Agnico Eagle Mines Limited’s Nunavut Community Relations, Education & People Development Team
For developing a strong Inuit workforce and supporting the Kivalliq region of Nunavut with training, education and community-led projects that benefit everyone
Agnico Eagle Mines is setting an example for the Canadian mining industry at its operations in Nunavut. The company's Community Relations, Education and People Development team has invested extraordinary energy and resources to developing its Inuit workforce and providing support for local communities.
Agnico Eagle's goal is to reach 100% Inuit employment at its Nunavut gold mines, including Meadowbank, Meliadine and Amaruq. In order to get there, the company offers training, education and skills development. Since Meadowbank opened in 2010, the company has provided 36,000 training hours to Inuit employees, including work readiness programs, summer employment for students, and individual career development. Employees who lack literacy, numeracy skills or the confidence to take on senior roles are given support to fill those gaps. To reach the younger generation, Agnico Eagle has established initiatives in schools designed to inspire students to further their education, including a trades awareness week, mine site visits, and career information days. Community liaison officers in seven communities tie it all together by providing job information, maintaining personal contact with employees, and identifying ways to support families and participation in community events.
Agnico Eagle's 60-year tradition of putting family and community first are a good fit with Inuit beliefs. Annual family days in each community provide employees and their relatives a chance to mingle and have fun together. A role model program recognizes exemplary Inuit employees that might inspire others to achieve personal and work success. A pool of donated funds ranging from $10,000 to $25,000 annually supports community-specific projects such as a summer camp for children, removing and transporting hazardous material from landfill sites, and repairing baseball fields. Community members, including elders tasked with preserving traditional culture, are encouraged to visit the mine sites to get a sense of what Agnico Eagle is trying to achieve and offer suggestions for improvement.
Finally, Agnico Eagle provides financial support for Nunavut-based organizations that provide literacy and skills training. The Nunavut Literacy Council, for example, is embedding literacy development in non-formal cultural activities such as sewing. In Arviat, community members have access to a program that teaches the basics of diamond drilling and welding. And a mine training society for the whole Kivalliq region is helping to relieve the skills shortage in Nunavut by providing Inuit with the knowledge to pursue valuable credentials such as trade and cooking certificates and driver's licenses.
Agnico Eagle plans to operate in Nunavut for several decades. Through targeted investments in skills and community, the company strives not only to build successful mines, but to be an employer of choice and good neighbour.