Our policy is to identify and, where possible, to create partnerships with Aboriginal and Indigenous Peoples, to further a culture of economic independence, ownership, entrepreneurship and enterprise management.
At all of our operations, we also strive to create employment and business opportunities for local Aboriginal and Indigenous communities, with sensitivity and support for their social and cultural practices. We also seek opportunities for cultural training for our non-Aboriginal employees and contractors, to prepare them for working in a new culture or a culturally diverse situation.
As a member of ICMM, we are committed to implementing and measuring our performance against ICMM's Sustainable Development Framework. To support the ICMM Sustainable Development Framework, ICMM has developed position statements on some of the key challenges facing the mining industry. ICMM's Position Statement on Mining and Indigenous Peoples sets out ICMM members' approach, including Goldcorp's, regarding relations with Indigenous Peoples. ICMM’s vision is for constructive relationships between the mining and metals industry and Indigenous Peoples which are based on respect, meaningful engagement and mutual benefit, and which have particular regard for the specific and historical situation of Indigenous Peoples. The position statement can be downloaded here.
Case Study: Creating shared value in partnership with local communities
In January 2012, Chief Rodney Mark of the Wemindji Cree Nation from northern Quebec visited Goldcorp's Marlin mine, to meet with local Indigenous leaders and witness first-hand the positive benefits he can expect when partnering with Goldcorp.
These are Chief Rodney's impressions on Goldcorp's approach to partnerships and the company's respect for Indigenous cultures, based on his visit to the Marlin Mine and his experience working collaboratively with Goldcorp over the last 4 years. In 2011, Goldcorp signed a ground-breaking agreement with the Cree regarding the Éléonore project in Quebec.
Case Study: Helping Local First Nations PLAY
Through a partnership with the Ontario government's Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs and Right to Play, Goldcorp is helping more than 1,000 Aboriginal children and youth develop leadership skills.
With support from Goldcorp, the Promoting Life-skills in Aboriginal Youth (PLAY) program has expanded to 39 First Nation communities across the province of Ontario. PLAY is designed to develop young leaders within the community and empower them to succeed and create positive change. Learn more about the program at www.righttoplay.com
Case Study: A Landmark Collaboration Agreement with the Cree
On February 21, 2011, a Collaboration Agreement was signed by Goldcorp, the Cree Nation of Wemindji, the Grand Council of the Cree, and the Cree Regional Authority. This agreement outlines and signifies a unique partnership for sustainable prosperity through the future success of our Éléonore project.
Four years in the making, the agreement is focused on an outcome that all supported: to align Goldcorp’s interests with those of the community, and to maximize the ways in which the mine can be of mutual benefit for the sustainable prosperity of all.
Said Chief Rodney Mark of the Cree Nation of Wemindji, the process was more of a brainstorming session than a bargaining process: “I know corporations are out to make a profit and profit is not part of our tradition, so my initial concerns were that we would have to fight for every little thing,” he says. “The vibe could have been conflictive - we were prepared for that. But the discussions were open and sincere and it was evident early on we were building one team.”
John Paul Murdoch, Legal Counsel for the Cree Nation of Wemindji in Northern Québec, was impressed. “We couldn’t believe what we were hearing - how earnest the company was about benefitting our community and the genuine concern for our environment, traditions, youth, everything.”
Under the terms of the agreement, the Cree will partner in the development and operation of the mine, which will ultimately be staffed by approximately 300 to 400 employees.
Goldcorp will invest funds in building a Cree training centre in hopes that a significant portion of the mine’s employees will be from the Cree community. The operation will require a wide range of professional, management, trade administrative and specialty skills.
Says Murdoch, “Traditionally, in politics, industry, labour - you name it - the Cree were less than 1% of the workforce despite being the majority of the population. This will be remedied from here on, but we have a responsibility to be willing and skilled.”
Chief Mark concurs. “Our next step is to address training. It’s time to instill drive, enthusiasm and involvement in these opportunities. This will take a bit of a lifestyle change because much time here is spent hunting and fishing. But once people realize the variety of jobs, the salaries and the shift flexibility—two weeks of work and two weeks off—they will see that it fits their lifestyle well.”
The mine will spur a range of offshoot business ventures and support existing businesses that offer road-building, earth-moving and wind-energy services. Some families plan to start outfitting camps to provide guided adventures, fishing and hunting trips. Other enterprises will take root as mine operations ramp up, and Chief Mark hopes women will fully participate. “Women have senior roles in our community, and most of our post-secondary education students are female. They can do anything they aspire to.”