The Waubetek Business Development Corp. has received a key piece of funding to help them move forward with a Centre of Excellence for Indigenous Mineral Development.
On Jan. 15, the federal government announced $1,131,913 from FedNor to help fund the project, which was launched in 2015.
The project will help engage Indigenous people in the mines and minerals industry in Northern Ontario, creating new employment and business opportunities. It will also assist mining companies to address critical gaps in numerous mining-related occupations.
“Our First Nations’ primary interest is to ensure that we are adequately consulted when it comes to mining and exploration within our traditional territories and to ensure that we have more opportunities to participate in the benefits that might come from this development in a sustainable way, including meaningful jobs, business opportunities, joint management and care of the lands on which these projects operate,” said Martin Bayer, Waubetek’s chair, in a news release.
“A Centre of Excellence for Indigenous Minerals Development would help our communities build capacity and advance our interests and build a clearinghouse of industry information about things like leading practices and processes that are needed by our First Nations. We are grateful that FedNor also sees the benefits of helping to establish a Centre of Excellence for Indigenous Minerals Development.”
The centre for excellence will be a source of information to help Indigenous communities, businesses, industry, and government to navigate the consultation and procurement process required for project development.
It will also help Indigenous communities seeking guidance on what to do when they’re approached by a company looking to do exploration work in their territories, or refer them to industry experts like lawyers or accountants.
The Centre of Excellence for Indigenous Minerals Development is one part of Waubetek’s Aboriginal Mining Strategy for North-East Ontario.
Waubetek Business Development Corp. is a Community Futures Development Corp. that helps Indigenous entrepreneurs access funding and other resources to help start up a business.