2020 Skookum Jim Award

Recipients of this award have demonstrated exceptional achievement and/or service in a Canadian Indigenous-run service business for the Canadian mining industry or a Canadian Indigenous exploration or mining company, or have made a significant individual contribution to the mining industry. 

Hans Matthews

New image of Hans

For his contribution to Canada’s mineral exploration and mining sector by building bridges between Indigenous communities and the industry through the Canadian Aboriginal Minerals Association

Hans Matthews is an experienced geologist and member of the Wahnapitae First Nation in Ontario. As a founder and president of the Canadian Aboriginal Minerals Association (CAMA), he has played a key role in the evolution of Indigenous communities as equal partners in the mining industry. 

Hans received his B.Sc. in geological and earth sciences from Brock University in 1982. He started his career as a project geologist for several mining companies, including in the Red Lake camp for Interquest Resources, and continued in exploration for a syndicate led by Barrick Gold. In 1991, he made the leap to government, becoming project manager of the Aboriginal Workforce Participation Initiative for Indian and Northern Affairs Canada. He later worked for consulting firm PwC to facilitate agreements between mining companies and Indigenous Peoples for projects in Australia, Canada and South Africa. 

All of this diverse, international and national experience prepared Hans to become one of the founding members of CAMA in 1992. As the organization's president, he helped CAMA bring together industry and Indigenous leaders, government representatives and youth in a neutral setting to discuss resource management, youth engagement, and health and environmental protection. The organization has been pivotal in developing partnerships that provide training, employment, business opportunities, and equity to Indigenous Peoples across Canada. 

While continuing to lead CAMA, Hans has taken on several other roles to advance Indigenous interests in the resource sector. He negotiated the participation agreement between the Nickel Rim South mine in Sudbury and the Wahnapitae First Nation, and was elected band councillor in 2012. He served as a board member of the National Energy Board and continues to serve on the board of the Northern Centre for Advanced Technologies (NORCAT) in Sudbury. Hans has also taken on the crucial role of reviewing resource projects for their impact on communities, health and the environment as a member of the board of Environment and Climate Change Canada. 

His leadership skills extend to the realm of community health care. For more than a decade, he has been chair of the Shkagamik-Kwe Health Centre in Sudbury, where thousands of Indigenous patients receive holistic care combining traditional medicines and teachings with Western medical science. 



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