Indigenous Peoples’ Rights and Engagement
At Goldcorp, our strategy is to seek and encourage partnerships with all local communities. Five of our operations (Red Lake, Musselwhite, Porcupine, Marlin and Éléonore) and two of our projects (Coffee and Borden) are in or adjacent to Indigenous Peoples’ territories.
We are committed to meeting or exceeding mandatory consultation requirements and working in collaboration with all stakeholders who have an interest in our projects and operations. In particular, we collaborate with stakeholders and assist in the creation of employment and business opportunities for local Indigenous communities, with sensitivity and support for their social and cultural practices.
As a member of the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM), we support the ICMM Position Statement on Mining and Indigenous Peoples, which was updated in 2013 and came into effect in 2015. The Position Statement outlines the ICMM’s view of Free, Prior, and Informed Consent (FPIC) and commits member companies to putting this into practice. A key element of the document is a commitment to obtain consent of Indigenous groups for new projects. With the acquisition of the Coffee project in the Yukon this year as well as our ongoing Borden project in Ontario, we are working to ensure that local First Nations are adequately consulted throughout the project stage.
Effective engagement with Indigenous groups can create employment and business opportunities for communities, encourage economic independence and entrepreneurship, and ensure operations are sensitive to local cultural and social practices. Many of our sites have established formal agreements with Indigenous groups near to our sites. These agreements often have different names (Collaboration Agreements, Cooperation Agreements, Resource Development Agreements, etc.) and vary by size and scope, but all of them establish foundational elements for collaborative partnerships.
We have collaboration agreements in place with all of the First Nations that assert Aboriginal and treaty rights in the vicinity of our operating mines in Canada. Meanwhile, all of our four Latin American sites have signed agreements with local communities and governments in and around our mine sites.
In Latin America, our agreements with local communities follow a different format than our First Nations agreements in Canada. Instead, they usually represent specific commitments or activities, and range from large, multi-year projects to smaller, one-time commitments. As such, we may have multiple agreements signed with one community or group, sometimes over various years. In addition, the types of groups we sign these agreements with differ according to the local context.
While each agreement is a unique reflection of the partners involved, we strongly believe that together these agreements demonstrate a company-wide commitment to working transparently and in good faith to build long-term relationships with partners in the communities. Below are examples of advances made during the year thanks to our agreements.
In 2016, our Porcupine mine worked hand-in-hand with the Flying Post, Matachewan, Mattagami and Wahgoshig First Nations to launch the business venture Niiwin. Owned in equal parts by the four First Nations, the business offers ore haul, cleaning and security services at Porcupine. This collaboration came as part of the Resource Development Agreement signed in 2014 between the four First Nations and Goldcorp, which includes provisions for training, employment, business and contracting opportunities along with a consultation framework for regulatory permitting. Niiwin’s operations were officially launched in October 2016 and employ people from the First Nations and local community.
In Latin America, our Marlin mine worked extensively with local community development councils (known as COCODES in Spanish). These councils are formally appointed by each of the communities near our mine and decide, prioritize and implement projects of significance in accordance to each community’s needs and priorities. This approach highlights the importance of including culturally and contextually appropriate decision-making processes that take into consideration the traditions and social practices of the areas where we operate.