Canada mining body, First Nations ink cooperation pact

16 March 2009 | 05:14 Code : 18876 Geoscience events
Mining Association of Canada (MAC) chairperson Jim Gowans and Association of...

Mining Association of Canada (MAC) chairperson Jim Gowans and Association of First Nations (AFN) national chief Phil Fontaine on Monday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU), aimed at strengthening the mining industry’s engagement with native communities and economies, and creating employment and business opportunitiesThe two associations first signed a letter of intent in November 2007, and the resulting dialogue has built partnerships between individual companies and native communities, which has resulted in the MoU being signed, the MAC and AFN said in a joint statementThe mining sector and First Nations are “natural partners” in resource development, said Fontaine“Developing a new partnership between the AFN and MAC will complement and enhance the growing relationships between First Nations and Canada’s major mining companies.The MoU will strengthen existing programmes being run by the individual associations, including the AFN’s Corporate Challenge programme, which creates partnerships with the private sector to promote investment and employment opportunities for First Nations, and the MAC’s Towards Sustainable Mining initiativeGowans, who is also president and CEO of De Beers Canada, noted that the Canadian mining industry is the country’s biggest private sector employer of aboriginal people“Across Canada, mining companies and First Nations communities have agreements in place that include commitments on hiring, training, business development and environmental practices“We believe this growing relationship will be strengthened through dialogue and partnership with the AFN," Gowans said.

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