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 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.
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.
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:
"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."
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."