December 19, 2022
Mining is more than just an industry; it has been a part of the Northern way of life for almost a century. But, the times, they are a-changing.
As part of its responsibility to ensure benefits from the extraction of NWT natural resources continue to be realized by residents of the NWT, the GNWT’s Dept. of ITI commissioned a review in 2022 of its 30-year history with Socio-Economic Agreements (SEAs) to evaluate their overall approach to benefit retention, how retention can be increased, and the extent to which the agreements have, or can continue to, generate benefits.
Deputy Minister, Pamela Strand opens discussion at the Forum
A hybrid (in-person and online) forum earlier this month brought together members and leaders of Indigenous governments, the territorial government, the mining Industry, and various other stakeholders to discuss the findings and recommendations from the review.
Socio Economic Agreement Program Review – Summary Report
With a focus on the future social and economic health of the Northwest Territories, ITI hosted the day-long discussion aimed at updating and improving the agreements which are the basis of an economic relationship that has evolved between the NWTs diamond industry and the NWT’s Indigenous and territorial governments.
Representatives from a wide variety of stakeholder groups were in attendance.
Comments and opinions were dynamic and wide ranging from equality, diversity and cultural wellbeing to the economic benefit and social repercussions of mine working-structures; and from funding systems, accountability and collaboration to the roles of Indigenous Governments in the implementation of future SEAs.
Caroline Wawzonek: Collaborating on Benefit Retention Opportunities and Approaches
Mandate: Adopt a benefit retention approach to economic development
In her opening remarks to the forum, ITI Deputy Minister Pam Strand described the initiative as “a conversation about the future of our economy and the place of the mineral resource sector to create benefits for Northerners within it”.
Florence Catholique, Lutsel K’e Dene First Nation
“We want to be prepared to take advantage of favourable commodity markets generally, including growing demand for critical minerals needed for clean energy and other advanced technologies, geopolitical factors and investment capital in search of quality ESG-I projects,” she noted.
Feedback from the Forum will be reflected in a What We Heard Report to be released in the New Year.