The minerals industry strongly supports efforts to facilitate the full participation of Aboriginal people in the economic opportunities it generates through training, development, employment, business development and mutually-beneficial partnerships. As a result of diverse efforts by a range of actors, for example, Aboriginal employment in the minerals and metals industry increased 12% from 2007 to 2015.
There is great potential to further increase participation by Aboriginal people in the minerals industry, particularly given that Canada’s Aboriginal population is younger and growing at a faster rate than the general population, and that a number of communities are located in close proximity to exploration projects and producing mines. The industry is also facing an imminent skills and labour shortage, and will require more than 106,000 new workers over the next decade.
PDAC recommends that the federal government support efforts to enhance the participation of Aboriginal people in the minerals industry through:
- Foundational social investments that contribute to improved health and educational outcomes for Aboriginal communities.
- Targeted funds for skills training and entrepreneurship to assist Aboriginal people in securing employment and seizing business development opportunities generated by the industry.