Sustainability

Highlights: Coeuraj at PDAC 2022

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Canada and the Emerging Global Paradigm for Indigenous Communities and the Mining Industry

Download the session two-pager

Members of the mining and exploration industry realize that success hinges on their ability to work with and create shared value for the communities and regions they affect. But good collaboration doesn’t happen on its own; it has to be designed.

On June 13, 2022, Coeuraj co-hosted Partnerships, Participation, and ESG-I: Canada and the emerging global paradigm for Indigenous communities and the mining industry with Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP for PDAC's 2022 Indigenous Program. Our session was chaired by Sandra Gogal, Partner in Aboriginal Law at Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP, and facilitated by John Hibble, Transformation Lead at Coeuraj.

We were joined by a diverse community

We were joined by exceptional speakers who shared their perspectives with over 150 attendees that represented industry, government, and Indigenous-led business and communities (and more). We were proud of the diversity of perspective and affiliation present in the room, and the deep interest that people brought to each and every conversation.

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Partnerships, participation, and ESG-I breakout conversations

Speakers:

Saga Williams, Principal and Owner of AS Williams Consulting & Adjunct Professor at Osgoode Law School

Camilla Lott, Head of Social Performance Management at Vale

Mark Podlasly, Director of Economic Policy and Initiatives at the First Nations Major Projects Coalition & Adjunct Professor at University of British Columbia’s Sauder School of Business

Sharon K. Singh, Partner, Co-Head of the Aboriginal Law Practice at Bennett Jones LLP

Each speaker opened with a 5-minute lightning talk and shared key questions that touched on how Indigenous communities can be included in economic partnerships; how culturally-appropriate participation can enable the clean energy transition; what types of disclosures facilitate Indigenous partnerships; and how Indigenous peoples’ rights can be respected and fulfilled within mining activity.

Read on for session highlights, or, download our session two-pager.

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Speaker Camilla Lott in conversation with participants

Key takeaways

After the lightning talks, participants were invited to share their ideas and discuss questions, challenges, and opportunities in breakout groups.

Our team synthesized and drew connections across ideas that, in practice, can advance the mining and exploration industry’s ability to meaningfully facilitate Indigenous partnership and participation at all scales.

We heard that:

Consistent dialogue builds trust and helps maintain productive relationships

Indigenous participation should happen throughout the life cycle of a mining project

Everyone needs to start from a place of shared understanding, and

More capacity is needed to make progress

"Access to capital is key for [Indigenous communities] to be equity partners in mining projects. This is the most impactful form of partnership between mining companies and Indigenous communities."

Session participant

Shifting the conference experience to help participants make connections

Conferences allow people to learn and build new relationships. Sometimes, people can feel “talked to” as opposed to “engaged with,” and making connections across a sea of new faces can be hard. But within our session’s 90 minute timeline, speakers were able to share insights and participants reimagined new possibilities with each other.

This event was a small example of how conversations between different people, with different interests, can be designed to strengthen outcomes and transform relationships. A big thank you to PDAC for providing us with this platform, and to all our speakers and participants who made for a memorable session.

Do you have ideas about how to create a more inclusive, sustainable, and collaborative resource sector? If so, get in touch with our team. We'd love to have a conversation with you.

"We already have the tools and frameworks (like ESG). It's just a matter of how to employ and integrate them with Indigenous peoples."

Session participant
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Participants answering the question: "How can culturally appropriate participation enable critical mineral development in time to meet the needs of the clean energy transition."

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