Aboriginal Mining Guide: How to negotiate lasting benefits for your community
July 19, 2010 - Across the North, the mining sector is exploding. It presents many Aboriginal communities with valuable opportunities to engage in a long-term process of capacity building. It is also placing these communities under great pressure to make decisions quickly and without a full understanding of the effects mining can have on a region – positive and negative, long-term and short-term.
The Aboriginal Mining Guide is a new book that helps Aboriginal communities to decide if they can gain lasting benefits from mining: "Can we use mining to increase our capacity to build an economic future that suits our community's values, priorities, and needs?" If the decision is “yes, we can,” the Guide also explains how to acquire those benefits and reduce the negative impacts of mining through well-negotiated Socio-Economic Participation Agreements (SEPAs) or Impact Benefits Agreements (IBAs), and Joint Ventures.
The Guide uses straightforward language as well as diagrams and drawings to explain complex concepts and issues. It also describes and assesses how other Aboriginal communities addressed these matters. The Introduction has five short case studies about mines across Canada’s North and the deals – good, bad, and indifferent – that the neighbouring Aboriginal communities achieved with mining companies.
"This is an excellent Guide with new information on Joint Ventures. The case studies break the back of the main problem in the field, which is that confidentiality keeps communities in the dark. The clear writing and strong graphics and cartoons will make this an excellent resource for communities." Ginger Gibson, co-author, The IBA Community Toolkit (Walter and Duncan Gordon Foundation, March 2010)
The Guide is not just a printed book, but a website: www.miningguide.ca
. You can read the entire publication in your internet browser, or download it or selected modules in PDF. Still more important, the website enables you to leave comments and suggestions about any part of the Guide, so it can grow as Aboriginal experience with mining and mining companies grows.
The Aboriginal Mining Guide is published by the Canadian Centre for Community Renewal
in collaboration with Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in
and the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency
Its authors are Michael Lewis and Sara-Jane Brocklehurst. Lewis has been active as a researcher, analyst, publisher, and workshop facilitator in community economic development since the 1970s. He has played a role in the negotiation and management of numerous Aboriginal Joint Ventures. Brocklehurst has been a strategist and project co-ordinator for dozens of First Nations in British Columbia and Yukon. Together they bring to the Aboriginal Mining Guide nearly 50 years of experience in Aboriginal and community economic development.