By: Colin Webster, Director of Aboriginal, Government & Community Relations, Canada & US
LSFN Chief Clifford Bull & Chris Cormier, Goldcorp’s Red Lake Gold Mines Mine Manager at the milestone ceremony held in the Municipality of Red Lake, Ontario.
Henry Ford said that “coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.”
After five years of discussions Lac Seul First Nation (LSFN) and Goldcorp have formalized a collaboration agreement that will lay out a framework for successfully working together in the years ahead.
The agreement sets out a number of benefits and provisions for LSFN, including training and employment opportunities, business and contracting opportunities, a framework for consultation on various aspects of project development including environmental assessments, and financial contributions that Goldcorp will provide to LSFN in support of sustainable community development initiatives.
“This agreement demonstrates Goldcorp’s continuing commitment to working with First Nations to ensure both the sustainable development of the areas in which we operate and long-term economic benefits for communities,” said Chris Cormier, Goldcorp’s Red Lake Gold Mines Mine Manager. “We look forward to working in partnership with Lac Seul First Nation to foster continued dialogue and to implement the initiatives set out in the agreement.”
At a signing ceremony that took place last Friday, LSFN Chief Clifford Bull couldn’t hide his enthusiasm, “This agreement demonstrates that Lac Seul First Nation can work successfully with industry. I’m ecstatic. I’m elated. I’m joyful. This is a great day for Lac Seul. I’m really excited about what this will mean for the youth of Lac Seul, and the opportunities they can build for themselves now that we have this in place.”
The agreement also provides additional funding for the Lac Seul Training Centre of Excellence and the Lac Seul First Nation Business Equity Fund. The Centre, founded last year with support from Goldcorp, provides quality, certified training programs and workshops to members of the community and the region at large to maximize their employment potential. The Centre will also provide scholarship and bursary opportunities for Lac Seul First Nation youth interested in pursuing postsecondary education.
The LSFN Equity Fund was created by LSFN and Goldcorp to support the growth of business capacity within the First Nation to further their participation in the regional economy. In May 2013, LSFN used proceeds from the LSFN Business Equity Fund to acquire and open a band-owned and operated franchise of the popular Tim Horton’s coffee and doughnut chain.
This is a significant milestone in our relationship and one which speaks to the growing trust between Goldcorp and the First Nation as well as our willingness to work together. We are excited for what the future will bring and I am very much looking forward to the many successes that we will celebrate together.