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Indigenous Partnerships For Prosperity

Dec 11, 2023

Peter Rasevych Picture
Peter Rasevych, Indigenous Relations Manager for Greenstone Gold Mine gives presentation during the CEN CAN Expo’s Indigenous Partnerships Conference in Thunder Bay, September 2023.


The Greenstone Gold Mine (GGM) operates within Treaty 9 territory and is the traditional territories of Aroland First Nation, Animbiigoo Zaggi’igan Anishinaabek, Ginoogaming First Nation and Long Lake #54 First Nation and is home to the citizen of Métis Nation of Ontario.
The agreements in place with their First Nations partners hit on several areas, environment, employment and training, business opportunities and revenue sharing. The approach to Indigenous relations is one that Peter Rasevych, Indigenous Relations Manager for Greenstone Gold Mine saw developing over the years. Peter was working on the First Nation level prior to working on the Management team with GGM and said he always saw the great respect that was being given to the negotiations process.


Indigenous consultation is just so incredibly important!

“I was in a meeting with David Newhook, (Greenstone Mine Director of Operations) yesterday with a circle of elders.  It’s so important those consultation meetings with the elders to sit with them, to eat with them, to talk with them, to receive their guidance and direction on the project. It can’t be understated, Peter said”.

This is the foundation and the groundwork to the healthy relationships that exist between GGM and their Indigenous partners. It’s not just the elders, it’s also the leaders of the Indigenous communities, but it’s quite significant to be honouring and respecting those relationships with the elders.

The Greenstone Gold Mine meets regularly with their partners through implementation committees.

Each agreement has an implementation committee, and each agreement implementation committee has an implementation coordinator. Monthly meetings with the implementation coordinators in these implementation committees are held, which are forums for communication to discuss the various sections of implementing the Long-Term Relationship Agreements. This also provides an avenue for community members to voice their concerns or questions they may have and to receive feedback from the GGM team.

Peter mentioned in his presentation how extremely important the role is to have the committees.
“It is important to meet often as it allows for a lot of engagement and relationship building. The mine hosts many site tours with their partners, as a lot of community members have never been on a mine site before.” GGM feels it’s important to give project updates not only to the indigenous partners but the non-indigenous partners as well.

The GGM team is very active in attending Powwows and community celebrations. Peter said, “it’s very important for us to be involved in the cultural and spiritual life of the community, and seeing the corporation have a corporate face at such events”.


GGM’s Indigenous Relations Policy in action

Engagement: To engage in a manner that reflects the free and prior informed consent of indigenous peoples in relation to their traditional lands and resources.
Traditional Knowledge: To respect the spiritual concerns and cultural perspectives of Indigenous partners, and their importance in the planning and implementation of our projects.
Human Resources: A spirit of partnership to realize opportunities in education, training, and employment.

Diversity: To provide training to our employees in order to promote a greater understanding of, and respect for, the history, traditions, and values of local Indigenous communities as per Truth and Reconciliation Commission Call to Action #92.

“There’s a lot of advice being offered to the GGM management on the project. It’s great to be able to be there, to be a conduit for that and to be a liaison for that through our department. Each Indigenous partner has an environmental technician, aka an environmental monitor. They are the eyes and ears on the ground for the First Nation communities, so they actually have a subcommittee, an EAS, for each of the agreements that reports to the implementation committees,” stated Peter.

Diversity in the Greenstone Gold Mine workforce fosters a culture of inclusion and respect which makes GGM an employer of choice. Cross-Cultural Awareness Training can provide multiple perspectives that will help to prevent conscious or unconscious bias and discrimination.


GGM is proud of their business opportunities and partnerships.


Long Lake #58 First Nation through their Definitive Agreement with Greenstone Gold Mines was signed in 2018. The First Nation is pursuing economic development activity through a positive implementation of their agreement through several ventures such as the Ga-Ba-She-Win Lodge, Fuel Supply, and Aggregates. The members of the First Nation are trained and are focusing on skilled trades and mining training.


Indigenous Greenstone Mine worker


One such other partnership is with Minodahmun Development LP (MDLP) that was signed in 2019. The company is jointly owned by Aroland First Nation, Animbiigoo Zaggi’igan Anishinaabek, and Ginoogaming First Nation. Minodahmun means “clear path” in Anishinaabemowin. It was created in partnership with the 3 First Nations as equal owners and jointly share in the profits of Minodahmun Development LP. The goal of creating the business was to build capacity and maximize business and employment opportunities on behalf of the 3 First Nations related to GGM and other major projects.

Since its inception the MDLP created the Indigenous Workforce Development Program (skills and mining training) and has successfully trained over 200 people with over 150 securing jobs, created over 40 partnership and venture agreements in a variety of sectors such as construction, industrial contracting, engineering, mine site services, supplies, drilling and more.  
MDLP has established contracts with Hydro One, Trans Canada, Enbridge, Tombill Mines and the Government of Canada. The company is also the owner of 38 acres of commercial and industrial land in Geraldton and are developing the Migizi Commercial Plaza across from the mine on Highway 11.
These are exciting times for the First Nation communities, companies, and the indigenous people. The Greenstone Gold Mine and their partners are forging new relationships with success. The Nishnawbe Aski Development Fund (NADF) in 2023 awarded Minodahmun Development LP with the Partnership of the Year Award.


This article first appeared in the Northern Mining Report, Mining Life Magazine. To get your digital copy click on the front cover below.

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