approximately 1,200 Aboriginal communities are located within 200 kilometres of producing mines and 2,100 exploration properties across Canada”.

Some of those communities have been participating in the industry through partnerships, joint ventures, and employment contracts in all aspects of mining ranging from early exploration projects to production mining. However, the majority of communities remain on the outside of development projects, some even resisting any aspect of development within their traditional lands. Continue Reading →

Glenn Nolan – An Introduction

Glenn Nolan is the Chief of the Missanabie Cree First Nation, located in northern Ontario. He is a strong advocate for sharing information between the mining industry and First Nation communities.

Nolan is a director at the Prospectors and Developer Association of Canada (PDAC) and has been recently voted to the position of second Vice-President. Nolan is also the co-chair of the Aboriginal Affairs committee, which promotes greater involvement and inclusion in the mining industry for First Nation communities.

He began his career in mining, prospecting for uranium in the NWT and Northern Saskatchewan before moving on to search for base and precious metals throughout Canada with his own geophysical survey company.

Nolan has been a member of the National Orphaned/Abandoned Mines Initiative for the past four years, where he continues to speak on behalf of the First Nation communities who are directly impacted by closed mines on or near their traditional territories.