A guide to mine

The Peel debate has pitted First Nations and the mining industry against each other. But on Friday, the product of a partnership between the two most vocal First Nations in the Peel, and the Yukon Chamber of Mines was published.

The Peel debate has pitted First Nations and the mining industry against each other.

But on Friday, the product of a partnership between the two most vocal First Nations in the Peel, and the Yukon Chamber of Mines was published.

It’s a 22-page guide for mining and resource companies.

Starting out as an updated list of contacts and information, the guide evolved into a broader look at doing business with the local aboriginal population, said chamber president Claire Derome.

“About a year ago, we were approached by both First Nations to initiate some discussion on how we could improve communication and relationships between our industry and First Nation governments,” said Derome.

And while the Na-cho Nyak Dun and Tr’ondek Hwech’in First Nations co-authored the guide with the chamber, it is general enough to be used by all Yukon First Nations, added Derome.

The guide begins with a brief, basic and common sense checklist for companies looking to work in the Yukon.

It includes things like making sure to fulfill obligations under the final agreements and use local knowledge, suppliers and expertise when available.

It then explains Yukon First Nations are self-governing and should be treated like a territorial government, and not as simple stakeholders.

It notes that while three Yukon First Nations are not self-governing, they still have inherent rights and authority in their traditional territories.

The guide also discusses Yukon communities and how their long history with “boom and bust” economies make them concerned about a project’s lifespan.

With mention of impact-benefit agreements, the differences between First Nation governments and their development corporations, local benefits and regulatory processes, like the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board, the guide clearly notes the importance of early engagement with local First Nations.

“We tried to provide basic guidance with the hope that this will help generate earlier contact than is currently happening,” said Derome.

“And I think it’s happening because it’s a lack of understanding of who they need to talk to, how and when. So that’s what this guide is trying to address.”

Before seven full pages of contact numbers, term definitions and website links to legislation, maps, information and affected organizations, a more detailed checklist is provided.

This one includes a warning about the effect residential schools had on communities and to be aware and respectful of cultural activities, like hunting and fishing season, potlatches and general assemblies.

Although there is also legal and political enforcement, this guide will be read and could, hopefully, help improve relations between industry and First Nations, said Derome.

“First of all, ourselves, we have 400-plus members,” she said. “Then we also have another way to communicate with companies, even if they are not members. We’ve made sure that it’s going to be posted on the government’s website, so it’s been distributed widely.”

The chamber’s membership in national industry organizations and its attendance at national forums will also allow for this guide to be read past Yukon’s borders as well, she said.

Currently it is available at the chamber’s website, in PDF format. Hard copies will soon be printed.

Contact Roxanne Stasyszyn at roxannes@yukon-news.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Children’s performer Claire Ness poses for a photo for the upcoming annual Pivot Festival. “Claire Ness Morning” will be a kid-friendly performance streamed on the morning of Jan. 30. (Photo courtesy Erik Pinkerton Photography)
Pivot Festival provides ‘delight and light’ to a pandemic January

The festival runs Jan. 20 to 30 with virtual and physically distant events

The Boulevard of Hope was launched by the Yukon T1D Support Network and will be lit up throughout January. It is aimed at raising awareness about Yukoners living with Type 1 diabetes. (Stephanie Waddell/Yukon News)
Boulevard of Hope sheds light on Type 1 diabetes

Organizers hope to make it an annual event

City of Whitehorse city council meeting in Whitehorse on Oct. 5, 2020. An updated council procedures bylaw was proposed at Whitehorse city council’s Jan. 18 meeting that would see a few changes to council meetings and how council handles certain matters like civil emergencies. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Whitehorse procedures bylaw comes forward

New measures proposed for how council could deal with emergencies

A Yukon survey querying transportation between communities has already seen hundreds of participants and is the latest review highlighting the territory’s gap in accessibility. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Multiple reports, survey decry lack of transportation between Yukon communities

A Community Travel survey is the latest in a slew of initiatives pointing to poor accessibility

Mobile vaccine team Team Balto practises vaccine clinic set-up and teardown at Vanier Catholic Secondary School. Mobile vaccine teams are heading out this week to the communities in order to begin Moderna vaccinations. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Mobile vaccine teams begin community vaccinations

“It’s an all-of-government approach”

A file photo of grizzly bear along the highway outside Dawson City. Yukon conservation officers euthanized a grizzly bear Jan. 15 that was originally sighted near Braeburn. (Alistair Maitland/Yukon News file)
Male grizzly euthanized near Braeburn

Yukon conservation officers have euthanized a grizzly bear that was originally sighted… Continue reading

Mayor Dan Curtis listens to a councillor on the phone during a city council meeting in Whitehorse on April 14, 2020. Curtis announced Jan. 14 that he intends to seek nomination to be the Yukon Liberal candidate for Whitehorse Centre in the 2021 territorial election. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Whitehorse mayor seeking nomination for territorial election

Whitehorse mayor Dan Curtis is preparing for a run in the upcoming… Continue reading

Gerard Redinger was charged under the <em>Civil Emergency Measures Act</em> with failing to self-isolate and failing to transit through the Yukon in under 24 hours. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Man ticketed $1,150 at Wolf Creek campground for failing to self-isolate

Gerard Redinger signed a 24-hour transit declaration, ticketed 13 days later

Yukon Energy, Solvest Inc. and Chu Níikwän Development Corporation are calling on the city for a meeting to look at possibilities for separate tax rates or incentives for renewable energy projects. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Tax changes sought for Whitehorse energy projects

Delegates call for separate property tax category for renewable energy projects

Yukon University has added seven members to its board of governors in recent months. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
New members named to Yukon U’s board of governors

Required number of board members now up to 17

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: Your Northern regulatory adventure awaits!

“Your Northern adventure awaits!” blared the headline on a recent YESAB assessment… Continue reading

Yukoner Shirley Chua-Tan is taking on the role of vice-chair of the social inclusion working group with the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences’ oversight panel and working groups for the autism assessment. (Submitted)
Canadian Academy of Health Sciences names Yukoner to panel

Shirley Chua-Tan is well-known for a number of roles she plays in… Continue reading

Most Read