Aboriginal Affairs

Aboriginal Program at the PDAC 2017 Convention

The Aboriginal Program at the PDAC Convention aims to bring together the mineral industry and Aboriginal community members and businesses to share information, exchange ideas and network. In 2016, there were over 500 self-identified Aboriginal attendees at the PDAC Convention and more than 700 people participated in the Aboriginal Program sessions.

Register for a PDAC 2017 All-Access pass to attend the Aboriginal Program sessions.

Monday, March 6

The Mineral Industry and Indigenous communities – Canadian and international experiences
9:30am – 12noon
Room: 714
Chair: Dr. Jonathan Fowler, J. A Fowler and Associates Inc.

This session will identify key issues and partnerships between exploration and mining companies and Indigenous communities. Specifically, panelists will examine experiences and share insights about operating in different political, social and cultural contexts around the world and how companies and communities work together. By exploring experiences of engaging with Indigenous communities in Canada and internationally, this session will highlight some of the unique and common challenges, as well as the opportunities when building relationships and developing partnerships.



9:35 Panel Presentations


Indigenous Community of Guandacol and the Relationship with the Gualcamayo Mine, San Juan, Argentina
Mario Hernandez, Director, Community Relations, Argentina, Yamana Gold

10:20 Working Together – Exploring the relationship between Biigtigong Nishnaabeg, Pic Mobert and Barrick Hemlo
Chief Duncan Michano, Biigtigong Nishnaabeg
Chief Wayne Sabourin, Pic Mobert First Nation
Andrew Baumen, General Manager, Barrick Hemlo
Jeremy Dart, Environmental Superintendent, Barrick Hemlo
Debi Bouchie, Employee Relations Superintendent, Barrick Hemlo


Indigenous Peoples and Mining in Chile - Perspectives from Government, Industry, and the UN Women
Amparo Cornejo, Director of Social Responsibility and Corporate Affairs for Teck Chile
María Inés Salamanca, UN Women Program Director;

11:50 Closing remarks and Q&A

Monday, March 6

The Aboriginal Forum: Reconciliation - The New Context for Relationship Building in Canada
2:00-4:30pm - Forum
4:30-5:30pm - Reception
Room 701
Chair: Michael Fox, Indigenous Community Engagement (ICE)
Panel Moderator: Lana Eagle

The Aboriginal Forum brings together mineral industry practitioners, Aboriginal communities and companies, and governments to share experiences and highlight the outcomes when working constructively together. The event is a venue for discussion on creating and sustaining mutually beneficial relationships in order to foster a successful mineral industry in Canada and generate opportunities for Aboriginal people. This session will centre on Reconciliation as the new context for relationship building in Canada. Chief Dr. Robert Joseph of Reconciliation Canada will deliver a keynote address at the event, which will also feature panel discussions on reconciliation in practice and examples arising from company-community partnerships.

The session will be followed by a networking reception, sponsored by Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP, from 4:30-5:30pm


Welcoming and Blessing
Ed Sackaney, Knowledge and Wisdom Keeper

2:05 Keynote: Reconciliation in Canada
Chief Dr. Robert Joseph, Reconciliation Canada


Exploring Reconciliation: Building relationships, developing partnerships
Isadore Day, Ontario Regional Chief, Chiefs of Ontario
Deborah Richardson, Deputy Minister, Ontario Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation
Chief Dr. Robert Joseph, Reconciliation Canada

Moderator: Lana Eagle

3:30 Reconciliation and the Minerals Industry: an 'on the ground' perspective
Dr. Silvana Costa, ‎Manager, Environment and Social Responsibility, New Gold Inc.
Vesta Filipchuk, ‎Community and Aboriginal Relations - Exploration - Canada & USA, Teck
Resources Limited
Glenn Nolan, ‎Vice President Government Affairs, Noront Resources
Moderator: Lana Eagle

Tuesday, March 7

Aboriginal Law, Indigenous Frameworks and Regulatory Regimes: examining the evolving landscape
Room: 717
Chair: Kenning Marchant, The Marchant Practice

Jurisprudence related to Aboriginal rights in Canada and regulatory initiatives continue to evolve over time, providing clarity in some areas while raising additional questions and ultimately contributing to shaping and reshaping the landscape of the mineral sector. Increasing dialogue related to various frameworks and court decisions also contribute to the way in which companies and communities perceive and understand their roles in the sector. This session will examine some of the recent legal decisions, frameworks and regulatory initiatives, as well as key challenges and opportunities, that arise for mineral companies and Aboriginal communities in relation to resource development.



9:05 Reconciliation and Section 35 Métis Rights 
Thomas Isaac, Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP


Recent Developments in Metis Rights, Consultation and Reconciliation: What industry needs to know
Jason Madden, Pape Salter Teillet LLP

9:55 Q&A



10:20 An Update on the Federal Environmental Assessment Legislation Review: perspective from a member of the Multi-Interest AdvisoryCommittee, and an overview of progressive reform ideas on the table for the EA Panel
Sara Mainville, LL.B, LL.M., Olthuis, Kleer, Townshend LLP



11:05 An Update on Key Legal Cases in Canada: the current landscape in Aboriginal Law
Sandra Gogal, Miller Thomson LLP



Tuesday, March 7

Aboriginal Communities and the Mineral Industry: Partnerships, Leadership and Perspectives
Room 717
Chair: Michael Fox, Indigenous Community Engagement (ICE)

The mineral exploration and mining industry and Aboriginal communities continue to explore ways to develop positive relationships that translate into mutually beneficial outcomes - successful mineral projects and long-term economic development opportunities for communities. Throughout the project cycle from mineral exploration to mine development and operations, companies and communities have identified a number of challenges impacting the process, as well as opportunities to generate successful partnerships. Some of the ongoing challenges include consultation, capacity deficits, agreement negotiation and implementation, and socio-economic conditions and impacts. This session will feature speakers who will share their experiences related to some of these key areas, including building community-based environmental capacity, developing community partnerships to offset environmental impacts, and perspectives from Aboriginal leaders on various community challenges and solutions.



2:05 Fostering Community Based Environmental Capacity through Mining Relationships
Cheryl Recollet, Director of Sustainable Development, Wahnapitae First Nation
Stefanie Recollet, Environmental Coordinator, Wahnapitae First Nation
Jolene Recollet, Economic Development Officer, Wahnapitae First Nation



3:20 Break


Offsetting arctic fisheries impacts from resource development: a community - company partnership approach
Matthew Pickard, Vice-President Environment & Sustainability, Sabina Gold & Silver Corp. TBD, Kugluktuk Angoniatit – Hunters’ and Trappers’ Organization

4:00 Perspectives from Aboriginal Leaders & Practitioners: Local challenges, local solutions
Sean Willy, Creative Fire & Vice President, Des Nedhe Development
Byron LeClair, First Nations Resource Management
Panelist TBC

Tuesday, March 6

Skookum Jim Award Presentation - Awards Evening
Fairmont Royal York Hotel, Canadian Room
6:00 pm

The Skookum Jim Award recognizes and honours Aboriginal individuals and businesses who demonstrate exceptional achievement and/or service in an Aboriginal-run service business for the Canadian minerals industry or a Canadian Aboriginal exploration or mining company, or have made a significant individual contribution to the industry.

Admission with Awards ticket. Tickets $125 each.