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Indigenous Peoples and the Social License to Mine in Saskatchewan: Outreach and Prospects for Change

by pmnationtalk on January 11, 201945 Views

Indigenous Peoples and the Social License to Mine in Saskatchewan:
Outreach and Prospects for Change

Indigenous organizations have acquired considerable experience in working with extractive industries operating in Saskatchewan. For those resource-based companies that have earned a social license to mine, the support earned to proceed and operate has been rewarding.

The Mining Association of Canada has taken a keen interest in how to measure the effectiveness of management systems and has developed an Aboriginal and Community Outreach Protocol. This initiative is a positive development against a historical context of militant confrontation, legal battles and struggles to reach agreements between mining companies and Indigenous organizations. In 2001, Natural Resources Canada estimated that approximately 1200 Indigenous communities are located within 200 km of various mining activities.

Today, the Coalition of Indigenous Peoples of Saskatchewan (CIPS) has estimated that more than 50% of Indigenous communities in Saskatchewan are located less that 40 km from an extractive site. The potential environmental, health and socio-economic impacts of these mines are significant and Indigenous communities who face these impacts are seeking to work with socially responsible and ethical mining companies.

CIPS has recently proposed a Protocol of Understanding and Cooperation with the Star-Orion South Diamond Mine, which is located 60 kms east of Prince Albert in the Fort à la Corne area. This historic area includes Métis and First Nations traditional harvesting areas and sacred sites. CIPS is promoting the training and recruitment of Indigenous youth into trades and technical and skilled occupations, as well as labourers, miners, truck drivers and equipment operators.

The purpose of CIPS is to enhance, promote and foster the social, economic, educational, cultural, health, well-being and rights of status and non-status Indians living off reserve and Métis living in Saskatchewan. Our mission is to build a strong and effective representative organization based on the governance principles of legitimacy and voice; strategic vision; responsiveness; fairness; accountability; and transparency.

Quote from John Hanikenne, President of CIPS:

“Land and water are fundamental to Indigenous identity. It’s part of our traditional knowledge, languages, cultures and spiritual values. When our sacred sites are impacted, our people suffer both spiritually and emotionally. We hope to establish a positive and evolving relationship with the Star-Orion South Diamond Mine and other extractive industries working in Saskatchewan.”

John Hanikenne, President

Coalition of Indigenous Peoples of Saskatchewan

For more information contact:

John Hanikenne, President
Coalition of Indigenous Peoples of Saskatchewan
Tel: 306-922-0090
Email: metisman9@gmail.com

 

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