Engaging with Indigenous People
Pan American Silver recognizes and respects the rights, cultures, heritage and interests of Indigenous Peoples. We are committed to building and maintaining positive relationships with Indigenous groups through on-going engagement and identification of mutually beneficial opportunities. One way in which we do this is by fulfilling our obligations under the Impact Benefit Agreements (IBAs) that we have with the First Nation communities near our two Timmins mines.
We have an IBA with the Flying Post and Mattagami First Nations with respect to the Timmins West Mine. We also have an IBA with the Flying Post, Matachewan, Mattagami and Wahgoshig First Nations with respect to the Bell Creek Mine complex. Both IBAs establish frameworks for continued consultation on the mines’ existing and future operations, and include provisions regarding education and training, employment, business and contracting opportunities, environmental care, and economic benefits. Highlighted below are examples of initiatives collaboratively created to support local First Nations communities.
Highlighted below are examples of initiatives collaboratively created to support local First Nations communities.
On-going engagement: We believe that meaningful engagement with local First Nations offers the greatest potential for building positive, long-term, and mutually beneficial relationships with Indigenous Peoples. It also helps us understand and contribute to their goals. At our Timmins operations, we engage the four First Nations on an on-going basis through multiple channels, including site tours, job fairs, community visits, and educational events. As well, we have an IBA Coordinator on site at Timmins West. The Coordinator is selected and employed by the Wabun Tribal Council, a regional chiefs’ council and is responsible for sharing company information with two of the four First Nations communities.
Pan American Silver emphasises local hiring of trained and qualified candidates. Across all operations in Timmins, approximately eight percent of employees currently self-identify as being of Indigenous descent. There are initiatives in place to increase the Indigenous workforce within our organization. In 2019, we partnered with Timmins Northern College to offer the Underground Hard Rock Miner Common Core training, which provides the competencies required by the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities for underground hard rock mining. Many regional First Nation Communities were able to access the program for introductory mine training. Additionally, all job postings are provided to all our First Nation partners prior to mass dissemination, and we provide first hiring opportunities to our partners, so long as the qualifications and experience expectations are met.
We provide financial support to our First Nations partners for their community projects. For example, we provide on-going support to the Mattagami First Nation for the operation of their Walleye fish hatchery in the Mattagami Lake watershed. Walleye are native to most of Canada and are a commercially valuable food fish as well as a popular sporting fish. The Mattagami First Nation’s fish hatchery raises and releases hundreds of Walleye into local streams and lakes each year.
MM5 Total number of operations taking place in or adjacent to Indigenous Peoples’ territories, and number and percentage of operations or sites where there are formal agreements with Indigenous Peoples’ communities.