June 4, 2018
Premier Bob McLeod accepted a Diamonds Do Good Award last week.
While the recognition was formally given to the GNWT in recognition of the responsible, sustainable management of the NWT’s diamond industry, the Premier made it clear he was crediting the 25-year partnership that has been forged and grown between public and Indigenous governments and local producers.
Minister Wally Schumann described the partnership at this year’s Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) Convention as the “NWT Difference” – and on the cutting edge of socially-conscious mineral development in North America.
Joining the Premier, appropriately, at the awards gala were NWT residents Kimi Balsillie and Kelly Lafferty-Norn — Indigenous Metis employees of Gahcho Kue and Diavik respectively.
Kimi, born-and-raised in Yellowknife, is an Environmental Officer at the Gahcho Kue mine. Her role and work in employee safety and environmental standards personifies the respect that our industry now shares for the mineral-rich lands that they are working on.
Kelly is from Hay River. She had an office job until she took an introduction-to-mining course. Now she is considered one of Diavik’s top haul-truck operators.
These are two independent, Indigenous women born and raised in the NWT who have embraced the opportunities provided by responsible diamond mining. Their careers represent the NWT Difference highlighted by Minister Schumann and celebrated and recognized in the award accepted, last week, by the Premier.