THUNDER BAY – The Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) is a national association representing the mineral exploration and development industry. The association’s convention is the world’s largest annual gathering of the mineral industry, focusing on exploration, discovery and development of new mines and innovative developments. The 2011 PDAC Convention was held March 6-9 at the Metro-Toronto Convention Centre and this year attracted over 30,000 delegates from all over the world.
“Mineral exploration and development is an important part of Ontario’s economy and MNO’s increased involvement with mineral proponents promises new opportunities for Métis people to benefit from potential education and training programs, as well as employment for Métis citizens and businesses,” states Métis Nation of Ontario President Gary Lipinski. “We have already begun to see exciting opportunities arise from our relationships with several mineral developers, including Detour Gold, and we look forward to more.”
The Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) was well-represented at the conference by President Gary Lipinski, Secretary-Treasurer Tim Pile, Regional Councillors Theresa Stenlund, Cameron Burgess, Marcel Lafrance, Art Bennett and Maurice Sarrazin, among other MNO representatives. The MNO’s presence at the PDAC conference built upon the mandate of the MNO’s Lands, Resources & Consultations Branch to foster new relationships with mining companies operating within the Métis Nation’s traditional harvesting territories. Mineral proponents impacting the lands and waterways traditionally used by MNO’s historic, rights-bearing Métis communities, have the Duty to Consult and Accommodate with the MNO.
“While the Métis are an entrepreneurial people, we must remember the importance of maintaining our traditional lands and waterways for future generations. Through the groundbreaking work MNO is doing on the Duty to Consult, we are seeking a balance with industry to ensure environmental impacts are mitigated and proponents work with our Métis communities to protect and promote the Métis way of life,” said President Lipinski.
In addition to the important networking done by MNO representatives, the MNO also had a booth at the PDAC conference which was visited by hundreds of people representing government and the mineral exploration and development industry. Staff of the MNO’s Lands, Resources & Consultations Branch distributed information to these representatives and answered their questions about Métis rights and provided guidance on the process by which government and proponents need to consult with the rights-bearing Métis communities across the Métis homeland of Ontario.