Aboriginal partnerships

As Dominion Diamond is a Canadian company with northern operations, our Aboriginal partners are important stakeholders and we respect and value their rights, Traditional Knowledge (TK), and cultural heritage.

At the Ekati mine, we have Impact Benefit Agreements (IBAs) for the life of the mine with four groups:

  • the Tłı̨chǫ Government
  • Akaitcho Treaty 8
  • North Slave Métis Alliance
  • the Hamlet of Kugluktuk/Kitikmeot Inuit Association

The IBAs establish commitments to funding, training, preferential hiring, business opportunities, and communications. Since inheriting the IBAs when we took ownership of the Ekati mine, we have worked with our partners to explore additional community development initiatives that go above and beyond the original agreements.

The Diavik Diamond Mine has negotiated private Participation Agreements with five Aboriginal groups:

  • the Tłı̨chǫ Government
  • Yellowknives Dene First Nation
  • North Slave Métis Alliance
  • the Kitikmeot Inuit Association
  • the Łutsel K’e Dene First Nation

These agreements provide for mine related training, employment, business development, and capacity-building opportunities. Diavik also has a socio-economic monitoring agreement with the Government of the Northwest Territories and the five Aboriginal groups as signatories.

Ongoing engagement, consultation, and collaboration are key to making these relationships work. At the Ekati mine, we hold formal meetings at least quarterly. We have other meetings, workshops, and site visits with leadership, Elders, and youth throughout the year to discuss topics such as wildlife and environment, training and employment, future projects, and reclamation plans. We also directly involve IBA communities in environmental monitoring programs in order to effectively align TK into our operations.

In addition, we have formal yearly meetings with each of the business arms of our IBA partners, and issue expression of interest letters to share upcoming project opportunities. Where possible, we divide work up in order to give small or inexperienced businesses an opportunity to work on smaller contracts, which allows them to build capacity. We also ask businesses to consider forming IBA joint ventures where there is an opportunity for mutual benefit.

Although the terms of the IBAs and Participation Agreements are confidential, performance details on many of the topics can found in the Ekati Diamond Mine 2015 Socio-Economic Agreement Report and the Diavik Diamond Mine 2015 Sustainable Development Report.