Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Aboriginal Communities and Mining

On September 10th to 12th, 1999, the Innu Nation and MiningWatch Canada co-sponsored a gathering of aboriginal people from communities across Canada to address four questions:

  1. What have Aboriginal people learned in the last few years about ensuring a recognition of the relationship between aboriginal rights, jurisdiction and the assessment of mining projects?
  2. What have Aboriginal communities learned about respecting and working with the complexities of community responses to development?
  3. What are the consequences for the treaty process and impact-benefit agreements of the Innu and Inuit experience with INCO and Voisey’s Bay?
  4. What role should MiningWatch Canada play in supporting Aboriginal work in the future?

Seventy-three representatives from thirty-two Aboriginal groups and communities, along with representatives of MiningWatch Canada and the United Steelworkers of America attended the workshop.

This document summarizes the proceedings and findings of the event.
We are grateful to the following for providing financial assistance to the workshop:

  1. The Canadian Environmental Defence Fund
  2. The Walter and Duncan Gordon Charitable Foundation 
  3. The Richard and Jean Ivey Foundation
  4. The Samuel and Saidye Bronfman Family Foundation 
  5. The Laidlaw Foundation

The findings and recommendations from this workshop will be used by MiningWatch Canada and the Innu Nation to build an agenda for reform of mining practice and policy, and will guide our work in the years to come.