Indigenous Peoples and Mining 2: Interests Through the Mining Life Cycle

Indigenous Peoples and Mining 2: Interests Through the Mining Life Cycle

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Areas of Study: Environment and Community

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This course surveys key activities in each phase of the mining life cycle and how these activities could both affect and benefit Indigenous peoples.

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Course Summary

Introduction

This course identifies some of the intersection points between mining activities and Indigenous peoples. The course is organized according to the mining life cycle, from mineral exploration through mine development, operations, and ultimately mine closure/reclamation and post-closure. We survey some key activities that take place at each phase of the mining life cycle and identify ways in which these activities could both affect and benefit Indigenous peoples. This course also showcases some practical tools and examples for mining practitioners who work with Indigenous peoples. A significant amount of publicly available information describes the experiences that mining proponents have had in Indigenous engagement (both good and bad) and the course provides an introduction to that material.

This course continues on from the companion course, "Indigenous Peoples and Mining 1: Indigeneity Concepts and Context," which examines the complex idea of indigeneity in several active mining regions in the world (Canada, the United States, Australia, Mexico, Peru, and Brazil). An overarching point we wish to stress in both courses is the incredible diversity of Indigenous peoples—culturally, linguistically, developmentally, and in terms of their aspirations.

Indigenous Peoples and Mining Series Background

The Indigenous Peoples and Mining series was developed to support mining professionals in understanding who Indigenous peoples are, how their rights and interests are recognized in standards and law, and to identify how contemporary mining activities impact Indigenous peoples.

All the world's major mining regions are home to Indigenous peoples. As the Indigenous rights movement has gained momentum, the mining sector increasingly finds itself having to navigate challenging issues that arise as a result of exploration and extractive activities on or near Indigenous lands. Exacerbating such engagements is the remarkable speed of these political changes. When most present-day mining professionals were in school, Indigenous rights were not even on the radar. Indeed, even today—speaking especially from a global perspective—Indigenous issues are inadequately covered within the mining schools. To students and practitioners alike, the course series will be of interest to anyone active in mining today.

Upon completing the course series, participants will come away with an awareness of how contemporary mining activities fit within a long and dynamic story about Indigenous peoples—their existence, historical subjugation, cultural resiliency, and collective effort to gain recognition as distinct peoples with corresponding rights.

Course Content

The course comprises 8 viewing sessions of 15–30 minutes each with supporting figures, tables, and a multiple choice course review. Course duration is equivalent to approximately 5 hours of viewing content.

Learning Outcomes

  • Identify how the mine cycle, from mineral exploration through to mine post-closure, intersects with Indigenous peoples.

Recommended Background

  • Completion of the "Indigenous Peoples and Mining 1: Indigeneity Concepts and Context" course.

Amiel Blajchman

Amiel Blajchman is an environment, community development, and risk management professional who has over 17 years' experience helping Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities, business, and government manage the environmental and social risks of challenging, high-profile projects. Amiel has been a Canadian mining company executive responsible for environment and Indigenous relations, a senior project manager responsible for federal environmental assessments and crown consultations, and has acted as the senior advisor to Deputy Ministers as part of the Canadian government's Sector Sustainability Tables initiative. Mr. Blajchman has particular expertise in providing junior and mid-size mining companies with strategic environmental approvals and community engagement advice.

Amiel is currently a board member of Ve'ahavta: Jewish Humanitarian Response. He has served as a board member with Etobicoke's Breakaway Addiction Services, Ottawa's StreetSmarts, and the Laidlaw Foundation's Youth Engagement Program. He has worked with community groups in the Philippines and the Dominican Republic. He has also worked with the Bangladeshi, Indian, and Canadian governments on sustainable development-related projects. Amiel has also been involved in developing domestic emission trading regulations and greenhouse gas (GHG) offset systems, in addition to being a member of a National Greenhouse Gas Certification group. Amiel has experience working in over 9 countries including Canada, the USA, Dominican Republic, Djibouti, Ecuador, and the Philippines. He is fluently bilingual in French and English.

Amiel is a verified auditor for the Mining Association of Canada's Towards Sustainable Mining initiative; has certification in negotiation & mediation, advanced dispute resolution, and conflict analysis; holds a Master's in Environmental Studies focusing on sustainability in the mining industry, and postgraduate diplomas in Business & the Environment, and Latin America and Caribbean Studies.

Corey Dekker

Corey Dekker has worked for the past 10 years advising the Government of Canada on how to mitigate non-technical risk in federal regulatory processes overseeing natural resource development. Corey has worked as a Senior Advisor with multiple federal regulators in Canada, and through those positions has helped shape Canada's approach to integrating socio-economic impact assessment, Indigenous consultation, and Indigenous traditional knowledge into federal regulatory processes involving mining and energy development.

In addition to advising the government on regulatory frameworks and approaches, Corey has worked on dozens of major resource projects (mines, oil/gas, pipelines) and represented Canada in consultation with over 200 Indigenous groups. Corey has also developed and delivered training modules for the public, proponents, and Indigenous groups on the integration of socio-economic and Indigenous traditional knowledge into environmental assessment processes. In 2015, the Government of Canada awarded Corey a Regulatory Excellence Award for his work in this field.

Corey the is founder of the social enterprise GreenSocialLicense.ca, which provides free stakeholder mapping services for renewable energy startups. Corey is a status member of the Pine Creek First Nation in Manitoba and holds degrees in Political Science and Government from Simon Fraser University (BA) and the London School of Economics (MSc).