OMA member-First Nation agreement opens employment and business opportunities
An agreement between Ontario Mining Association member Goldcorp and Lac Seul First Nation opens training, employment, business and contracting opportunities in the Red Lake area. The Obishikokaang Collaboration Agreement, which was signed recently in a ceremony by both parties, establishes a framework for continued consultation to support existing and future gold mining operations of Goldcorp in the region.
The Lac Seul First Nation has about 3,200 band members, with about two thirds living off reserve. This First Nation has historic ties to the development of the Red Lake gold camp and many of its members live in the community.
“Goldcorp’s commitment to working with First Nations is once again demonstrated with this agreement, ensuring both the sustainable development of the area in which we operate and long-term economic benefits for communities,” said Chris Cormier, mine general manager at Goldcorp’s Red Lake Gold Mines. “We look forward to working in partnership with Lac Seul First Nation to foster continued dialogue and to implement the initiatives set out in the agreement.”
“The agreement demonstrates that Lac Seul First Nation can work successfully with industry,” said Chief Clifford Bull of Lac Seul First Nation. “I want to extend my gratitude to Goldcorp for working with our First Nation to develop the Obishikokaang Collaboration Agreement that will help create prosperity within our First Nation and region and certainly for Goldcorp.”
The agreement also provides funding for the Lac Seul Training Centre of Excellence and the Lac Seul First Nation Business Equity Fund. The training centre, among its varied roles, provides scholarship and bursary opportunities for post-secondary education.
“Collaboration is only possible with open communication from both sides,” said Cormier. “This agreement and the ongoing consultation that will result from it demonstrate what can be achieved when industry and First Nations work closely together to foster mutual understanding and respect.”
“The end result — the Obishikokaang Collaboration Agreement – means that a significant improvement in La Seul First Nation’s relationship with Goldcorp and the Red Lake Gold Mines has been achieved,” said Chief Bull.
Goldcorp, which has its headquarters in Vancouver, is a major gold producer with operations in Canada, the United States, Mexico, Guatemala, Argentina and the Dominican Republic. It employs about 15,000 people worldwide. In 2012, the company turned out about 2.4 million ounces of gold, with more than 507,000 ounces coming from the Red Lake Gold Mines.
Lac Seul First Nation, known as Obishikokaang, is a large reserve in Northwestern Ontario. The reserve has four electoral zones and its traditional lands are crossed by the main transportation route used in the early exploration and development of the Red Lake gold mining district.
Earlier this year, Goldcorp created an innovative company with several First Nations. The company’s Musselwhite Mine and 13 First Nations in Northwestern Ontario formed a partnership to create Wataynikaneyap Power. This new electricity company plans to develop a transmission line to connect remote First Nations to the provincial grid and provide more reliable power to communities and companies already linked to Ontario’s electrical network.
The project is expected to create 1,200 jobs during the construction period and 60 longer term jobs. It is anticipated that the transmission project will also create new economic development opportunities including renewable energy possibilities.