Tag Archives | Aboriginal and Inuit Mining

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.