Press Releases

The latest news and information from PDAC, and Canada's mineral exploration and mining industry.

February 28, 2023: PDAC 2023: Cooperative Partnerships in Focus During Indigenous Program

The Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) will welcome Indigenous Peoples, community leaders and industry practitioners to the world’s premier mineral exploration and mining conference in Toronto from March 5-8th. Thousands of attendees from more than 100 countries will be in attendance and anticipate increased representation from First Nation, Inuit, Métis and international Indigenous Peoples.

“Meaningful partnerships are the foundation of the industry and PDAC's Indigenous Program is the central place for Indigenous Peoples to speak and be heard by industry,” says Alex Christopher, PDAC President.

The Indigenous Program at PDAC 2023 is a platform to showcase how cooperative, respectful and mutually beneficial relationships between Indigenous communities and the mineral industry are developed. Join leaders including Jerry Asp, founding member of the Tahltan Nation Development Corporation; Dawn Madahbee Leach, Chair, National Indigenous Economic Development Board; Michael Fox, President at Indigenous Community Engagement (ICE); Lana Eagle, PDAC Board Member; and Glenn Nolan, VP of Indigenous Enterprises at Ring of Fire Metals. The program connects people through a series of panel discussions, presentations and events to share experiences, exchange ideas and network. PDAC also hosts Indigenous perspectives through joint sessions with the Sustainability Program.

Our 2023 Indigenous Program spotlights individual grassroots partnerships that leverage agreements to generate economic opportunities and bridge employment gaps, and how industry can incorporate Indigenous considerations into ESG best practices.

“In the nearly 20 years since the formation of the PDACs Aboriginal Affairs Committee many important topics have been covered, challenging ideas and long-held understanding of Indigenous people and the mining industry. The program has allowed Indigenous people in Canada and worldwide to come together to better understand their role in all stages of mine development. It has helped the industry and government be more responsive and respectful when working closely with their Indigenous partners. While a lot has been accomplished, we know there is much more to be done as ideas are shared at the Indigenous program,” says Glenn Nolan, Past PDAC President, former Chief of the Missanabie Cree First Nation, and 2023 Skookum Jim Award winner.

A new initiative launching this year is the inclusion of Indigenous Artisan booths showcasing paintings, beadwork, jewelry, prints and stone artwork of four exhibiting artists on the tradeshow floor.

PDAC also provides members with tangible resources and tools to help industry expand social and economic benefits to Indigenous and local communities, including PDAC’s Economic and Social Impact of Exploration studies in 2021 and 2022, respectively. These studies are the result of extensive research, surveys, interviews, direct engagement with Indigenous communities and oversight by expert advisors to share regional expertise and perspectives. Visit the PDAC Indigenous Affairs webpage for more information.

Join the Indigenous Program and become equipped with strategies to navigate early engagement, negotiations and community impact within Canada's regulatory landscape, to build strong Indigenous and industry mineral development partnerships.