About the Project
In January 2012, CBERN prepared and presented its report on identifying knowledge needs for mining development to the Naskapi Steering Committee and the Naskapi community.
The first step in the plan has now been completed. This report to the Naskapi community describes what the research team found. The second part of the plan is to improve access to information that will help the community address its concerns and realize its hopes for building a better and stronger future.
Download the Report: English | Naskapi
For First Nations
, there is a need for access to resources that will facilitate dialogue and networking across the north and encourage the sharing of knowledge and experiences on elements of socially responsible economic development, for example, Impact and Benefit Agreements, contract negotiations, acts and regulations, and environmental and social issues.
, understanding how Aboriginal traditional knowledge and culture influence economic decisions and agreements is a critical and often daunting process; this is true of both large and small companies. Yet as experience has demonstrated again and again, misunderstanding and failure to acquire that understanding can prove very costly and result in delays and failure. Thus, for business, there is also a need for access to knowledge resources and tools that will provide a reliable guide to building ethically grounded relationships with those who will be impacted by their activities in the north, from initial contact through project implementation.
With the goals of meeting these needs, our Public Outreach project has three elements.
- Facilitate access to the growing body of knowledge setting out standards and benchmarks for ethically responsible mining. To accomplish this goal, we plan to use advanced electronic learning tools, building on and developing CBERN’s current website.
- Identify networks and organizations in the north that have developed or are developing websites with sustainable development and ethical investment themes and a knowledge mobilization and knowledge transfer function. Our goal here is to ensure that we avoid duplication and build on what has already been achieved. This task is particularly important in as much as research to date suggests that efforts to improve communication tools of the sort we envisage are currently rather fragmented and uncoordinated.
- Engage in an on–going process designed to evaluate the effectiveness of electronic learning tools for engaging northern communities, groups and First Nations. This task is crucially important because, no matter how sophisticated, electronic communication tools are of no value unless they are actually used and valued by those for whom they are intended to provide benefits.
- Enable the establishment of community well-being self-evaluation in order to track outcomes over time by: i) Developing an inventory of community well-being indicators through interviews, focus groups, (language) interpretation and validation; ii) Developing an initial baseline assessment of community well-being based on the indicators; and iii) Develop a protocol to enable on-going community well-being assessment
The project will be guided by: Wesley Cragg who is Project Director for the Canadian Business Ethics Research Network and whose field of expertise is business ethics; and Ben Bradshaw, Associate Professor of Geography at the University of Guelph whose field of research is responsible mining in the Canadian north, and especially the use and efficacy of Impact and Benefit Agreements. Both applicants have worked extensively with First Nations on economic development issues.
The applicants will be guided by: an interdisciplinary team of academics with distinguished records of research in areas related to the project’s theme; two First Nations, the Naskapi and the Missanabie Cree and their Chiefs, Philip Einish, and Glenn Nolan; and a experienced and distinguished group of leaders drawn from business, government, and the voluntary sectors.