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Building trust, addressing uncertainty: developing Aboriginal consultation practices for mineral exploration companies

dc.contributor.advisorDowsley, Martha
dc.contributor.authorKeffer, Aaron
dc.description.abstractThis thesis examines how mineral exploration companies in the Thunder Bay region are consulting with Aboriginal communities. The research is based on new regulations put forth by the Ontario Ministry of Northern Development and Mines (MNDM) which, as part of a new plans and permits regime, require mining companies to consult with Aboriginal communities prior to any exploration occurring on their traditional lands. Historically, Aboriginal peoples have been left out of resource development decision making, but with increased recognition of Aboriginal and Treaty rights, they have begun demanding prior consultation, and have become influential in natural resource development. For background information and better understanding of the new regulations, interviews were conducted with two representatives from the MNDM. Next, in order to examine what effect these new regulations have had on the mining industry, I interviewed representatives of 15 companies from April 2013 to December 2013. To quantify aspects of this research, this study evaluated companies using Cultural Intelligence (CQ) and Dynamic Capabilities (DC) frameworks. My analysis of interview data yielded 21 prominent themes, 7 of which were queried while 14 occurred spontaneously. The most common themes that occurred were „concerns with government‟ and „operational difficulties‟. CQ scores ranged from 50% to 89.3% and DC scores ranged from 14.3% to 82.5%. The results show that many companies were already consulting with Aboriginal communities before it became mandatory, but are still facing challenges. The main issues that companies are facing as a result of the regulations are: lengthened project timelines, lack of capacity and resources to properly consult communities, communication with Aboriginal management, unregulated community expenses, uncertainties of role responsibility, and lack of government involvement. I explain the usefulness of the CQ and DC scales in this study and how they are excellent tools for comparing companies that have had successful engagement experiences with those that experience unproductive engagement. I believe that companies are consulting with communities as best they can with the resources they have, but consultation must not be just between company and community; the government must play a stronger role in such proceedings.en_US
dc.subjectMining and Aboriginal social relationsen_US
dc.subjectThe development of Impact and Benefit Agreementsen_US
dc.subjectSocial impacts on Aboriginalsen_US
dc.subjectEmployment in the mining sectoren_US
dc.subjectMining regulationsen_US
dc.subjectCultural Intelligence Theoryen_US
dc.titleBuilding trust, addressing uncertainty: developing Aboriginal consultation practices for mineral exploration companiesen_US
dc.typeThesisen_US Studies : Northern Environments & Culturesen_US Universityen_US

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