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Negotiated spaces : work, home and relationships in the Dene diamond economy Gibson, Virginia Valerie 2008

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  NEGOTIATED SPACES: WORK, HOME AND RELATIONSHIPS IN THE DENE DIAMOND ECONOMY   by   Virginia Valerie Gibson    A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF    DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY   in   The Faculty of Graduate Studies    (Mining Engineering)   THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA  (Vancouver)   May 2008   ? Virginia Valerie Gibson, 2008   iiAbstract   This thesis examines Dene engagement with the diamond mining economy in Canada?s Northwest Territories. While historic treaties, policy and regulation create situations of powerlessness, the space for the negotiation of a bilateral relationship between Treaty mining companies and communities exists, formalized as Impact and Benefit Agreements. An initial emphasis on socio-cultural impacts and vulnerability of the communities in relation to the mines illuminated variable outcomes. This led to a central focus on how outcomes are negotiated, with the outcomes strongly related to forms of community and cultural resilience.   Surprisingly, the ability to bounce back, or be resilient (not vulnerable), as defined by the T??ch? and Yellowknives Dene communities is central to community response and well being in this new economy. The possibility of self determination and the potential to be in relationships of reciprocity are found to be fundamental drivers of community health and thus resilience. Study of the T??ch? Cosmology surfaces the centrality of reciprocity to cultural resilience wherein the quality and nature of the relationships as inscribed in past and present agreements themselves are of defining importance.   New relationships with mining companies are entered with the expectation of reciprocity by communities, so that the exchanges are economic, social, cultural, spiritual and symbolic. This thesis outlines this process as it plays out in the mining economy and as it is manifest in spaces of negotiation, each of which invokes social capital and reciprocity. These include negotiations between: diamond mining companies and the communities; government and communities; diamond mining companies and the workers, and miners and their families and communities.   Each of these negotiations is vital in creating the possibility of employment and business. However, relationships with the settler government and with Treaty mining companies are constrained. Many of the limitations identified relate to the assumption by settler society of the universality of their particular values, practices and culture. The thesis argues that Treaty mining companies can shift approaches, both in the orientation to relationship and in the implementation of agreements through the lifecycle of the mine.      iiiTABLE OF CONTENTS  Abstract ........................................................................................................................................................................ ii Table of Contents ...................................................................................................................................................... iii List of Tables .............................................................................................................................................................. vi List of Figures ............................................................................................................................................................ vii Placenames, Acronyms and Definitions .................................................................................................................viii Acknowledgements ..................................................................................................................................................... ix Dedication ................................................................................................................................................................... xi 1  NEGOTIATING RELATIONSHIPS .............................................................................................................. 1 1.1  The NWT diamond economy ..................................................................................................................... 9 1.2  The diamond mining impacted communities ........................................................................................... 16 1.3  The mines ................................................................................................................................................. 18 1.4  Research questions ................................................................................................................................... 29 1.5  Theoretical approaches ............................................................................................................................. 30 1.6  The causal processes of vulnerability ....................................................................................................... 36 1.6.1  Empowerment ..................................................................................................................................... 37 1.6.2  Entitlements ......................................................................................................................................... 38 1.6.3  Political economy ................................................................................................................................ 39 1.7  Outline of the thesis ................................................................................................................................. 40 2  APPROACH OF THE STUDY ...................................................................................................................... 43 2.1  Methods .................................................................................................................................................... 46 2.2  Validating the research ............................................................................................................................. 50 2.3  Analysis .................................................................................................................................................... 52 3  HISTORY AND COSMOLOGY ................................................................................................................... 53 3.1  Of forts and mines .................................................................................................................................... 54 3.2  The T??ch? Cosmology and Dene history in the Mackenzie Valley ................................................... 60 3.2.1  Floating time ....................................................................................................................................... 63 3.2.2  Coexistence (pre-contact) .................................................................................................................... 64 3.2.3  Respect/incipient contact (1800-1850) ................................................................................................ 65 3.2.4  Collective/contact traditional era (1850-1921) .................................................................................... 67 3.2.5  Representative/contact (1921-1990) .................................................................................................... 69 3.2.6  Recognition (1990-present) ................................................................................................................. 77 3.3  Processes of change.................................................................................................................................. 79 4  DECONSTRUCTING THE DEFICIT MODEL .......................................................................................... 83 4.1  Existing narratives of measurement ......................................................................................................... 84 4.1.1  Government accounts .......................................................................................................................... 86 4.1.2  T??ch? Elder account ...................................................................................................................... 89 4.1.3  Sizing up the changes .......................................................................................................................... 92   iv4.2  Measuring up and diagnosing dysfunction ............................................................................................... 95 4.3  Community visions ................................................................................................................................ 102 4.3.1  ?utsel K?e Dene First Nation community based monitoring ............................................................. 103 4.3.2  T??ch? community indicators workshop ....................................................................................... 107 4.4  Analysis .................................................................................................................................................. 115 5  AGREEMENT MAKING IN THE ERA OF DIAMOND MINING ......................................................... 120 5.1  A negotiation story ................................................................................................................................. 122 5.2  Corporate-community agreements ......................................................................................................... 122 5.3  Negotiation of agreements ..................................................................................................................... 126 5.3.1  Imagined partners and expectations of exchange .............................................................................. 135 5.3.2  Implementation .................................................................................................................................. 139 5.4  The principle of reciprocity .................................................................................................................... 146 5.5  Culture in agreements ............................................................................................................................ 150 5.5.1  Cross-cultural courses ....................................................................................................................... 152 5.5.2  Country foods .................................................................................................................................... 153 5.6  The politics of difference ....................................................................................................................... 154 5.6.1  Deninu K?ue ...................................................................................................................................... 157 5.6.2  North Slave M?tis Association (NSMA) ........................................................................................... 158 5.6.3  Tension between groups about identity ............................................................................................. 158 5.7  Reframing relationships ......................................................................................................................... 160 6  LIFE IN THE MINES ................................................................................................................................... 163 6.1  Meeting the miners ................................................................................................................................. 163 6.1.1  Anna .................................................................................................................................................. 164 6.1.2  John ................................................................................................................................................... 164 6.1.3  Leon ................................................................................................................................................... 165 6.1.4  Ernie .................................................................................................................................................. 165 6.2  The organizational culture of the mine site ............................................................................................ 167 6.3  The physical site of the mine.................................................................................................................. 172 6.3.1  The open pit ....................................................................................................................................... 174 6.3.2  The process plant ............................................................................................................................... 177 6.3.3  Main complex .................................................................................................................................... 178 6.4  Networks, negotiations and transformations .......................................................................................... 179 6.4.1  From task group to work group ......................................................................................................... 179 6.4.2  From full time to part time parent and spouse ................................................................................... 180 6.4.3  From prison to refuge and back ......................................................................................................... 182 6.4.4  From cultural landscape to mined landscape ..................................................................................... 185 6.5  Negotiating access, retention and advancement ..................................................................................... 189 6.5.1  Negotiations of access ....................................................................................................................... 190 6.5.2  Negotiations for retention .................................................................................................................. 192 6.5.3  Negotiations for advancement ........................................................................................................... 200 6.6  Drivers of conflict .................................................................................................................................. 203 7  STRONG LIKE TWO PEOPLE: THE MINER/HARVESTER IN THE FAMILY ............................... 206 7.1  Theories of capital .................................................................................................................................. 207 7.2  Bringing social capital to bear in the mines ........................................................................................... 209 7.3  Gaining the rewards of cultural capital .................................................................................................. 212 7.4  Hardship in the experience of rewards of cultural capital ...................................................................... 218   v7.5  Decreasing social capital? ...................................................................................................................... 222 7.6  From domination to self determination .................................................................................................. 228 7.7  ?A little bit of something in the darkness?? ......................................................................................... 234 8  RESILIENCE IN THE MINING ECONOMY ........................................................................................... 236 8.1  Defining vulnerability and resilience in the Mackenzie Valley ............................................................. 237 8.2  Resilience of the T??ch?...................................................................................................................... 240 8.3  Resilience for the Yellowknives Dene ................................................................................................... 246 8.4  Crisis that may affect vulnerability ........................................................................................................ 250 8.5  Resilience in response to crisis ............................................................................................................... 252 9  RESILIENCE THROUGH SELF DETERMINATION AND RELATIONSHIPS ................................. 254 9.1  Resilience through self determination and relationships ........................................................................ 255 9.2  Notions of landscape and culture ........................................................................................................... 261 9.3  Thesis approach and future research ...................................................................................................... 270 9.4  Policy implications ................................................................................................................................. 272 9.5  Qualifying impacts ................................................................................................................................. 273 9.6  Afterword ............................................................................................................................................... 274 BIBLIOGRAPHY ................................................................................................................................................... 276    viList of Tables Table 1.1 Population of T??ch? Nation communities ................................................................ 17 Table 1.2  Population of select Yellowknives Dene First Nation communities ........................... 17 Table 1.3  Proposed and operating diamond mines in NWT ........................................................ 22 Table 1.4  Employment profile of a Treaty mining company ...................................................... 28 Table 1.5 Applications of the vulnerability model to the mining context .................................... 31 Table 4.1 Cultural wellbeing and traditional economy (GNWT 2005: vii) ................................. 87 Table 4.2 Ways of characterizing socio-economic changes ......................................................... 93 Table 4.3 Indicators chosen for socio-economic monitoring for the Diavik SEMA .................... 96 Table 4.4 Comparison of community assessment methods ........................................................ 116 Table 5.1 Summary of agreements with mines .......................................................................... 124 Table 5.2 Different perspectives on intent, terms and conditions of Impact and Benefit Agreements ................................................................................................................................. 131 Table 5.3 The role of culture in Socio-Economic Agreements .................................................. 151 Table 6.1 Negotiations of recruitment, retention and advancement ........................................... 190 Table 6.2 Basis for complaints at the GNWT Human Rights Commission, July 1, 2003- April 2007 ............................................................................................................................................ 194 Table 6.3 Top ten conflicts in the mines..................................................................................... 197 Table 7.1 Answer to suggestion that ?diamond mines have led to increased alcohol and drug use? (Bureau of Statistics 2005b, 17) ................................................................................................. 220 Table 7.2 Answer to suggestion that ?diamond mines has led to increased levels of gambling (Bureau of Statistics 2005b, 18) ................................................................................................. 221 Table 8.1 T??ch? Comprehensive Land Claim and Self Government Agreement .................. 243    viiList of Figures  Figure 2.1 Bechok? community research issues .......................................................................... 43 Figure 2.2 Yellowknives Dene First Nation research issues ........................................................ 44 Figure 2.3 Chamber of Mines members research issues .............................................................. 44 Figure 2.4 Methods of study ......................................................................................................... 47 Figure 4.1  ?Togetherness? (Parlee et al. 2002, 79) ................................................................... 103 Figure 4.2 Indicators for healing in the community health model by Lutsel K?e Dene First Nation (not including self-government and cultural preservation (Parlee et al. 2002) .......................... 105 Figure 4.3 Living according to T??ch? values ....................................................................... 110 Figure 5.1 Ekati and Diavik Northern Aboriginal Employment, as percentage of total employment ................................................................................................................................ 140 Figure 5.2 Mine project lives and total employment in the NWT and Nunavut ........................ 141 Figure 6.1 Phases of mining, processing and production at the Ekati mine (BHP Billiton 2005) .................................................................................................................................................... 174 Figure 7.1 Growth in employment income for men and women between 1998 and 2003 (Bureau of Statistics 2006a) ..................................................................................................................... 214 Figure 8.1 Total projected direct labour needs from NWT/NT diamond mines (2003-2038) ... 252 Figure 9.1 Adaptations in corporate policy for Treaty mining companies ................................. 260    viii Placenames, Acronyms and Definitions   Bechok?   Rae-Edzo  BHP     Broken Hill Proprietary Incorporated (Now BHP Billiton Inc.) CEO    Chief Executive Officer  CMR    Canadian Mining Regulations  DCAB    Diavik Community Advisory Board DDMI       Diavik Diamond Mines Incorporated  DMS    Dense media separation Dogrib       The name used for the T??ch? until 2005 D?      Land  EA    Environmental assessment  Gam?t?   Rae Lakes  GDP    Gross domestic product GNWT    Government of the Northwest Territories  Harvester/miner    The individual when they are at the home site  IBA         Impact and Benefit Agreement IMA    Interim Measures Agreement INAC    Indian and Northern Affairs Canada  MVEIRB    Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board MVRMA     Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act M?wh? Gogha D? N??t???e The territory required by T??ch? as described by M?wh? to the Federal Treaty Commission in 1921. Miner/harvester    The individual when they are at the mine site  NSMA  North Slave M?tis Alliance NWT Northwest Territories  Resilience   is an ability to become or remain strong drawn from the ability to be self determining and in relationships of reciprocity PA     Participation Agreement SEA    Socio-Economic Agreement  SEMA    Socio-Economic Monitoring Agreement STIs    Sexually transmitted infections TCSA     T??ch? Community Services Agency  T??ch?  The name for the people formerly known as Dogrib  Treaty mining company   Signals the prior and significant relationship of the federal government with aboriginal communities that affords the policy and legal framework for a mining company to operate   What?  Lac la Martre Wekwe?t? Snare Lake WKSS  West Kitikmeot Slave Study YKDFN   Yellowknives Dene First Nation   ixAcknowledgements  Dr. Malcolm Scoble dreams that mining companies will take advantage of the opportunity to change. I share his dream, and am thankful to him for inspiring me with his vision. I have always depended greatly upon Dr. Terre Satterfield?s methodological and theoretical strengths. She has believed in me entirely, called me fearless (which made me fearless), and given me the resources and ideas to reach new heights. Other members of my committee, Dr. Dunbar and Dr. Veiga, have consistently supported the uniqueness of my approach and taught me a great deal about the discipline of mine engineering. Dr. Bern Klein and Dr. Keith Storey were extremely helpful in providing feedback on the thesis. UBC Mining Engineering has taken a leap in supporting students like me. This leap may have appeared risky, but it has enriched me greatly.   A unique team of students emerged during these critical years. It was an exciting time, and we met constantly to share ideas, make videos, and inspire each other. Fortune intervened as my not- yet-husband, Alistair MacDonald, was one of the engines that inspired the Sustainability Working Group to form. He was joined by my fabulous coal lab office mates: Jennifer Hinton and Maria Claudia Sandoval de Villa Diego. Many other friends joined the SWG, and inspired me, including Ana Carolina De Silva, Silvana Costa, Carol Odell, AJ Gunson and Andrew Thrift. Rebecca Chouinard has just joined this fray and is a great friend.   My thesis work has been inspired by the thoughts, ideas and work of Dr. Carl Urion, Dr. Caron Chess, Dr. Ciaran O?Faircheallaigh, Curtis Gillespie and Dr. June Helm. I am grateful for the first hand inspiration provided me by these first four visionary thinkers, and I only wish I could have spent time with Dr. Helm, who inspired me from the hidden recesses of the NWT Archives. In Australia, Dr. O?Faircheallaigh provided the space and support to my family for a writing retreat and just being near the ?Great Brain? was a treat.   In the north, I have relied deeply on the friendship and laughter of Patty Ewaschuk and her children and partner, Tony Brown. Jennifer Keith, Roy and Alexander are wonderful allies in northern adventures and Stephanie Irlbacher Fox has been my intellectual confidant and a steadfast friend.   The concept of strong like two people is introduced in this thesis. John B. Zoe truly epitomizes this concept, and I am pleased the University of Alberta is formally acknowledging his brilliance by awarding him an honourary doctorate in 2008. He is a theorist, a leader and a friend and I have been honoured to study the T??ch? Cosmology through his eyes. Jim Martin is another leader whose knowledge, daily commitment and dedication I deeply admire. I have been lucky to learn from Bertha Rabesca Zoe, herself a great thinker, and Nora Wedzin, a tireless heroine. Mike Bell has been a sounding board and mentor, and Dr. Tom Andrews of the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre a fine example of what dedicated anthropologists can do in the field to protect and celebrate culture.   I would like to thank the diamond mining companies (Diavik and Ekati) for providing me access to the operating sites. I would like to single out Robert Beaulieu, John Bekale and Maurice Zoe from the Ekati diamond mine for acknowledgement. At Diavik, I give my thanks to Arnold Enge and Tom Hoefer.   I am grateful to the Trudeau Foundation for the many years of supporting me as a Trudeau Scholar. The Foundation really took a chance supporting this interdisciplinary work and an   xexpectant mother. Thanks to Dr. Stephen Toope, Dr. Bettina Cenerelli, Jos?e St-Martin, and Elizabeth Dowdeswell. Thankfully, it is through the Foundation that I found a true friend: Patti LaBoucan-Benson.   My family has always supported me. I am blessed with amazing role models in my mother and father: Nancy Gibson and John Whittaker. I have matchless sisters: Carolyn, Diana, and Annthea. And my sisters have chosen well: Dave and Craig both have an intellectual curiosity that inspires. My mother-in-law, Ann MacDonald, has displayed boundless good humour and endless support. And BJ always makes me laugh.   Alistair (aka Doggstar), you know the true and deep meaning of reciprocal relationships. You are my carpintero poeta and I live every day more joyfully with you walking at my side. You are peerless. Thanks to you, I have been blessed with two beautiful babies (now boys) that arrived during these thesis years. You, Hamish and Callum, kept my feet on the ground and the light in my eyes.    xiDedication                  To my carpintero poeta Alistair MacDonald                    1 1  NEGOTIATING RELATIONSHIPS   This thesis centres on how the production of one commodity, the diamond, has shifted, transformed and mobilized new relationships in the Mackenzie Valley. A historical perspective of relationships of aboriginal people and newcomers to the NWT reveals unique vulnerabilities to change, and particular strategies of resilience. Relationships, old and new, are a constant theme. To survive, individuals share, exchange information and goods and depend on each other. While economic matters can be read literally and fiscally, the exchanges apparent as northern aboriginal peoples enter into relationship with transnational mining companies, described as Treaty mining companies in this thesis, are not only economic, but also social, cultural, spiritual and symbolic. Historically, Dene communities have rarely been employed in the extractive economy, so that there is employment, business opportunity, and agreement making in the present time signifies a practice of freedom. This new engagement represents a critical historical moment, yet it does not conform to the expectation Treaty mining companies hold of pure economic exchange. As mining companies produce diamonds in the Canadian north, they encounter the expectation of reciprocity, a norm deeply embedded in sub arctic society. This norm of reciprocity guides social relationships, indeed it has been the basis for survival in a harsh and unforgiving climate. It continues to give shape to rules, practices and values, emerging from past and current relationships, setting the foundation for the experience of the mining economy in the Mackenzie Valley. If this new relationship does not engage and re-engage past and current relationships, then Treaty mining companies run the risk of failing to build the necessary relationships and conditions that will ultimately determine the success of the industry, both commercially and socially, in the North. This central thesis is exemplified through study of the T??ch? Cosmology, which describes history as a series of historic relationships, with each new relationship surfacing values, knowledge and practices. This Cosmology provides a media through which to understand the central importance of relationship building and how it impacts the ongoing process of negotiations and decision making.    The historical perspective reveals continuity of relationships with the practice of Impact and Benefit Agreements. The entry of the federal and Territorial government in this history is recent, and it sets the legal and political architecture for the entry of the Treaty mining company. The new relationships that have emerged between these Treaty mining companies and communities (Impact and Benefit Agreements) have transformed the ability of aboriginal   2communities to engage in the economy. That the Treaty mining companies are less than reciprocal is due to cultural and structural restrictions. The gift of political will from the communities is received, but it is inadequately recognized and returned. Yet, aboriginal people of the Mackenzie Valley now work with and for Treaty mining companies managing the diamond mines: as miners/harvesters, as families, and as communities. Relationships with the family and community in the home and work domains allow the miner/harvester to acquire and retain employment, and the community to gain funds, scholarships and business opportunities. The relationships to the colonial governments tend to restrict groups, forcing them to mark geographic boundaries among kin in order to achieve land claims, as seen in the cases of the T??ch? and the Yellowknives Dene First Nation. They are differentially confined and enabled through the current political and legal policy of the colonial government.    The diamond has been carefully manufactured to represent a most precious gift, offered as a statement of love (Epstein 1982). The diamond economy can be analyzed in many ways, for its production has environmental, social, cultural, economic and spiritual implications. That the kimberlitic pipes were located in the barren lands of northern Canada provides a metaphor. The diamond is a commodity that can shine a light on what ?relationship? has meant in the Mackenzie Valley and what it continues to mean. When Marcel Mauss describes a general theory of obligation, he writes of the gift and how it serves to create a bond between persons. This quality of exchange is perhaps most easily understood, by those unfamiliar with ideas of reciprocity, through the diamond. When the diamond is gifted to a lover, the person gives something of themselves: ?one gives away what is in reality a part of one?s nature and substance, while to receive something is to receive a part of someone?s spiritual essence? (1954, 10). Mauss suggests that a gift can have a magical and religious hold?indeed this is what the diamond giver hopes for. In giving the diamond, the person offers something the human spirit yearns for: unconditional and long-term love. This magical emotion is offered in the hope of its return. Mauss further outlines, in his theory of exchange, that there are two further obligations: to receive the gift and to repay it. The giver of the diamond invokes the return of a gift or a pledge in a publicly witnessed ceremony of union. If the diamond is refused, the relationship is forever ended. The diamond, then, has been infused with great meaning. We unearth it because of its great value in exchange, in forging a central bond in our lives: that of lovers. How does this metaphor clarify the nature of relationships in the north?    3 The T??ch? Cosmology, described in Chapter 3, is characterized by a series of changing relationships and exchanges.1 Each era of history is defined by a specific agreement, one of reciprocity and mutuality. Each era, based on a series of stories, originates distinct values, rules, ethics and practices. These agreements are continually re-negotiated and ratified. ?Paying the land? is a practice that provides a precise illustration of this. As a person moves into a new landscape, they make an offering to the land (of tobacco or a broken branch), requesting safe passage. The gift, the branch or tobacco, is given to the land and animals, and the giving of it obligates animals to return it in the form of safe passage (or in a case where the person is hunting, through the gift of the animal?s body as food). The individual is obliged to travel respectfully through the space (or to consume the body in a proper and ritual way) once the gift has been given. This reciprocity continues today, as when elders pay the land before the first earth moving machine traces a line into the earth marking the space for the open pit mine. The practice serves to continually ratify an agreement that was made hundreds of years ago between animals and humans. It ?generates and regenerates the relationship between the giver and the recipient? (Carrier 1991, 125). In the modern economy, the aboriginal communities give their political will, essentially a license to operate from the community authority, in order that the settler society may seek their most precious of gifts: the diamond. This political will derives from an empowered (usually informal authority), based on traditional values, that gives voice to a collective will.    As this exchange is entered, unique risks emerge. To the Elders, daily exchange consistent with agreements of the past and present, proper relationships, and practice of language and culture are all components of living well. This is what mining, among many other forces, might impact. People are protected through the daily expressions of these relationships, the invocation of networks, and the constancy of exchange, consistent and responsive with the past. If the individuals of Treaty mining companies can recognize the deep meanings of exchange and reciprocity, there may well be hope for reciprocity to emerge.   Is the diamond really a gift, then? Is it an obligatory transfer, as Mauss classifies gifts in his theory of total prestation? Can the land be viewed as a gift? There are characteristics of the exchange that is entered between multinational mining companies and communities that cannot be explained through understanding this exchange simply as buying and selling. Yet that does                                                  1 It is through close study of this one Cosmology, that of the T??ch?, that the centrality of reciprocity emerged as a main theme in this thesis. I have learned of the Cosmology through participating in many meetings, listening to the telling and re-telling of it.   4not mean that the land or the diamonds can be classified as gifts. Carrier?s interpretation of Mauss clarifies this:   Transactions of buying and selling are formally free, while gift transactions are obligatory, albeit in a special way. In Mauss?s classic formulation (1954, 10-11), parties to a gift relationship are under ?the obligation to repay gift received?the obligation to give presents and the obligation to receive them.? Denying these obligations denies the existence of a social relationship with the other party, and hence violates public expectation and private belief. Gifts are freely given only in the sense that there is no institution monitoring performance and enforcing conformity. (Carrier 1991, 123)  When the constitutional landscape was fundamentally altered in 1982 (with the addition of Section 35(1)) guaranteeing the rights of aboriginal people, the government was obligated to shift the political landscape of resource extraction. In the past, there was no economic, social or political relationship between aboriginal communities and mining companies, largely because the federal government required no obligation to engage in a social relationship. The new obligation arose with political, economic and social changes, forcing the large scale miner to engage in a relationship of exchange. It is the character of the social relationship that is entered, and the request of reciprocity that resembles the gift exchange theory depicted by Mauss. The diamond, unearthed, becomes a commodity, and in this sense people aim for a rough equivalence in commodity transaction. However, in no way is the land a ?gift?; it is inalienable2 to aboriginal people. Yet while the Treaty mining company enters into this exchange of commodities, seeking only to meet the standards required by regulations, and thereby discharging of obligations, the aboriginal communities enter this exchange with the expectation of reciprocity. Because the land is inalienable to the aboriginal people, and because they continually generate and regenerate historic agreements and relationships, they enter into the realm of agreement making with the Treaty mining company expecting reciprocity, but encountering less.  The T??ch? Cosmology describes a continual history of agreement making?it is into this context that the Treaty mining companies enter, so that the agreements made in the past 10 years about resources, labour, culture and relationships are a practice continuous with past agreement making. Each agreement sets out a series of rules and practices and obligates the parties to be in a social relationship. Further, each agreement is guided by values and principles, such as respect, kindness, honesty and fairness (Cardinal and Hildebrandt 2000). The agreements also commit the parties to maintain a relationship of peace. Finally, and most importantly, each                                                  2 ?The objects are never completely separated from the men who exchange them; the communion and alliance they establish are well-nigh indissoluble? (Mauss 1954, 31).    5agreement initiates a perpetual familial relationship (Cardinal and Hildebrandt 2000). The Treaty mining companies are asked, in agreements made with the aboriginal communities, to enter the communities and to come to understand the context of the families of workers. In past agreements, the parties also undertook to guarantee each other?s ?survival and stability anchored on the principle of mutual sharing? (Cardinal and Hildebrandt 2000, 34). An example lies in the fur trade, where the English brought new goods to the region, while the aboriginal people guaranteed the safety of the traders in the new land, helping them to survive through long hard winters. Modern agreements rest on the foundations of these past agreements. These agreements are made in order to live well in the land with neighbours, inclusive of the need to make a living or livelihood. ?When Elders describe the wealth of the land in terms of its capacity to provide a livelihood, they are referring not simply to its material capabilities but also the spiritual powers that are inherent in it? (Cardinal and Hildebrandt 2000, 43). The agreements seek to create and protect this livelihood for future generations, as well as to guarantee the peaceful relationship of newcomers, of which the Treaty mining company is the latest in a long path of settlers.    These mines operate in the northern barren lands, traditional territory of the Dene and M?tis. Given that aboriginal people were rarely involved in the northern mining labour force in the past, this work seeks to understand the experiences of aboriginal people as they engage with this economy. There are multiple linguistic and cultural groups in the north, however, collectively people are known as the Dene and M?tis. In the past, Dene people were engaged on the margins of mining economies, providing services such as firewood, slashing and cutting, or goods such as moccasins. The M?tis were often much more involved in the economy, serving as prospectors and miners.3 In the environmental impact assessments that were conducted to appraise these mines, the model of commute mining was often praised as affording the aboriginal miner/harvester4 the time off to engage in ?traditional? pursuits. As well, the harvester/miner is able to stay in their home place, as they are flown home directly to the small communities where they come from, rather than to the capital city: Yellowknife. These measures were designed to attract the aboriginal harvester/miner into this emerging economy, and mitigation measures (such as flying directly home) exists to encourage the miner to spend the income in the small communities, rather than in Yellowknife. This thesis follows the                                                  3 Stevenson?s (1999) work describes the experience of Metis in the region in the mining economy. Given that this research involved mostly Dene people, the experience of the Metis is not a subject of this work. Stevenson?s Can?t Live Without Work is an excellent description that was developed in Environmental Assessment for Ekati and is referred to and used extensively in environmental assessments.  4 The term miner/harvester is used to signal involvement in the work domain, while the term harvester/miner will signal the location of the individual at home and in the community.   6harvester/miner at home and in the mine, seeking to characterize the nature of engagement through the individual.    This is not a conventional thesis for a number of reasons. First, it straddles the disciplines of anthropology and mining engineering. In doing this, it seeks to understand the perspectives of the Operations Manager, the executives and the mine staff of the Treaty mining companies, detailing the obligations within the mine, to the shareholders and to communities. It also brings anthropological theories and concepts, such as Mauss? depiction of reciprocity, to bear as the miner/harvester works at the Treaty mining company and as the community engages in dialogue. The reliance on the pivotal theory of Mauss and Bourdieu might at once be viewed as neo-romanticism, but it is the clarity of these theorist?s articulations of concepts of reciprocity (in the case of Mauss) and habitus and cultural capital (in the case of Bourdieu) that have stood the test of time. Certainly, a tradition of interpretation of ?The Gift? continues in anthropological work (Strathern 2000; Kirsch 2006). Other masterful anthropological work has inspired this thesis, such as Helm?s investigations of the life ways of the Dene (2000; 1994; 1972; 1965). Helm?s work has served as a centerpiece in the post-colonial recovery of the T??ch? Nation. Methodologically, anthropological perspectives inspire the careful investigation of the values underlying the language of ore bodies, extraction, and production, unearthing the connection of the seemingly technical and objective process of mining to the people of the region. As well, the thesis characterizes the Cosmology and history of the region and through this investigation surfaces the depth and meaning of relationships in the Mackenzie Valley.  Second, the thesis does not describe a hypothesis and test it, but rather seeks to characterize and contribute to the nature of the engagement of Treaty mining companies with communities, so as to understand how the production of the commodity has shifted, transformed and mobilized new relationships in the Mackenzie Valley. As the relationships of these parties were characterized, it became clear that different perceptions of relationship have implications for the Impact and Benefit Agreements, for the retention of workers, for the outcomes and benefits to communities, and for the social relationships themselves. The thesis is not a systematic investigation of the impacts and benefits of the mines in the tradition of impact assessment (Department of Sustainable Development 2002). It is also not a conventional mining engineering thesis, in that it does not investigate, for example, how to shift production or process to more efficiently or safely extract ore. Nor is it a conventional anthropological investigation in that it makes recommendations on how relationships of mutuality can be established, in the tradition of applied anthropology. Yet it is conventional in that it follows a tradition of writing on reciprocity   7(Mauss 1954; Carrier 1991; Kirsh 2006). It also considers how the nature of social relationships can influence production and argues that to be in reciprocal relationships will influence the efficient extraction of ore? for it is only through being all of the complex dimensions incorporated in the seemingly innocuous term ?good neighbours? or ?good partners? that the Treaty mining company can respectfully extract ore through lasting relationships.   The thesis hopefully shines new light on the meaning of relationships between and among communities and so allow engineers to plan mines collaboratively with communities, and rely more heavily on the valued professional expertise of social scientists. For example, Figure 1.1 displays five possible domains of relationships around an operating mine. Yet, this thesis suggests that companies and governments only or primarily pay attention to one of five possible relationships (the economic one) , to the detriment of other important elements. Long term collaborative planning might find engineers and communities discussing how to fulfill the remaining domains of relationship, so that the goal of co-existing in the barrenlands and operating in the traditional territory of the Dene is done according to the principle of respect.  This kind of hybrid approach to interdisciplinary research builds relationships among the professions which often operate as independent silos. Had this research been completed in the anthropology department, for instance, it is unlikely that the mining engineering department would ever have been informed of its findings. Nor would its author either have gained access to the minesite or been able to comprehend the reasons behind the corporate culture that drives the minesite. If it had been done in the mining department by an engineer, it is unlikely that the depth of research and relationship could have been achieved. As a result of this hybrid approach, there has been mutual education among professions (engineers training anthropologists and vice versa) that has benefited all.              8 Figure 1.1 Five domains of relationships  One distinct feature of the thesis lies in the breadth of what was studied. This is the first multi-sited ethnography of mines and communities, as called for by Ballard and Banks (2003) and even earlier by Godoy (1985). It traces the movement of people as they commute from work to home and back, but also seeks to understand the ecology of the mines and the communities through an historical perspective. The fieldwork involved following each worker into the mine and through the activities of their usual day. It also involved discussions, focus groups and interviews in the communities, with families, social service providers, teachers, priests and other folk. The theme of relationship surfaced through careful attention to the local Cosmology, as articulated by a T??ch? theorist, John B. Zoe. While it is common for a thesis to investigate the communities surrounding a mine (Banks 1997; Bury 2002; Golub 2006), as well as the relationships of miners and communities (Doohan 2006), it is less common for a researcher to spend time equally in both locations, attempting to relate the home and work environment. Further, most studies of impact focus on how the project has changed the people and the environment. This study has addressed this aspect, asking not only what impact mining has on aboriginal people, but also what impact aboriginal people have on mining. Attention to this mutual relationship has revealed the expectation of reciprocity, founded on the agreements of the past. The thesis arrives at a crucial moment, as current relations of production shift to accommodate this new population into the material fold and in turn are changed through this accommodation. Implications for future mining operation include the nature of economic development, the design of mines and processes of accommodation, and the process of decision making and negotiation of agreements.  Economic  Companies Federal Government Territorial Government Tlicho  Yellowknives Dene   Jobs, Funds, Business  Social    Political     Spiritual    Cultural   Jobs, Funds, Business  Funds Funds, Training Jobs, Funds, Business  Visiting, meetings, train Visiting, meetings, train Agreement  Monitor Agreement  Monitor Monitor Self determination Legislate, award Practices Practices Values Values   9  The key finding of this thesis is that aboriginal history in the Mackenzie Valley depends on reciprocity, and indeed creates and re-creates reciprocity in each agreement that is forged. The construction of steadily more elaborate lists and tables about the characteristics of the population (Agrawal 2005) since the diamond mines have opened have served the government?s needs, creating a forensic audit that justifies the ever increasing control of the Territorial government. The social relations of the settler government and the communities are framed through this lens of counting and accounting, with real dialogue and reciprocity frustrated through the tendency of the government to deliver missives. Policy and regulation of the settler government create the architecture for the relationship of the Treaty mining company to the communities. Yet there is a ?space of freedom? (Tully 2000) available?the Impact and Benefit Agreement?which the Dene has laid claim to in the spirit of past agreement making, so that they replicate the reciprocity of past agreements. The Treaty mining company has unfortunately failed to understand the depth and meaning of reciprocity implied in the agreements and thus failed to recognize the long-term opportunity so implied.    The IBAs have been seized as an opportunity to ensure employment, funds, and business opportunities. Through the daily negotiation and re-negotiation of these agreements, the spaces are made for Dene harvesters/miners to enter the mines. The family, the community and the miner all contribute to the well-being and longevity of the miner at the job, as does the Treaty mining company. However, it takes negotiation and transformation on the part of the miner and the family to become and remain employed. Much accommodation is thus in the hands of the aboriginal party.    With the majority of the employees in the diamond mines male, there are significant ramifications of the diamond mining economy for women and children. Given that the mines employ mostly men (84%), it is apparent that new and significant wealth in the diamond mining impacted communities is becoming concentrated in the hands of young and middle aged men. There has been a marked increase in single-parent families since the mines opened, with 50% of children living in these low income and single-parent families. At the same time, women are graduating at much higher levels than men, as well as taking up the scholarship opportunities. The implications of this income disparity for health and wellness ought to be considered further.  1.1  The NWT diamond economy    Since the first find of diamond indicators in 1991 by two Kelowna based geologists, the political economy of the Northwest Territories has changed dramatically. In recent times, the   10north has lured independent souls in search of mythical gold and indeed the heart of this capital has always been the Con and Giant gold mines. Both of these gold mines are now being reclaimed?and the town has re-branded itself as ?diamond row?. Three diamond mines are operating north of Yellowknife, with more to follow and they have brought a new era of industrialization and negotiation with them. The historical context of previous mines is significant as is the potential for future development, which may include a revisited Arctic gas pipeline.    Exploration for diamonds, metals and gold in the Northwest Territories peaked in the 1990s. A prospecting rush, afforded by the free entry system,5 ensued in the area, by the end of which most of the available Crown Land had been registered to companies. Since then, three mines have opened in the region, and De Beers is applying for licenses for the Gahcho K?ue mine. These projects are owned by some of the largest mining companies in the world: Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton and De Beers. With their different home places, each corporation is skilled at thinking globally, and maneuvering in the industry, but they are now transferring their skills to this northern environment. In this thesis, they are named collectively ?Treaty mining companies?6 for they are able to extract diamonds in the NWT because of the bilateral agreements signed in 1900 and 1921: Treaty 8 and Treaty 11 respectively. In Treaty 11, it states:  ?the said Indians do hereby cede, release, surrender and yield up to the Government of the Dominion of Canada, for His Majesty the King and His Successors forever, all their rights, titles, and privileges whatsoever to the lands?  AND ALSO, the said Indian rights, titles and privileges whatsoever to all other lands wherever situated in the Yukon Territory, the Northwest Territories or in any other portion of the Dominion of Canada. To have and to hold the same to His Majesty the King and His Successors forever.  PROVIDED, however, that His Majesty reserves the right to deal with any settlers within the boundaries of any lands reserved for any band as He may see fit; and also that the aforesaid reserves of land, or any interest therein, may be sold or otherwise disposed of by His Majesty's Government for the use and benefit of the said Indians entitled thereto, with their consent first had and obtained; but in no wise shall the said Indians, or any of them, be entitled to sell or otherwise alienate any of the lands allotted to them as reserves. (Use of capitals in original, emphasis added)                                                   5 The free entry system encompasses ?the right to enter lands in search of Crown minerals, the right to obtain a claim, and the right to go to lease and production? (Canadian Institute of Resources Law 1997: 8). Lands can be withdrawn from mineral entry that are set apart or appropriated, including settling Canada?s obligations under treaties with Aboriginal people.   6 Dr. Carl Urion, Professor Emeritus, University of Alberta coined this term in discussions with me.    11These former agreements have created the architecture for all mineral policy since. There is a sense that Impact and Benefit Agreements are somehow negotiated completely apart from the government, forgetting the foundational role of these Treaties. These Treaty mining companies are enabled to seek licenses from the Crown by the mineral policy that has followed since. They are able to prospect freely, stake mineral claims under the free entry system, and operate a mine, in accordance with the Canada Mining Regulations.7 To suggest these companies ought to be known as Treaty mining companies reminds the reader of these prior relations.   The NWT has become increasingly dependent on the mining, oil and gas sector?economies that have their prices set and determined by global and continental demand. For example, gross revenues from the extractive industries sector grew 207 percent from 1999 to 2005, compared to 15 percent for Canada (Bureau of Statistics 2007). As a result of these operating mines, Canada now contributes six percent of world production by value to the diamond market and will contribute 14% of world production by value once Snap Lake is operating. The value of mineral production reached $2.2 billion in 2005, with diamond production amounting to 75 per cent of this (GNWT Finance 2006). Fur sales, as a contrast, continued the trend of $1 million or less over the past 10 years, with the value of fur sales at approximately $812,000 in 2003 (Bureau of Statistics 2006b, 47).   With the status of a Territory, royalties and taxes from the diamond mines are all remitted to the federal government; funds for services and programs in the north settled through Transfer Agreements, which are not linked to resource agreements. The federal government retains 95% of resource royalties and federal income taxes, and 80% of territorial income tax. The GNWT receives 20% of territorial income tax, and 5% of resource royalties (Irlbacher Fox 2005). Over the life of these two diamond mines it has been estimated the GNWT will collect an estimated $828 million in corporate tax. Total government tax revenues will include direct and secondary taxes in excess of $5 billion (Ellis Consulting Services 2000); direct tax revenues from the two currently operating mines alone are estimated to be $720 million from Ekati and $540 million from Diavik (Ellis Consulting Services 2000). According to the GNWT Department of Finance, ?federal royalties and other non-renewable resource revenues from fees and licenses from the NWT have grown 18 per cent annually from 1999 to 2005, from $84 million to $224 million.                                                  7 Mining companies can and do operate in parts of Canada where there is no Treaty. However, in the NWT, the diamond mines operate in regions covered by Treaties. By using the term ?Treaty mining company?, the reader is constantly reminded of the significant and prior relationship of the federal government to the aboriginal authorities. It is a respectful signal of the constancy and enduring nature of the prior agreements that structure the political and legal opportunities for the multinational miners.    12The federal mining royalties from the NWT over this period have increased 45 per cent from $9 million to $78 million? (2006, 13). Until a modern treaty agreement is made with the federal government or devolution of authority and powers is negotiated, aboriginal authorities do not receive any royalties or taxes. Rather, they are dependent on transfer payments for administration of political, social, health and education services.    The labour market in the NWT depends on the government as well as the mining industry; GDP, however, depends on continued growth in the non-renewable resource sector. ?Even with the current boom in mining, oil and gas and in the construction industry, in 2005 the NWT labour market continued to be heavily reliant on government. Overall, some 38.8% of employment was in government administration, health or education services. Mining, oil and gas represented some 9.3% of total employment which is about five times the Canadian average? (GNWT Department of Finance 2006, 41). The GDP is heavily dependent on the extractive industries: ?much of the GDP growth can be attributed to the non-renewable resource sector, where the share of territorial economic activity has increased from 28.8% in 1999 to 49.8% in 2005? (GNWT Finance 2006, 47). Clearly, the economy and the labour market (See Figure 1.1) is dependent on the extractive industries, as illustrated through the increase in production of diamonds and the continuing decrease in other renewable economies, such as the fur trade. Linkages of the NWT economy to the local economy are weak: ?every $100,000 worth of production in the NWT construction industry yields direct and indirect employment of 0.42 person years? of employment in the NWT and 0.83 years? of employment in Canada? (GNWT Finance 2006, 13).                 13 Figure 1.2 Share of total employment by industry, Northwest Territories & Canada, 2005 (Bureau of Statistics 2006, 45) 051015202530354045Mining, Oil & GasConstructionTransportationRetail & WholesaleAccom. & Food ServicesGov't, Health, Educ'nOther industry% of total employmentNWT Canada     While the employment rate has increased for the entire NWT, the diamond-affected communities (those with agreements with the Treaty mining companies) have experienced the largest increase in employment income (GNWT Finance 2006). Employment income and levels are projected to fall with the closures of Ekati in 2023 and Diavik after 2020. Extreme volatility in employment is expected, particularly if the Mackenzie Gas Project is permitted as there will more than 1000 construction workers needed for the construction period of this project (GNWT Finance 2006). The model of commuter mining, rather than manufacturing ghost towns in remote areas, is now prevalent, leading to some significant changes in cost and opportunities. The Treaty mining companies have constructed occupational sites that are larger than 66% of the communities in the NWT. The mine sites now host occupational communities, including low skilled and semi-skilled workers who are on shift for two weeks and then off for two, while skilled workers (generally in management) are on shift for four days and then off for three. The remote mine site, or commute mine, allows workers to stay in their home place on their time off. It is currently the preferred industrial model, as it amounts to half the cost of establishing a   14permanent community. With the transportation option of jet commuting, the model allows families to stay in their chosen community, as long as the miner can be freed of family roles and obligations for this length of time. In the past, families tended to follow the ore bodies, leading to constant changes of residence and community, with the result that many mining towns became manufactured ghost towns, or single industry towns that faded as the mineral commodity was depleted (Lucas 1971). Since remote mines use 12 hour schedules for workers, workforce needs are reduced, resulting in decreased capital costs, and decreased risk associated with commodity price changes. As a result, the remote mine site has become the industrial model for northern mining.   Remote mines are unique because they require the worker to be away for extended periods, a separation both physically and mentally of work and home, and the bridging of cultural values for the aboriginal miner/harvester. This work leads to many outcomes predicted in environmental assessments, such as surplus wealth, confidence, new skills and training, and new consumer goods. However, the experience of these benefits can be tempered by the ability to manage new income, the ability to cope with the stress of constant rotation, isolation from the community (Shrimpton and Storey 2001) and the health and strength of the family at home. The environment of home and work are strikingly different, so that the miner has to adjust from the worksite where all food and housekeeping are provided, to a situation where they are expected to contribute. Shrimpton and Storey (2001) have found off-shore oil workers are attracted to this complete separation of home and work, so that there is no discussion of family life at work, and intensive quality time with the family at home. Also, the mine site allows the miner 12 hours of free-time, free of responsibilities or demands of families. At the mine, there is possibility for inappropriate behaviour (Shrimpton and Storey 2001), which can travel home (e.g., swearing, among others). Commute workers tend not to understand or empathize with the challenges of their absence for the partners (Shrimpton and Storey 2001), who often are described as ?commuting back and forth from a single to a married state? (Shrimpton and Storey 2001). Literature on remote mining predicts divorce and separation will be a common outcome of remote mining (Forsyth and Gramling 1987; BHP Billiton Diamonds Inc. 1995), however recent studies suggest that divorced and separated individuals are attracted to this type of employment and that there is ?little evidence in support of the common view that commute employment results in large numbers of separations and divorces? (Shrimpton and Storey 2001, 16). The mine worker has been found to adjust best to the rotation schedule when the time away at the mine and at home is roughly equal, as is the case in the northern diamond mines.   15Shrimpton and Storey (1989) found that the 28 day-on/28 day-off pattern was roughly sustainable for families, while Beach (1999) found that 28 day-on/7 days-off was not sustainable for the family over time. In a study of turnover in the Australian mining industry, employee turnover at mines using the 14/7 pattern varied from 13 to 28 percent (Beach and Cliff 2003), and the lowest turnover was found at a mine operating on a 9/5 pattern. In one mine with a 14/7 pattern, the authors attribute the surprisingly low level of turnover to financial incentives and a positive organizational culture (Beach and Cliff 2003). Survey findings from miners/harvesters similarly suggest a high level of satisfaction with the rotation schedule of two weeks on and two weeks off (DCAB 2006).   These commute diamond mines operate in a new business landscape, with obligations foreign to the metal and mineral mines of the past. Very few aboriginal miners were on the payrolls, and companies and unions alike paid scant attention to the aboriginal communities of the region, except as a curiosity. Taxes were paid to the federal government alone, as aboriginal communities were seen as the business of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada. Agreements, consent and consultation are now all seen as a business standard. While there is no legislation or policy guidance on consultation or agreements, mining companies view agreement making with local aboriginal groups as the ?cost of doing business?. Employment, funds, business opportunities, culture and scholarships are all considered negotiable.    A co-management framework has been adopted since 1998 that gives a unique character to the regulatory environment of the NWT. While the Ekati mine was reviewed by the Federal Environmental Assessment Review process, new legislation deriving from the modern land claim agreements has provided a co-management framework for environmental assessment and management. With the passage of the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act (MVRMA), the Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board (MVEIRB) is responsible for environmental impact assessment. Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and Natural Resources Canada are still in charge of issuing permits for the mines. Another co-management board, the Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board also plays a role as they issue land use permits and water licenses. However, the MVEIRB makes recommendations on whether developments should go ahead and under what conditions, after considering the environmental, social, cultural and economic well-being of residents of the Mackenzie Valley. Board members are appointed by the Minister, based on recommendations by aboriginal groups, the territorial and federal governments. Half of the Board is nominated by aboriginal groups, which allows perspectives and voices of communities to be heard and understood more   16effectively. The recommendations by MVEIRB on projects are submitted to the federal minister of INAC for review so final power still rests with the federal government. The Review Board's guiding principles (from s. 115 of the MVRMA) are:  (a) protection of the environment from the significant adverse impacts of proposed developments; and (b) protection of the social, cultural and economic well-being of residents and communities in the Mackenzie Valley.  If the Minister disagrees with MVEIRB?s recommendations, the Minister can send a decision back for further consideration, ask for meetings with the Board (?Consult to Modify?), or order an Environmental Impact Review.   1.2    The diamond mining impacted communities    The Dene Nation includes regional groups: Gwich?in, Sahtu, T??ch? (Dogrib), Akaitcho, and Deh Cho peoples (Irlbacher Fox 2005), many of whom have completed land claim agreements with the federal government. The M?tis people are represented in multiple organizations, including North Slave M?tis, NWT M?tis Nation, the Northwest M?tis Federation and community based M?tis councils. The Treaty mining companies operate in the region of two land claims that have been accepted by the federal government: the T??ch? Nation and Akaitcho Treaty 8 Tribal Corporation. The T??ch? Nation completed a Self Government and Land Claim Agreement, the first to have these linked agreements in the north, concluded in 2005. The agreements were completed for citizens of the communities of Bechok? (Rae Edzo), What? (Lac la Martre), Gam?t? (Rae Lakes), and Wekwe?t? (Snare Lake).8 The Akaitcho Treaty 8 Tribal Association, representing the Yellowknives Dene First Nation, ?utsel K?e First Nation and Deninu Kue, has 3100 Treaty status members with a claim to 480,000 km2. This thesis considers the members of the T??ch? Nation (see Figure 1.2 and Table 1.1), and the smaller group of the Yellowknives Dene First Nation, who negotiate with the Akaitcho Treaty 8 Tribal Association, but have also been aligned in the past with the T??ch?.                                                   8 For a full summary of NWT negotiations, see Irlbacher Fox (2005). Final agreements on lands and resources have been reached by the Inuvialuit (1984), Gwich?in (1992), Sahtu Dene and Metis (1993). Self government agreements have been concluded by the Inuvialuit, Gwich?in and Deline. Lands, resources, and governance processes are underway with the T??ch? and Deh Cho. Treaty Entitlement Talks are being negotiated with the Akaitcho Dene and Land, Resource and Governance agreements are being negotiated by the NWT M?tis Nation.      17Table 1.1 Population of T??ch? Nation communities POPULATION OF TL?CH? NATION Community   Population Gam?t? (Rae Lakes)  302 What? (Lac la Martre)  502 Wekwe?t? (Snare Lake)  138 Bechok? (Rae-Edzo)  1951   Table 1.2  Population of select Yellowknives Dene First Nation communities YELLOWKNIVES DENE FIRST NATION N?dilo   250 Dettah 218  All Dene groups in the region are of the Athapascan language group, classified as such as early as 1850 (Helm 2000), with many language subgroups, including T??ch? (Dogrib) and Dene Suline (Chipewyan), among others. Many Yellowknives Dene elders speak both Dene Suline and Dogrib; the uniqueness of spoken Dogrib of the Yellowknives Dene has been formalized by the group, known as T??ch? Yatii. Dogrib and Chipewyan are two languages within the Athapascan family, which includes anywhere from 13-15 languages and has more than 17,000 speakers in the culture area of the western sub arctic, plains and plateau (Darnell 1986).    The Dene and M?tis now live almost exclusively in communities, settled as late as the 1960s, when Wekwe?t? was founded with a small group of families. Helm suggests group formation prior to settling in communities was organized by task groups. Helm?s work identified the task group (a group of brief duration created for seasonally exploitative purposes) as the primary form of organization for Dene communities, followed by the bands, local or regional, as well as multiple family task groups. She writes that these groups ?have a mode of alliance and recruitment based on principles of social linkage through bilateral primary kinship bonds from one conjugal pair to another? (Helm 2000, 11). For the male, the kin connection is through blood ties to one or more adults, or through affinal links through wife and married sisters. ?By these modes of sponsorship, a couple may form a task group with others, join another camp group or local group, or move from one region to the next? (Helm 2000, 11). The small communities are   18primarily aboriginal, while the larger centres are mixed in ethnicity. For example, Yellowknife?s population is roughly half non-aboriginal.   1.3   The mines    The first two mines opened at a fortuitous time, just as the operating gold mines in the region were gearing up for closure (See Figure 1.2): many mines have closed in the past few years, such as Giant, Con, Polaris, Nansivik and Colomac. Just 30 kilometres apart, the two diamond mine sites are completely independent of each other. Temperatures at the mines are commonly -40?C in the winter and 30?C in the short summer. The mines are connected to Yellowknife by a winter road that snakes its way through the barren lands over 568 km from Yellowknife.9 Trucks leave Yellowknife in convoys of four every twenty minutes for the full 24 clock in order to get supplies in during the short window of time when the ice is strong and deep enough. The airstrip at the mine is as long as the one in the capital, accommodating the largest planes that arrive carrying passengers from as far west as Vancouver Island and as far east as Newfoundland.                                                                 9 The winter road opens up some time in January and closes at some point in March. The road is open for up to 67 days. It is a 17 hour drive, with 495 km over frozen lakes and 73 km over land. It was common talk at the trucker?s take off in Yellowknife, the Tim Horton?s coffee shop, that the road was open for such a short time in 2005 due to climate change.    19Figure 1.3 Diamond mines and communities (circa 2008)  Barren land diamonds are found deep within the earth. After the first find by Chuck Fipke, the largest prospecting rush in Canada?s history ensued, with everyone staking mineral claims as closely as possible to the first find. Diamonds are formed deep in the earth?s crust at depths of more than 150 km at extremely high temperatures. They are stored in distinctive source rocks that make up part of the stable mantle root beneath Archean (> 2500 million years old) and Proterozoic (2500 to 570 million years old) cratons. The two most important diamond source rocks are peridotite and eclogite, and each rock type contains a characteristic suite of minerals that are key indicators for diamond exploration. Diamonds occur in pipes (as modeled in Figure 1.3), although glacial events can interrupt a pipe and spread diamonds far from the original source, similar to rivers.10 With much of the region staked, the companies began the task of                                                  10 Sierra Leonean diamonds, for example, occur mostly as alluvial deposits. The pipes have been cut off and the diamonds spread far by fluvial action. This makes these deposits easily mined by artisanal miners. The diamonds of the NWT are deep within the earth, intact in kimberlite pipes and therefore are not easily accessed, except by conventional open pit and/or underground mining methods, which has implications for the feasibility of different mining methods.    20prospecting, involving airborne and ground geophysics. Once an area is defined, sediment sampling of glaciofluvial can detect the kimberlite indicator grains. Other sampling of glacial till can define the dispersal train. Kimberlitic indicator minerals include garnet, chrome diopside, ilmenite and lesser chromite. Once indicator minerals are found, drilling and excavation is done throughout the area in order to determine the location and chemistry of the ore body. Resource modeling, based on the drilling results, will be completed in order to model the extent and nature of the resource. Once permitted, the pre-stripping of waste rock is completed, often so much as a year in advance of the first production of the ore.   Figure 1.4 Views of the Panda and Koala pipe model (BHP Billiton Inc. 2005)  Safety is a top priority at mines, as illustrated by the excellent safety records. The injury frequency rate has consistently decreased at Ekati (Figure 1.4). At Diavik, injury frequency rates are comparable (Roscoe and Postle 2005).         21Figure 1.5 Ekati classified injury frequency rate for fiscal years 2001-2005 (Ekati 2005) 1310.87.46.43.402468101214FY01 FY02 FY03 FY04 FY05   Table 1.3 reviews key characteristics of the Treaty mining companies, such as capital costs, resources, mine life, work force and annual ore production rates. Diavik and Ekati are both high tonnage mines with long mine life. They are also highly profitable mines, and even though Diavik has much higher capital costs, these costs were recouped in 2007. A main factor behind the high profitability of these mines is the value per carat of the diamonds mined. Diamonds vary in price per carat based on quality, and the Diavik and Ekati diamonds (and those found in the NWT in general) happen to be among the higher quality diamonds. The smaller number of carats at the Ekati mine, as illustrated below, is offset by the fact their average per carat value is approximately double that of Diavik ($140 versus $60-70).   22 RESOURCE CAPITAL COSTS OPERATION TYPE ANNUAL ORE TONNAGE Diavik Diamond Mines Inc. Diavik 60% owned by Rio Tinto plc; Aber Diamond Mines Ltd. 40% 2003->2020 700 24.5 million tonnes containing approximately 82 million carats $1.3 billion  Open pit, transitioning to underground 2.5 million tonnes per year     Ekati Diamond Mine BHP Billiton 80%; Charles Fipke and Stewart Blusson 10% each 1998-2023 800  53.5 million tonnes containing approximately 29 million carats $700 million Open pit transitioning to underground 5.6 million tonnes per year  Snap Lake De Beers (100%) 2007-2029 500 22.8 million tonnes containing approximately 30 million carats  $975 million  Underground   1.1 million tonnes per year  Gahcho K?ue  De Beers 51%; Mntn. Province 44.1%; Camphor Ventures 4.9% 2012-2038 400 30 million tonnes containing approximately 49 million carats   $825 million Open pit with potential for future underground transition 2 million tonnes per year    23  Roughly 30% of the workers in Ekati and Diavik are drawn from diamond mine impacted communities. For some aboriginal miners, this experience is not new, as they have worked in northern mines of the past, such as Lupin, Colomac or in oil and gas operations in Norman Wells. For others, this marks a new engagement for them. These miners/harvesters spend half their time at the mine, and half at home. The transition to the mine happens every two weeks, and in the words of one harvester/miner: ?you are up all night the night before you leave again. You don?t want to leave your family? (January 15 2005). To gain work at the mine, the miner/harvester must have no criminal record, not be debilitated by addictions, and be semi-literate. As they arrive on site, the miner is inducted into the site through a series of programs and lectures. The most noticeable rules are those surrounding security: as people enter and exit the mine, they and their bags are searched. People are told to view the landscape without touching it. The majority of employee time will be spent indoors, or in a machine as they become a part of the job of excavation or extraction of the diamonds.    Both mines are relatively similar in their layout. Over 1,000 workers are typically on site, and everyone works in one of two shifts: night or day. Indoors, people are assigned a bed in one of the 650 bedrooms located in six wings. These wings are long dark hallways with ?Do Not Disturb? signs on half of the rooms, as the night shift sleeps through the day. Bedrooms are sparsely furnished, with one to two single beds, a desk and chair, and a television suspended at the end of the room. Each room has its own bathroom, if one is assigned to the new camp. A person can expect to have a roommate, and there is always someone occupying the space when the worker returns home. In the main complex, both the process plant and administrative wings are connected to the main social area by ?arctic corridors? that are up to one kilometre long. The social space includes a large eating area, separated into a variety of sections, the kitchen area, a games area and a smoking room. The games area at one mine includes pool tables, a large screen television, and a variety of board games and cards tables. Also available on site is one of the better exercise facilities available in the north. One of the mines hosts racquet courts and a golf simulator.    The physical sites for work vary depending on the stage in extraction of the diamonds (See Figure 1.6). Work sites include the open pit or underground mine, the waste dumps, the roads in between connecting these sites, the tailings areas, also known as ?processed kimberlite   24containment facilities,?11 the process plant, and the administrative wings. Depending on the mine, the kimberlite pipes are named either with Australian catchwords or by numbers. The Australian-owned mine hosts the Koala, Fox, Panda, Koala North, Beartooth, Sable and Pigeon, and Misery Pits, while the Rio Tinto owned mine has the A-418, A-154, and A-21 pits. Since there are two sites of extraction for the BHP mine, bags in Yellowknife must be tagged ?Ekati? or ?Misery?. The mining cycle begins in the open pit, after which the ore is trucked to stockpiles (and the waste to the waste dump). From the stockpile, the ore enters into the processing plant, moving through a circuit aimed at liberating the ore from waste. By the time the ore reaches the recovery plant, it is cleaned, dried and sorted. All the waste material is sent to a tailings dam, called ?processed kimberlite?.12 Diamonds are concentrated in the material with the help of x-ray fluorescence after which the final sorting steps are done by hand in Yellowknife. Sorting occurs in the highest security buildings in northern Canada. Polishing follows diamond cutting, where the diamonds are classified by the ?Four Cs?: cut, colour, clarity and carat weight. Typically diamonds are sold to diamond wholesalers or jewelry manufacturers.                                                                        11 This terminology reminds me of the linguistic cleansing that sewage sludge suffered in the 1990s in the United States. It became ?biosolids? in an effort to alter public perception. Scientists refused to change their terminology, while the Environmental Protection Agency and growers representatives used this new euphemism.  12 Use of the term ?processed kimberlite containment facilities? seems to be an effort to distance public perceptions of waste material from those associated with tailings.    25Figure 1.6 Aerial photo of Diavik mine with general infrastructure layout (courtesy of Diavik Diamond Mines)      Every worker is on shift for twelve hours, regardless of whether they are a manager or labourer. Labourers work for two weeks on and then have two weeks off. Workers will often take an extra shift (one week) to cover for another person or to make more money. A worker is on day shifts for one rotation, followed by night shift on the next. The time of work (day or night) can dramatically impact what the worker does, with many tasks allocated to days only, and others to nights. Night shifts tend to have a more relaxed pace.   With safety a top priority for all workers, every shift starts with a safety meeting. Workers are expected to assemble in a meeting room for the safety talk, which is usually structured by a master narrative from the parent company. Generally meetings open with a discussion of any incidents in the last shift, a review of the current section safety record, a reading by a volunteer of a safety tip and a discussion of what some people might do today to make it a ?safe day?.13 Meetings often close with a stretching session, most notably in the                                                  13 I have seen people try to fade into the walls during these safety meetings, for fear that their illiteracy will be exposed. The safety book is generally tossed by the safety leader to different crew members to be read. Some employees purposefully miss the safety meeting, for fear of being asked to read, but risk the consequences of being late.  Diesel power plant Boiler plant Permanent Accommodations Administration / Maintenance Complex Process Plant Fuel Tanks Sewage Treatment Explosives Emulsion Plant   26machine shop in one mine, where every person from young to old stands to stretch. The twelve hours are consistently structured, with two coffee breaks and a lunch break. Pit operations staff often take breaks in their machine, with lunch sometimes still on the machine or in the muster station. Every day is like any other, with operation constant. Rituals and holidays are marked by decorations, but not treated with any special regard unless a particular section takes that initiative.    After work, the potential for different networks to be mobilized occurs. Everyone on the same shift has the potential to meet with others from any site in the mess hall. Many workers eat meals with their work crew, but small pockets of exceptions are obvious, such as the table of women from various areas that eat together. After meals, people retire to the entertainment area, to their rooms, or off to exercise, and here mixing is observed across work crews. At this point, however, aboriginal workers claim to spend the majority of their time off with other aboriginal workers. Other activities that the resting worker participates in are working out, socializing, playing games, engaging in organized activities, and of course sleeping. Gambling on site happens through the sanctioned 50/50 draws, as well as in small smoking lounges in the dormitories, where cards are usually the gambling game of choice. There is also a huge smoking room where smokers spend their time, watching television and talking. There is a small chapel or quiet room at both mines.    Diamond mines have a strict code of conduct that is not apparent in other types of hard rock mines. Restrictions come into place wherever workers come into contact with kimberlitic material or diamonds. Since diamonds are small, easy to identify and transport, the rules for how workers must behave in the landscape and in facilities are strict. Out on the land, workers down in areas of potential kimberlite should not bend down to pick rock up, or even so much as tie their shoe. Cameras are trained on these areas, and any odd or inexplicable behaviour is investigated. Workers are never allowed out of the boundaries of one circular walk in their time off, which includes a prescribed route for walking around the facility.14 Down in the pit, for reasons of safety and security, workers must communicate with dispatch before leaving their machine. If a worker drops something, such as kimberlitic material, off a truck, the material is simply left behind for another machine to recover. In the process plant, rules are similarly strict.                                                  14 This control over the worker movement in the landscape is unique to these diamond mines. The comparable diamond mine in Australia, owned by the same parent company, negotiated different land access provisions with the aboriginal communities. In this case, non-aboriginal workers are restricted from spending time on the land, in order to decrease impact on land and wildlife, but aboriginal people can access the area (Argyle diamond mine agreement). In another gold mine in Australia, the aboriginal communities can even access the open pit, if they notify the mine manager in advance (O?Faircheallaigh, personal communication, December 14, 2006).    27There is a ?man trap? to enter the area, which allows one person through at a time, ensuring the entry of security cleared people only. The worker is aware that cameras are located throughout the football field by a football field process plant: ?the shell was to be a monumental building 152 metres long, 40 metres wide, and 35 metres high? (DDMI 2003a, 41). As the diamonds become more apparent during processing, the security becomes more restrictive. In the recovery area, security is even tighter, with two workers and a security guard always witnessing movement of material. Diamonds leave the site in a variety of ways, and the key to security is the secrecy of transport. Sometimes they go off site with a randomly selected worker, sometimes in cases that are blank (or empty), and sometimes in cases that are carrying material. The method is random, ensuring that planning for thefts is highly impractical and improbable.    Security is in place for another reason: to keep alcohol, drugs, firearms, knives and any other prohibited material off site. Workers must pass a full RCMP criminal record check before ever entering a plane for site. On site, all people and luggage are screened both when they enter and exit the site. The site is alcohol and drug free. Any incident that does occur on site can trigger a drug and alcohol test of the individual.    Dress code during work hours is strict, according to the norms of safety. Steel toed boots must be worn, while hard helmets, hearing protection and eye glasses are worn in areas of high hazard. Workers become familiar with the rules of safety through training they receive as they join the mine, and are reminded daily of practices or new procedures at the outset of each shift. This program consists of many modules on safety that orient the worker to the site. There is voiceover reading for the non-literate, and each module closes with a test. The worker must pass all the tests in order to work on site.    Safety is the key message conveyed to the worker. From entry videos to poster boards in all areas, safety orients every relationship and opens most formal work shifts. At times, the discussion is serious, as incidents that occurred are reviewed, dissected and new systems put in place to avoid future problems. Sometimes incidents involved light vehicles being crushed by large trucks. Other incidents involved vehicles in the drill and blast area not being attended (e.g., leaving a blast pattern unattended), to rock fall, to slips and falls. Since every area must have a safety meeting, administrative workers sometimes covered rather macabre subjects, because of the relative lack of safety hazard posed by their job. In time off, people are encouraged to relax, while respecting others. Harassment and racism are discouraged through policies. There is no policy on sexual relations of workers. People spend time socializing in small groups, through sport and scheduled games, and at meal times.    28  The language of work is English, but the language of conversations in free time is chosen by the worker. English is used during work hours, so that messages on safety are understood and communicated in agreed upon terms. For example, a ?Code 1? is used to alert all workers to stop work and return to their muster stations. Trainers and supervisors ensure that a common language is spoken, but each inherits the language of safety from the global parent company. This serves to create a standardized global discourse of safety, so that while trainers participate in and create a language of safety within the workplace, they import globalized practices of training (Somerville and Abrahamsson 2003). Specific and special codes are used to convey safety messages. Other languages can be spoken on site, and one can pass by a dinner table to hear everyone speaking an aboriginal language. Tensions about language can arise, as those that do not speak a language often feel they are being talked about or that gossip is passing them by.    Every aspect of work shift time is organized by the mine, and people fall and stay within the hierarchies of machines in service of production. Table 1.4 illustrates the percentage of aboriginal people in unskilled and semi-skilled positions in one of the Treaty mining companies; very few aboriginal people are in skilled or professional positions. The average salary for each skill level is shown in Figure 1.5, illustrating that remuneration increases with higher skill levels, education, and experience or seniority. Table 1.4  Employment profile of a Treaty mining company  JOB CATEGORIES  ALL POSITIONS % ALL POSITIONS (NUMBER) ABORIGINAL NORTHERN  OTHER Entry 12% 232 46% 37% 17% Semi Skilled  32%  645  46%  24%  30% Skilled/Trades   46%  912  14%  25%  61% Professional   11%  210  6%  53%  41%            29Figure 1.7 Employees and salary in a Treaty mining company (DDMI 2005)15 020406080100120140160180200ManagementProfessionalTrades/TechnicalSemi-skilledEntry LevelDirect Employees$0$20,000$40,000$60,000$80,000$100,000$120,000$140,000$160,000$180,000$200,000Average SalaryEmployeesAverage Salary  1.4   Research questions    The research has focused on the experience for an aboriginal worker in a mine and the transformations of family and community life as the mine worker begins the bi-monthly rotation. While the research began with the theory of vulnerability, seeking to understand what influences the differential vulnerability and resilience of families, workers and communities, these questions were substantially reframed as part of the normal iterative process that constitutes social research. The lens of political ecology and vulnerability did not articulate closely with the themes that began to emerge in the field. Instead, cultural resilience, the ability to bounce back, is drawn from the ability to be in reciprocal relationships and achieve self determination. Central                                                  15 This graph indicates very few direct semi-skilled workers, such as heavy equipment operators, as well as low numbers of entry level positions, despite the fact these positions actually represent the majority of positions at this largely open-pit mine ? some 63% of all workers, according to DDMI (2005). This is due to the fact that at Diavik, virtually all entry level and semi-skilled positions are contracted out to aboriginal corporations like I&D Management or other specialty contractors. Also the average Canadian CEO earns much higher figures than represented here. (Whittaker 2007).    30to this notion of resilience is the ability to create and recreate social relationships of current and historic agreements. As this theme emerged, it became a central narrative of the thesis. The architecture for understanding the role of the government and the Treaty mining companies in the region was thus cast as relational and reflexive. The overarching research questions are:   ?   What is the nature of the relationship developed between mining companies and aboriginal communities in the Northwest Territories?  ?   What historical and modern relationships may influence the aboriginal experience of the mining economy?  ?   What constrains and enhances reciprocity in the ratification and implementation of agreements of the mining economy?   In order to understand these relationships, the culture of work at the mines was investigated. Through the miner/harvester, the factors at the mine and at home that influence aboriginal workers? recruitment, retention and advancement were investigated. Through the harvester/miner and the family, the experience and impact of a rotation mining schedule and all that it brings was illuminated.   1.5    Theoretical approaches    Even as new themes emerged from the field experience, the notion of vulnerability appeared to remain as a very useful theory for describing power relationships. However, vulnerability is a concept with many valences, including the risk of exposure to crisis, the risk of inadequate capacity to cope, and the risk of severe consequences or low resilience (Watts and Bohle 1993). Table 1.5 characterizes vulnerability as understood in this thesis, after reviewing the data.            31Table 1.5 Applications of the vulnerability model to the mining context CONCEPT  WATTS AND BOHLE (1993) APPLICATION TO A MINING CONTEXT  Exposure  Risk of exposure to crises, stress and shock Commodity price changes, economic change, wage decreases, closure of mines, loss of active family member, threat to land based economy, lack of access to land based economy or change in wildlife populations, time spent away from family, limited opportunity to speak the language Resistance   Consequences of poor coping strategies  Poverty and starvation; loss of financial solubility and ability to manage debts; loss of culture and language  Resilience  Risk of severe consequences of and attendant risks of slow or limited poverty from crises, risk and shocks Networks, social relationships of reciprocity    Public and private institutions that buffer individuals (e.g., healthcare, social services and education)     Watts and Bohle (1993) treat hunger or lack of entitlements as the core consequence of vulnerability; in their work, they ask: what are the consequences of poor coping? In the NWT, government models of social and cultural impact (as described in Chapter 4) define the consequences of poor coping as social dysfunction, as captured through crime rates, alcoholism, gambling, suicide, teen pregnancies, among others. It is as the rates for these social behaviours increase that communities become vulnerable. This model wrongly frames the symptoms as consequences, diagnosing dysfunction and its causes within communities, and then treating only these symptoms. Vulnerability, in this GNWT model, gets framed as high addictions, high risk behaviours, low availability of social housing, and other social outcomes.   This quantitative model does not resonate with communities; instead, as shown in Chapter 4 and 5, Elders have identified consequences of poor coping as fragmentation of identity, loss of language and culture: essentially the inability to live well. The cause of this change, rather than being located within the communities, has been the continued dispossession from lands, the lack of self determination, and the continual oppression under a system of internal colonialism (Tully 2000), among other causes. While Watts and Bohle tackle hunger (1993), this thesis views the consequences of poor coping as not only hunger (and poverty), but also loss of culture and language. While these may seem to be quite different problems to tackle with a theory of vulnerability, they are inextricably linked. Dene harvester/miners may be vulnerable if they lose their jobs in ten years and are unable to turn to the land, either because they lack the appropriate knowledge to hunt well or because the Bathurst caribou herd has all but   32disappeared. If the miner/harvester has focused completely on mining skills and industrial training for the past 15 years, spending little time with elders who are able to teach the skills of living and hunting well in the barrenlands, then mine lay offs or an under-skilled workforce may well force the family into poverty, defaulting on newly acquired mortgages for trucks and homes. Their vulnerability will lie in their inability to feed their families. However, the rotation schedule of two weeks on and two weeks off protects against this, providing the harvester/miner with a long period of time off for harvesting. The slide back into poverty, which aboriginal Canadians have been prey to for all too long, may be obviated by cultural resilience.    With the NWT increasingly reliant on mining for the GDP and for labour, the question emerges of what constitutes the risk of exposure to crises, stress or shocks in the mining economy. Certain short term shocks or changes, such as commodity price downturns might be predicted. However, diamond prices have been remarkably steady. If current diamond prices hold, the region can be assured that mining companies will continue extraction until 2030.16 This promises the communities a continuous stream of mines for a little over twenty years, although people are already reacting to the future closure of Ekati by moving to other mines. Other threats, articulated by elders, are the risk of job loss and of environmental pollution17, which can interrupt food security:  I am concerned thinking about if there is no mining going on; there would be no job for people in our community. I know there is getting to be a population around our community too. How we can make it better for safety and for the impact of the community. One thing, we should keep the land and water, and the animal and respect that. Some of the company, they don't really care about the land, even they pollute it. They pollute the water. (Yellowknives Dene elder, April 12, 2005)  Any threat to caribou herds or water might impact heavily on communities dependent on the land, as the remote Dene communities are in particular. In each of the remote communities, people report that from 60-80% of the populations consume half or more meat or fish (GNWT 2007a). Other risks are identified, such as the potential loss of language speakers, as many miner/harvesters are away in the mines for half of the year. As they are away, they may practice their own language less, and see less value in speaking, as indicated by this language teacher:  ?reliable fluent speakers are being taken away to better jobs, better wages. We did have some few people who were learning how to read and write in their                                                  16 There is increased price transparency ever since Martin Rapaport began to publish the Rapaport Diamond Index in the late 1970?s. He accused De Beers, the main multinational producer of diamonds at the time, of price manipulation. Although he made a pitch to create a diamond commodity market in the past, he failed as the industry did not support a market.  17 Kirsch (2006) refers to pollution as a kind of social relation in his ethnography of mining in New Guinea, as people are in a social relationship with the land and the mines. The pollution mediates the relations with the mines.   33language, wanted to work in language area, but they got an offer which was better, way better wages than we were offering, that's what's happening. And one or both parents are away, they are not able to teach their children their language. And another thing is that they are not able to participate on committees or boards because the time that they have at home would rather be doing their own personal thing with kids or other things. And I think, the kids are not encouraged to use their language or they don't do as much cultural activities as they used to I think. Those kinds of things are being put on the back burner. (Focus group with Yellowknives Dene administration, February 7, 2005)  Elders link the risk of language loss to an associated loss of land based-knowledge, making a strong link between knowledge of the land (as transmitted through language and experience) to the ability to live well and take care of one?s family. As an example, place names in T??ch? often encode knowledge of the function and usefulness of particular locations, as described by John B. Zoe, a T??ch? leader and cultural theorist: So those places tell you that, it tells you how to harvest?anytime you hear the word ?tsi k?a? it means that there?s open water and the ice is very thin. Because it?s a rich fishery and everybody can survive together and it?s easier to fish because Cinqua over there is only about that deep, you jump in the water it?s about that deep and so you stick your nets in there. (2006)  The decline in language speakers may lead to a corresponding shift in the knowledge critical to traveling safely and hunting or fishing successfully on the land. Elders refer to a continual decrease in this relevant knowledge central to identity, as characterized by elder Isadore Tsetta in a public meeting of the Yellowknives Dene First Nation:  We used to travel long distances by boat, come back by dog team. As you see, you teach yourself. If you are lazy, and can?t teach yourself, you won?t survive. You need to have this survival knowledge, because you won?t live on the mine forever. (February 15, 2005)    Many factors have influenced the transmission of this knowledge: forced residential schooling has impacted heavily on intergenerational ties, severing the cord of learning. Economic factors, such as the collapse of the fur trade economy, combined with the heavy increases in costs for land based technologies, have deterred land based practices central to learning and identity. These risks are described in Table 1.5, including: commodity price changes, economic shifts of diamond prices, wage decreases, closure of mines, loss of active family members, lack of access or threat to land based economy, extended time away from the family, and decreased opportunity to speak the language. The most vulnerable individuals, groups or classes may be those exposed to these shocks, with the corresponding limited coping capability: those who suffer from crisis impact and are unable to recover (Watts and Bohle   341993), thereby suffering poverty, starvation or inability to manage debts, as well as the loss of culture and language.    Resilience is drawn from the maintenance of historic and current relationships as well as indigenously defined social security systems (public and private). Individuals hold relationships in and outside of the community that enable them to weather difficulty. This new relationship with the Treaty mining company is simply the newest relationship with an outsider. This is a different articulation of resilience than what appears in the literature. At the community level, the concept derives from three literatures, ecosystem health (Adger 2000; Bingeman et al. 2004), early childhood development (Clauss-Ehlers and Lopez Levi 2002; Kulig 2000) and the psychology of oppression or war (Khimhi and Shamai 2004; Sonn and Fischer 1998). Components of resilience generally include: a response to a change and a shift to a new balance (Bingeman et al. 2004) and sometimes a new higher level of functioning (Kulig 2000), characteristics (Hernandez 2002), institutions (Adger 2000) or aspects that buffer people from threat, including either an ability to adapt and learn (Bingeman et al. 2004) or cultural aspects such as solidarity, respect for elders (Clauss-Ehlers and Lopez Levi 2002). This last articulation, solidarity and respect for elders, approximates some of the components of knowledge formation that are constitutive of identity.    Bourdieu?s concept of habitus explains what underlies these two qualitative indicators identified by Clauss-Ehlers and Lopez Levi: The habitus is precisely this immanent law, lex insita, laid down in each agent by his earliest upbringing, which is the precondition not only for the co-ordination of practices but also for practices of coordination, since the corrections and adjustments the agents themselves consciously carry out presuppose their mastery of a common code and since undertakings of collective mobilization cannot succeed without a minimum of concordance between the habitus of the mobilizing agents (e.g., prophet, party leader, etc.) and the dispositions of those whose aspirations and world-view they express. (Bourdieu 1977, 81)     The miner/harvester may have mastered the ?common code? of the aboriginal culture, since from the earliest upbringing, the stories, myths and legends were told as s/he was out in the land. S/he carries and uses the knowledge of ancestors, as s/he understands the use of the term ?k?a? to mean thin ice, signifying a dangerous location as well as a good place to fish. Those two indicators, solidarity and respect for elders, are imprecise references to this transmission of knowledge that lead to ?ordinary practices?:  Automatic and impersonal, significant without intending to signify, ordinary practices lend themselves to an understanding no less automatic and impersonal: the picking up of the objective intention they express in no way implies   35?reactivation? of the ?lived? intention of the agent who performs them. ?Communication of consciousness? presupposes community of ?unconsciouses? (i.e., linguistic and cultural competences). (Bourdieu 1977, 80)   Thus ?ordinary? practices?the knowledge of how to fish effectively, light a fire, hunt safely in the land?rely on constant transfer of knowledge rooted in linguistic and cultural competence. The community of ?unconsciouses? is formed over so many years, yet perhaps may be destabilized as the miner/harvester moves fluidly from mine site to home site, shifting from one set of cultural practices to another without fail every two weeks. What may protect the harvester/miner is the constancy of the members of his/her own group at the mine, and the strength and support of the family and networks at home. Bourdieu argues habitus is maintained as it is brought into relation with the ?system of dispositions (partially) common to all products of the same structures? (Bourdieu 1977, 85), so that as miners/harvesters exchange ideas and symbols, the habitus is re-engaged. However, for the aboriginal person the habitus is maintained in relation to others and the land, as discussed by Legat (2007):  Most T??ch? elders think that if young people do not work and travel within T??ch? n??k??18 then they may lose their T??ch? character. This character is linked to the personal responsibility to listen, observe, and think about all that is occurring within the d?19 so that when necessary, one can take action. (37)  Cultural resilience, then, may lie in the continued ability to engage this habitus in social groups and out in the land. For the social group, resilience resembles this but also invokes the continued practices of reciprocal exchange as enshrined in historic and current agreements.    The notion of resilience articulated by vulnerability theorists does not capture the complexity of what is described as essential to protect people from crisis. Acts that reinforce identity and relationships are witnessed constantly: in church, through song, in community meetings, in tea dances, in the practice of language, in schools, and in the practice of hand games20 in the mines.  One of the fundamental effects of the orchestration of habitus is the production of a commonsense world endowed with the objectivity secured by consensus on the meaning (sens) of practices and the world, in other words the harmonization of agents experiences and the continuous reinforcement that each of them receives from the expression, individual or collective (in festivals, for example),                                                  18 The place where you expect to find T??ch? within the land d?) (Legat 2007).  19 Includes ?land, ground, dirt, earth? (DDBE 1996, 18), with ?whom the T??ch? have a relationship that is responsive to their attention, action and behaviour? (Legat 2007). 20 Handgames are a Dene pasttime, involving two teams that compete. Each member of Team A will hide an object (usually a rock) in their hand, while the drummers and singers on their team attempt to distract the other team from watching the movement of the object back and forth in their hands. When the drummers and singers stop, the caller from Team B will use hand signals to identify where the object is in the hand of every member of Team A.    36improvised or programmed (commonplaces, sayings) of similar or identical experiences. (Bourdieu 1977, 80)   The harmonization of experience and continuous reinforcement (through communal celebration or common sayings) may be diminished as a miner/harvester constantly leaves the common community. However, symbols and expressions of the Dene worldview are present in the mines, as a T??ch? social service worker suggests:  We know that many people want to work on spirituality (religion). They go to church and pray. In the past, when we went to church and listen to people pray, we didn?t know what they were saying. We understood Dogrib and we sat with the elders but we didn?t understand a single word they were saying when they prayed. So we translated the Dogrib prayers and many people learned them, including the hymns, we wrote a lot of them down and wrote them in Dogrib. So many people started to sing in Dogrib. (Interview, February 5, 2005)  The orchestration of habitus, then, may emerge each time a person sings hymns in their own language, particularly when the miner/harvester prays and sings at the mine, since the bible has been translated into T??ch?. John B. Zoe refers to these places of freedom as those free of government control:  When you review the n?owo (knowledge) like this and review it for the past five years. We still use our ways a little bit but it?s still decreasing, because we are not using it all the time. The ones who are supposed to be doing cultural programs don?t have policies in place. They might think it is but it?s still under government control. They probably want to do these things but they can?t do it on their jobs. So they have to find some information and try to help our people with it. Maybe for the church, or feasts, meetings, addictions or music. These things are not under the government so we can probably help one another with these issues. (Interview, February 4, 2005)  This continued ability to mobilize habitus approximates what elders speak of as they discuss this knowledge and practice required to live well. This, in combination control through self determination over public and private institutions allows these services to be adapted to citizen needs (e.g., healthcare, education, etc.) . It is in these daily acts of resistance practiced on the rough terrain of colonialism (Tully 2000) that people can flourish.  1.6    The causal processes of vulnerability  Vulnerability is a multilayered and multidimensional social space defined by the determinate political, economic and institutional capabilities of people in specific places at specific times. In this sense a theory of vulnerability should be capable of mapping the historically and socially specific realms of choice and constraint?  37the degrees of freedom as it were?which determine exposure, capacity and potentiality. (Watts and Bohle 1993, 46)  A key problem with vulnerability models has been the ability to explain change (Peet and Watts 1997), and the ability to account for the cumulative impacts wrought through policy, markets and colonial shifts. Yet the model articulated by Watts and Bohle (1993) is helpful for understanding differences between social groups, directing the gaze to three possible explanations of differential vulnerabilities. Watts and Bohle (1993) suggest the multidimensional space of vulnerability can be influenced by three factors: empowerment, entitlement and political economy. Fundamental to this model is the ability to invoke ecology and geography, as the model ?links political economy to ecological and spatial processes? (52). They further suggest the three causal processes account for the ?mass poverty associated with specific long-term (structural) changes?in ?social production and distribution mechanisms? (54).  1.6.1  Empowerment    Mining has continually undermined the resources and land base available to the aboriginal groups, because the ideology of development prevails over indigenous rights. The possibility of controlling land through agreement making with the federal government renews citizen hope, local government control, and affords the possibility of self determination. During land claims negotiations with the federal government, the T??ch? were able to withdraw lands from potential mineral development. The Agreement in Principle of the Akaitcho Treaty 8 Government with the federal government has likewise achieved land withdrawals. However, mineral leases of both of the diamond mines were unavailable for negotiation, given that they were leased to the mines prior to land claims withdrawals. Yet, through land claim and self government agreements, there will be a measure of control, through the ability to issue surface leases, permit ancillary developments (such as roads or power), and through the requirement of consultation and consent. Since self determination has been shown to profoundly affect individual senses of control and have health outcomes (Chandler and Lalonde 2004) in other parts of the country, the same may be anticipated in the north. In addition, self determination may dramatically affect the relationships to the mining industry.21                                                  21 This analysis suggests that the administration of self government and land claims is or will be fair and just and will afford self determination. This is not necessarily the case, as some authors have argued that self government is simple ?a municipality on steroids? (Irlbacher Fox 2005). However, along the lines of James Tully, I acknowledge the vast insufficiencies of this system of internal colonialism, but witness the acts of resistance and self determination within this system constantly.   38  Rights to lands are controlled through the federal government, and new access is afforded through the process of land claims and self government. The speed at which a claim is negotiated and the issues which it settles might very well influence ability to capture land rights, so that a Territorial wide agreement (the Dene-M?tis Accord) collapsed just before the diamond staking rush provided a unique moment for corporate interests to acquire mineral rights throughout the NWT during the largest staking rush in Canadian history. The ensuing land claims process has locked the T??ch? and the Yellowknives Dene First Nation into alternate processes; they have proceeded at different rates, which will have profound impacts on when citizens begin to enjoy the fruits of agreements and indeed what those fruits will be. Once ?authenticity? has been negotiated and agreed upon by the federal government, a group is able to negotiate collectively with mining companies. As a group is recognized, they are able to use benefits from these agreements to promote collective values and practices, through funding of programs. In turn, group identity is also reinforced through this recognition by the government and the mining company (West 2006).   1.6.2  Entitlements    Entitlements, read from an economic perspective, tend to cover access to food. For the aboriginal harvester/miner, food will be bought with wages gained in the diamond mines, as well as harvested from the land. More broadly, entitlements can include capability, rights and access to social security, and informal social security systems (Watts and Bohle 1993). Access to social security will be afforded by the Territorial government. The level of control over services and lands achieved through self government may help to explain access changes to these services.   Mining may impact on environmental entitlements (Leach et al. 1999) in the north in that the remote communities are largely dependent on country foods, and the near-urban aboriginal communities continue to use country foods as a strong staple. Environmental entitlements can be seen as the ?sets of benefits derived from environmental goods and services over which people have legitimate effective command and which are instrumental in achieving well-being? (Leach et al. 1999, 9). Where non-renewable extraction may begin to collectively affect caribou herds or water sources, there may be a strong impact, both on food security and identity.    391.6.3  Political economy  Mining must be seen in the longer term ethno-history of the region. While mining now offers material well-being for the next thirty years, work in the non-renewable resource sector has the potential to further entrench a class-based system into a kin-based society (Asch 1986). Class, according to Asch, may act as a subtle change agent by exacerbating tension between people involved in the wage and bush economy. He suggests that wage labour is one of the undocumented problems that have created class divisions, and exacerbated alcoholism:  Purchasing power has become concentrated in the hands of those with the fewest economic responsibilities. As a result, much of the income is spent on personal luxury items or on socially useless activities such as drinking parties?In addition, that payment goes to individuals has helped to create a distinction between the rich young men who work for wages and the seemingly poor young men who collect bush resources for the family?.In short, wage labour acts as a subtle influence to change values. It concentrates wealth in the hands of those who are least capable or willing to use it in socially productive ways. It can help to undermine respect for others who perform socially valuable labour. (Asch 1986: 289)  The effect of this concentration on the nuclear family, reinforced through government policy, would infuse the value of individualism, split local groups that were interdependent, and reinforce the nuclear family. This, Asch predicted, would devalue the work that young men did in the bush economy, ?more socially valuable work?, while providing high funds to less responsible and socially integrated young men (1977).    Since Asch?s work in the 1970s, employment in the wage economy has continuously increased, but even markedly more so since the diamond mines opened. Employment levels are higher and income assistance lower since the diamond mines opened. Income assistance cases have decreased in the communities from more than 120 cases per 1,000 people in 1996 to 59 cases per 1,000 people in 2005 (GNWT 2006).22 While the participation rate in the NWT has stayed fairly constant, the unemployment rate, defined as the people above the age of 15 looking for work but unable to attain it, has dropped from 45% in 1989 to 30% in 2004 (GNWT 2006). The employment rate in many of the small and local communities continues to be under 50% (GNWT 2006), but it has increased.    With the system of transfers to the north to administer programs and services, wage labour is constantly promoted and reinforced as the only economy of choice, which has                                                  22 There may be many factors at play in the decrease of income support, such as policy changes, among others. Berger noted a relation between the increase of industrial wage employment and the increase of welfare payments in the 1970s.    40implications for training and the value placed on ?work?. The wage economy becomes an unquestioned certainty, as reflected by this federal employee?s statement:  They realized that resource development is one of the key mechanisms to change the paradigm in remote northern communities really. Because, if you look at the map of Canada, all of the major resource development is happening in the North, and within vicinity of the areas where aboriginals live. We are talking about isolated places with no hope of other economic activities, because communities are very small, the market is very small, distances are very great, and there is no hope in hell of any economic activities because of the way the communities are. You need an economic driver. (Interview, May 7, 2006)    Consultants to the federal government offer a similar analysis. Rattle argues ?due to the specific characteristics of the north, these opportunities lie largely in the areas of non-renewable resources development - specifically mineral development? (2005, 2). These are what Tully (2005) has referred to as hinge propositions, or arguments that become invisible; because they are so frequently mentioned, they become ?normal? and self justifying. Wage labour may well become a source of tension within Dene society, consuming the time of harvesters and promoting values of individualism that serve to undermine Dene values (Nadasdy 2003). One concern may be that more involvement in governance will turn the ?harvesters into bureaucrats? (Nadasdy 2003). With this new economy and the trappings of modernization has also come the transformation of daily work. Elders talk of changes in the daily workload for people?the nature of work at home has transformed with the modern household. Elders talk of the strict work schedule associated with gathering wood and water. This work, combined with the ethic of work in the bush economy, promotes a range of core values. When elders talk of specific activities, like chopping wood for others, they are speaking about the importance of the values and knowledge that are learned through this practice. These include reciprocity, care for others, collectivism, the value of daily hard work, and respect for and service to elders. These are many of the values that are promoted and reinforced through the bush economy.   1.7    Outline of the thesis    The argument made in this thesis is that relationships of reciprocity, and the rules, practices and values that emerge from past and current relationships set the foundation for the experience of the mining economy in the Mackenzie Valley. The methodology for undertaking the research is described in chapter two. The unique histories, interactions and relationships of one Dene group are documented through the lens of a Cosmology and with the aid of anthropological renderings (Chapter 3). Since the mining economy has emerged, a new   41rendering of socio-economic data has emerged through the statistical lens. The communities are described through 14 discrete variables, and all intervention and mitigation is connected only to the dysfunction that can be connected directly to mining. Community based narratives of impact are also emerging, as described in chapter four, including a vision articulated in ?utsel K?e (which was later adapted by the Yellowknives Dene), and one from the T??ch?. The structures for managing the relationships of corporations, communities and the state that have emerged, complete with the state?s analytic tools for imagining them are also illustrated in chapter four. Government models have wrongly diagnosed vulnerability and detected causes in families and communities. New relationships have emerged between Treaty mining companies and communities, now managed through bilateral agreements, which have transformed the ability of aboriginal communities to engage in the economy. These ?Impact and Benefit Agreements? are the modern tool for articulating these relationships. That the Treaty mining companies are not able to be reciprocal, as in the relationships of the past, is due to structural restrictions, as well as a limited conception of culture. The social relationships, as inscribed through the transactions involving land, labour and consent, are received but there is failed reciprocity (Chapter 6). Aboriginal people now work with and for Treaty mining companies managing the diamond mines: as miners/harvesters (Chapter 6), as families (Chapter 7), and as communities (Chapter 8). Relationships, both at the family and community level, in the family and work domain help the miner/harvester to get and keep employment. Two distinct groups, the T??ch? and the Yellowknives Dene First Nation, are described as is the context for the shifting, changing and fluid relationships and identities of groups. The constancy of rules, practices and values of past and present agreements are shown to be aids in mediating the experience of vulnerability to the mining economy in the Mackenzie Valley.   This study began long after the negotiation of Impact and Benefit Agreements for the first and second mines, but throughout the fieldwork, new agreements were being forged. The possibilities of each new agreement were always constrained by the boundaries of the past, yet new strategies were imagined and applied, and unique outcomes achieved. For example, the latest T??ch? Agreement holds substantial funds to be made available to harvesters who will never become miners, at the same time as it holds the new Treaty mining company, De Beers Incorporated, to a new standard of engagement. The possibility for Treaty mining companies to honour this historic expectation is renewed daily.    An industry body, the Aboriginal Industry Human Resource Council, identified the aboriginal population as one of four key groups to target for mining labour shortfalls in the   42coming years (AIHRC 2007). This thesis contributes to the discussion about how to equitably recruit, retain and advance aboriginal people within mining companies. It suggests that there are many layers?social, cultural, spiritual and economic?to the relationships that must be attended to. There are webs of relationships that are invoked to support one harvester/miner to work in the mines. Social pressure on the mines and support from leadership, social services and families are activated as each miner becomes employed. These harvester/miner draws on all of these relationships for support to be in the mines, yet unless more attention is paid to the experience of being in the mine, there will continue to be limited advancement in the Treaty mining companies. However, the continued lack of attention to cross-cultural engagement, microequities (small slights that can lead to large problems) (Aboriginal Human Resources Council 2007), training and education in the Treaty mining companies will continue to frustrate advancement.    43 2  APPROACH OF THE STUDY  This work began in December of 2003 and fieldwork was completed in September of 2006. Using the ethnographic approach, the thesis sought to understand the context of mining both in the mines and in the communities. A political economy approach has been utilized to guide questions and approaches, while the methods of anthropology have been used to investigate the case. A multi-method approach has been used to elicit data?this approach also serves to triangulate findings. The research began with early meetings in the field in December of 2003, with members of each of the research communities. In these early meetings, knowledge mapping and community research priorities were identified. These proved to be very different for specific communities of interest, as illustrated by Figures 2.1, 2.2, and 2.3. Each research summary illustrates the issues identified by people in meetings focused on core research needs, with respect to community well-being and the extractive industries.   Figure 2.1 Bechok? community research issues        Priority: Community Health  Commute Operations: (Outcome: successful family and economic planning) Counseling needs and family support within mines (Outcomes: Dogrib counselor) Social impacts of mining (Outcomes: indicators that capture community life, economic status of Rae) Training and Capacity Building (Outcomes: community planning issues in relation to financial management)  Women?s contributions to community Education (keeping kids in school, giving them a voice to express their success and challenges, reducing staff turnover)   44Figure 2.2 Yellowknives Dene First Nation research issues    Figure 2.3 Chamber of Mines members research issues   Priority: Maximizing Beneficial Effects  Education  (Outcome: Mining School Curriculum) Commute Operations: (Outcome: Training video for successful family/economic planning Training and Capacity Building (Outcome: Programs) Documenting Regional Benefits of Mining: (e.g., Increase in housing, buying power, Bibliography of gray literature) Community health status: (Outcome: Indicators)  Priority: Community Health  Social Impacts from mining on N?dilo and Dettah communities Community health status baseline indicators: (Outcome: data) Training and Capacity Building (Outcomes: Programs) Socio Economic Agreements, need for community sharing (Outcomes: pre-CIM workshop) Socio cultural change and linguistic loss due to residential school   45The first meetings in December of 2003 included the CEO of T??ch? Community Services Agency, Principal of Chief Jimmy Bruneau High School, Band Councilors and Director of Social Services. Meetings with the Yellowknives Dene included IBA Representatives and Chiefs. Meetings with the mines and Chamber of Mines were also held. Negotiating access to the mines occurred over a year, and involved discussions with many layers of staff. Ekati?s relationships with communities are managed through the Environment, Human Resources and External Affairs Department, so relationships were required with Managers in each division. In Diavik, relationships were established through two subsequent Chief Executive Officers and with Community Relations. In the communities, relationships were negotiated with the leadership and contract work was done throughout the research (and continues) on these issues.  While I have not engaged substantively with the M?tis population, there were times when M?tis respondents were interviewed. Thus, when the thesis used the term ?aboriginal?, it refers primarily to the Dene experience. The M?tis population is distinct, in that there has been a different co-existence of M?tis with the settler population. In addition, this population is not a geographical community, as M?tis are dispersed throughout the north. This population merits further research, although excellent ethnographic work was completed in advance of the first environmental assessment (Stevenson 1999).    This work has used the framework of action research to generate the research question. The research proposal was developed based on discussions, focusing on the common issue of the experience of the aboriginal worker in the diamond mines, and the impact on family and community. Throughout the research, other projects have been generated to attend to the multiple priorities identified in early meetings. Other issues, including training needs and community health, also were addressed through projects on community-based monitoring and the creation of a Trades and Technical School. One project involved a community-based monitoring program with staff of the Yellowknives Dene First Nation, with funds from the Diavik Community Advisory Board. In another project, funds from the Mine Training Society and the T??ch? Government were used to develop a T??ch? Mine Training Centre, which has now successfully trained students at the Chief Jimmy Bruneau High School for the past two years. Even though early discussions were held with the mines, it took over a year to gain consent from both of the diamond mines to conduct the research. Before applying for institutional approval, the leaders of communities were invited to discuss the research. Groups have been informed about research progress throughout, as findings were periodically published or talks were made at local conferences (Gibson 2007a).    46  Dissertation research has a long life, often causing participants and observers to question the validity and usefulness of it. Early on in the research, questions about how the findings would emerge were asked. Since few of the people involved were likely to be readers of the dissertation, summaries of research were made available, as well as workshops based on findings. Two relevant publications have been published (Gibson and Klinck 2004; Gibson, Tsetta, McDevitt and Plotner 2004), and one workshop, summarized in a publication (Gibson 2007b), has been developed and run at one mine on the key findings from the mine based interviews. In addition, findings have been applied through serving as an advisor to the T??ch? Government on non-renewable resource policy, as well as preparing for negotiations of new Impact and Benefit Agreements. It is through this ongoing provision of findings that the social license for research has been re-negotiated daily.    Consultation with aboriginal authorities and mines ensured relevancy of questions, as well as allowed the review of the methods, questions and approach of the study. The study was reviewed by the University Behavioural Research Board as well as the Aurora Research Institute, which licenses research in the NWT. The names of all people in the research have not been released, except with their permission or when they made statements in public meetings. Otherwise, the confidentiality and anonymity of participants has been maintained.   2.1  Methods    A multi-method research approach was chosen to describe the social, economic and political context of the region and the place of mining therein. Using the theoretical framework as a reference point, the study developed an ethnographic account of the integration of workers and their families into the mines. It investigated how people were involved in mines of the past as well as the present. The research included many methods aimed at different scales of analysis, as depicted in Figure 2.4.           47Figure 2.4 Methods of study      Corporate, government and community reports were continuously reviewed throughout the research. A Territorial Archive in Yellowknife at the Prince of Wales Museum held the records of previous mines, as well as the field notes, photos and papers of June Helm and Beryl Gillespie, both earlier anthropologists of the area. Only some areas of their files were open to the public. An archive of anthropological, social science and planning literature maintained by John B. Zoe, the Chief Negotiator of the T??ch? Land Claim and Self Government Agreement, was also graciously made available. As well, the reports published by the mines to comply with their Socioeconomic Agreements and Environmental Agreements were reviewed. The GNWT publishes a Communities and Diamonds report (2007) summarizing trends in data on fourteen indicators related to community and regional well-being. These were all critical data sources, and the journey through many offices in the north surfaced other grey literature.   Workers from both the mines and spouses of workers were interviewed. The approach to interview access was different in each of the mines. In one mine, all the potential interviewees were identified, and letters were sent out requesting a meeting. Whoever responded to these letters was then interviewed and shadowed. In the other mine, two senior aboriginal staff helped to identify the interviews. These workers were then asked to identify other interviewees to generate new names (snowball sampling). Interviews were conducted on themes such as:    Focus groups and  community meetings  Mine workers?job shadowing Settler government,  Dene leader interviews Document and archival review  Family based interviews  Community and region quantitative context  Miner and mine Community and region qualitative context  Family    48  ?   How people succeed in the mines; ?   Integration of the individual into the workforce;  ?   Support of the worker from home;  ?   Trust in leadership of the mines;  ?   Impact of changes on self, family and community;  ?   Experience of education both in and out of mine, and  ?   Training options and access.    Key informant interviews were also undertaken with government leaders and workers in aboriginal communities. Interviews at the mines also involved supervisors, senior level staff, CEOs and education providers. Table 2.1 and Figure 2.5 summarize some demographic and occupational details about the 161 interviews and focus group participants involved in the research. There are a few ways to represent the range of interviews that were conducted. In Table 2.1, the data is broken down by community or region and, for miner/harvesters, by gender. In Figure 2.5, the breakdown focuses on aboriginal status of participants.  Table 2.1 Interviews by community or region, N=161  Male Miners Female Miners Interviews   Meetings  Government/academic Mine management  T??ch? 6 3 31 32  YKDFN   3  3  19 25    M?tis   3  4  1      Other           12 19   49 Figure 2.5 Interviews by aboriginal status, N=161 020406080100120140160Community member interviewsCommunity focus groupsAboriginal miner/harvestersMine managementGovernment, academic, etc.Totalnon-aboriginalaboriginal   Focus groups were held in each community with spouses, community leaders, and social service and education providers. These focus groups reviewed the impacts of the mines on individuals, families and services. In Bechok?, focus groups were held with spouses, miners, and social service and education providers. In Dettah and N?dilo, focus groups were held with spouses, social services providers, elders and education providers. A focus group was scheduled through the North Slave M?tis, however there were no attendees.  By participating in and living at the mines for periods of time, workers were observed and interviewed in the workplace during the shift. Visits were made to Ekati four times in 2005 and 2006 and three visits were made to Diavik in 2005 and 2006. The interviews in the mines were conducted on shift with the worker in the site of work, as they were shadowed for at least four to eight hours, depending on their availability. This meant that interviews were often conducted in the machine shop with a worker, out in the haul truck going from the pit to the   50waste dump continuously, in the shovel, or working in the sandwich line-up for hours on end. This approach proved to be very instructive. First, interviewees had hours during which the conversation could wind through many topics, as there was no pressure to complete the interview guide. Further, the duration allowed interviewees to get quite comfortable with me and open up about their personal realities at the mines and at home. Second, since they were not in a formal setting, but in a setting where they were the boss, they were at ease. Also, with no one listening, such as a supervisor or other employee, the employee was comfortable covering many subjects. Finally, it also gave a real feel for what work was like. The haul truck trip is made seventeen times in one day, without variation. The shovel operator stays within a block of twenty feet all day, continuously filling haul trucks. The sandwich line makes more than seven hundred sandwiches in one shift.    Surveys were originally anticipated in the communities, however at the time of research there were surveys on community wellness and mining being conducted by the GNWT Bureau of Statistics (2005b). The data set from this research proved to be very useful. A survey with YKDFN miners for a community based monitoring project was done (Gibson et al. 2003), but given that there are no comparable data sets, these data are not included here.    Throughout the research, data was collected in a wide variety of meetings, such as Chief and Council meetings, Annual Assembly, and health and social service meetings. Community meetings were also attended to identify the key community wellness criteria for both the Yellowknives Dene and the T??ch?. These surfaced different expressions of what constitutes wellness, reflected on in chapter four.   2.2  Validating the research    The research findings have been verified in a number of ways. First, similar findings from the multiple data sets reinforced main themes. As the themes are encountered in the literature, the interviews and community meetings, they gain validity (Miles and Huberman 1994). Second, as ideas emerged from the research and were presented in workshops and conferences, feedback on the reliability of the findings was received. Presentations at northern conferences, radio interviews on CBC North (two occasions), and many meetings all served as opportunities to discuss the research findings in conferences and workshops. One of the radio interviews featured a call in show for half an hour, during which many miners/harvesters and spouses called in. Thirdly, by cross-referencing the empirical data with the theoretical framework, the findings were also confirmed.    51  To make sense of the research locally, key findings were applied in workshops in the mines. For example, the Ekati mine supported the revision of the core content and delivery of the Cross-Cultural workshop, something that is supposed to be delivered to all employees as they enter the mine (Gibson 2007a). Currently, training focuses outwards, typically giving a primer on the values and histories of Aboriginal communities, which helps individuals to understand the region they are working in but does not help to negotiate day-to-day interactions on the job site. Since the manager-employee relationship has been identified as the crucial interaction and negotiation that either promotes or hinders retention in the mine, the data was reviewed to find the top ten conflicts. Discussion of these top ten conflicts helped managers and workers to identify the core values, roles, and relationships at the root of conflict and discover alternative ways to manage difference. By carefully examining the values and beliefs that underlie interpersonal conflict through role playing and case studies, the manager and worker were able to identify strategies to solve daily conflict in the mines.    Another way in which findings were tested and communicated locally was through engagement in research and as a consultant. After the field work was completed, the T??ch? requested consultation on the design of future Impact and Benefit Agreement negotiations. Analysis of an exploration firm (Fortune Minerals Inc.), inclusive of the feasibility study and its limitations, allowed for the development of a process and draft structure of an agreement. This practice through praxis forced the application of the most subtle and basic of findings emerging from this thesis. For example, models of Impact and Benefit Agreements were described as assimilating of aboriginal people, suggesting enculturation leads to strain in the relationship of the miner and the communities of the region (Gibson 2007b). In applying this thinking to a new agreement, new models or arrangements had to be suggested. This was probably the most difficult consultation based on the research?there were quite a few others, each of which required more than observation and criticism.    The effort to reduce researcher bias followed guidance of Miles and Huberman (1994), who suggest that someone who is in the field for too long can be taken over by the details and the case. This danger was averted with lengthy breaks from the field: for example a three month trip of analysis and writing in Griffith University, Australia was taken in 2006. A researcher can also sample non-representative informants, relying too heavily on elite informants. This source of bias was avoided with the length of stay in the field which led to the ability to reach an extremely varied group of informants. Also, the different sampling styles in the mines brought many different kinds of miners/harvesters into the research fold. A researcher can also draw   52inference from non-representative events or processes, again leading to bias. The best guard against this was the extent of time in the field (now home) and exposure to many events. Thus, the change of guard in the mines was threefold in one mine, leading to observations about what did and didn?t vary with successive CEOs. Another potential form of bias in this thesis is the close relationship with the communities. Work as a consultant was done with both communities as a consultant to the Yellowknives Dene, the T??ch? Nation and Ekati diamond mine during the course of this fieldwork. Yet, a far greater time has been spent documenting the T??ch? Cosmology, due to personal interest.   2.3  Analysis    Field notes, meeting notes, interviews and other data were reviewed and coded. As material was reviewed, a list of key emerging themes was developed. At the same time, another researcher read the same data, also coding independently (this process is known as inter-coder reliability). This served to generate two discrete coding sheets, which were then compared and discussed. A final list of codes was used to comb the data for trends and themes. After all the interviews were read, mapping of the relationships between variables on topics was done by both researchers. Within a month, four topic maps were generated, containing the main themes, impacts and benefits mentioned on a topic. From these topic maps, drafting of material for the central data chapters began.    53 3  HISTORY AND COSMOLOGY    Mining has had a powerful presence in the northern landscape and imagination since prospectors arrived in the north in the 1890s. Mining provided the central justification for the negotiation of Treaties 8 and 11 as the federal government laid claim to the region (Fumoleau 2004): the federal control devolved some services and programs to the Territories since 1967. The pressure for further transfer of rights and resources, often blind to the claims of self determination, has followed since on the heels of ten years of royalties from Treaty mining companies. Since the major diamond projects are located in areas that seem to be interstitial to different ethnic, linguistic and cultural groups, the arrival of the diamond mines provided new impetus to compete to mark territory and boundaries. Now, a geographic line has been drawn in the Mackenzie Valley circumscribing the impact of diamond mining to a number of communities with agreements. How did these particular communities gain the power to negotiate in a Territory where ten years previous there were no such opportunities? While this chapter explores this fluidity of identity and boundaries, it also seeks to locate regional groups in relationship to the mines, but most importantly to the history of the region: economic, social and political. It does this in the effort to understand how communities of the region responded to the processes of change: colonization, the changing modes of production and technologies, and the constant interaction and friction of groups.    Aboriginal history in the Mackenzie Valley is described as a series of key historic relationships between social groups, of which the present relationships of miners and communities are a part. Each relationship or new encounter generates the possibility of conflict, tension or friendship and requires the generation of codes, rules and agreements. The T??ch? Cosmology, or history of the T??ch? relationship to the earth and history, is separated into a series of eras, and finds movement in the initiation of relationships of newcomers, the negotiation of difference, and the resolution of difference through agreement-making. Upon encounter, for example, animals and humans warred until the culture hero Yamoozah traveled widely making agreements with predacious animals, and in some cases incorporated animals through marriage (as in a narrative of Yam??zha marrying a beaver). Although the Treaty mining companies expect a new relationship when they enter a region, they are often judged by the practices of previous prospector and mines. The possibility of radically new relationships of miners and communities, freed of some of the ghosts of the past, emerged in the 1990s to enter relationships with aboriginal neighbours.    54  While exchange literature often focuses on the nature of the gift and what it obliges, this history of exchanges described in this chapter focuses on the nature of social relations and how each set of relations is generative of practices and values. West?s (2006) Melanesian work suggests ?labour and services, as sets of actions, can (?) be seen in terms of exchange and social reproduction?(the Gimi) see their participation as being given in exchange for long-term social relationships that will bring them development? (47). The T??ch? Cosmology reveals a series of social relations that continue to be engaged and re-engaged in each era. The T??ch? pursue and honour historic relations within the context of the new relations with the Treaty mining companies: these historic relations are inclusive of their social relations with the land. These social relations are embedded in the land as history, through place names that refer to agreements made between animals and the Dene. Place naming, as practiced by the T??ch?, establishes a relationship between culture and landscape. Each narrative of an era reflects the social, political, cosmological or economic history back to the T??ch? citizen as they travel through the land. The place names of M?wh? Gogha D? N??t???e form the basis of a complex ethnogeography, where the physical world is transformed into a social geography in which culture and landscape are fused into a semiotic whole (Andrews 2004, 301). This chapter sets the context of historic mining and then reviews the history of the T??ch? in the Mackenzie Valley.23 The social relations of historic exchange and reciprocity must be understood in order to make sense of the social relations of the communities with the Treaty mining companies.   3.1  Of forts and mines    The fur trade was an economic force that triggered new relationships of reciprocity. These economic relationships of the fur trade were fundamentally different from those spurred by mining, as the former activity depended on constant hunting and intimate knowledge of the land and equitable relations of trade. T??ch? elder Alexis Arrowmaker spoke to a Standing Senate Committee on Aboriginal Peoples in 2004 of the nature of relations during the fur trade: As an elder, I believe we do have to support one another. As Aboriginal people who live above the tree line where I come from, the community of Wekwe?t?, when the early explorers were out there, they survived with the help of our Aboriginal people. We gave them directions and, in return, they helped us with some equipment they brought along with them, and their expertise. In turn, we showed them where to go and how to survive on the land. That is how we                                                  23 The history does not refer to the Yellowknives Dene or the Metis.   55supported one another, and that is how we would like to see the senators support us ? by giving some advice on how they think the future should go. (Canada 2004)  In this remark to the Senate, Arrowmaker suggests a reciprocity of goods for information critical to survival existed during the fur trade. He also invokes a reciprocal relationship with the Senators with the last phrase of his remark, suggesting the Senators will be able to offer critical information for the future.    Mining activity opened with prospectors moving north to surface northern metals and minerals for the colonial government. This economy had markedly less engagement with aboriginal people, except insofar as aboriginal people made lucky discoveries for prospectors or engaged in linked economies. Economic relationships, however, do not suffice to describe changing relationships of aboriginal people and new neighbours. A glance at a northern map reveals a land of water and rock. Given no arable land, the people of the region historically depended primarily on caribou and fish for diets and livelihoods, and with the rise of a commercial presence in the region in the 1800s, aboriginal groups transitioned into engagement with, and reliance on, the fur trade. A northern map of the ten forts established through the region reveals one constant: the Deh Cho (Mackenzie River) is the backbone of commerce and trade. Each of the forts, with the exception of Fort Rae, is located on this river or on the Slave, which flows into the NWT?s Great Slave Lake. With the fur trade, most groups became involved in the provision of furs to the traders or as traders. Specific roles and relationships emerged as a result of proximity to trade points, and groups shifted into these new relationships with the outside economy. The Dogrib traded in four different forts over time, beginning with the opening of Fort Resolution (1786-1819), and contiguously at Fort Simpson (1803-1822) and Fort Norman (1810-1851) (Usher 1971). It was not until 1852 that Old Fort Rae was established, providing a wholly Dogrib point of trade (Helm 2000). The Chipewayan, on the other hand, traded at Fort Resolution (overlapping with the Dogrib) and at Fort Smith, which opened in 1874.    Mining has provided a main incentive for colonial movement to the north. The presumed abundance of metals and minerals prodded the colonial government to extend its reach ?north of 60?, establishing a central economic force for the Northwest Territories. With its prominence in the economy, imagination and landscape, it has affected indigenous lifeworlds. The Indian Commissioner for the NWT in 1899 wrote ?in view of the reported mining development in the Great Slave Lake Region it is important that a treaty should be extended to embrace that country   56if at all possible? (in Fumoleau 2004, 53). In 1929-30, 640 mineral claims were staked at Pine Point on the south shore of Great Slave Lake (Fumoleau 2004, 353). Gilbert Labine flew to Great Bear Lake and discovered pitche-blend in 1931, and gold was discovered in Yellowknife in 1933 (Fumoleau 2004). Mining brought a new population north, increasing the population due to in-migration by 600% from 1941 to 1971 (Helm 2000). The value of fur production was exceeded by gold revenue for the first time in 1939. Jellies summarizes the rent from the six mining projects in the NWT between 1970 and 1974, suggesting the present value of rent in 1975 was $195 million, and that of this total, the ?mining companies retained $102.5 million, or 52.6 per cent, in the form of excess profit, while the federal government received $77.4 million, or 39.5 per cent, from taxes, and $15.1 million, or 7.8 per cent, from royalties (1977, 64).   Mining has also been the primary reason for many areas being unavailable to land selection during land claims withdrawals negotiations; land withdrawals24 in both the T??ch? and Akaitcho land claims have had areas of land grandfathered out of the possible lands for withdrawal due to pre-existing mineral interests. For example, the claims of Diavik, Ekati, De Beers and Fortune Minerals were all made prior to the T??ch? land withdrawal that was agreed to in the Agreement in Principle (signed in 2002), thereby removing these blocks of land from possible negotiations. Once lands are withdrawn, they are protected from any new mineral claims being entered.    The process of making a mineral claim has held great significance to aboriginal communities. Early images of mining are largely negative, with prospectors branded as a group of itinerant loners who sought minerals without consent of the communities, as revealed by this elder in an interview: ?Before the mines opened, before nothing was done, they would just go ahead with the exploration and mines. But now it is going to be different? (April 5, 2005). Elders speak of how the first sign of a mine or a prospector has often been as a result of stumbling across tents and camps in the bush.   The mineral policy of the federal government has afforded a system that gives first land use priority to mineral claims (Bankes and Sharvit 1999). The free entry system is the system that prevails in the NWT, guided by the Canada Mining Regulations. These regulations apply to Crown lands and require individuals or companies laying mineral claims to have a valid                                                  24 The effect of land withdrawals is to withdraw lands from disposition of surface and subsurface rights so that for the time they are withdrawn: no new sale or lease of land will be executed; no new mining claims are recorded, except where those claims were located prior to the date of withdrawal, and no new permits, licenses or leases are granted.    57prospector?s license.25 Prospectors are able to stake an area, and then register a claim with the Mining Recorder in January of each year. The free miner has access to any and all private and public land except where the lands are not owned by the Crown, where lands have been withdrawn from land use (e.g., heritage areas, parks, etc.), or where there has been a withdrawal by ministerial order. Mineral claims can be registered with the Mining Recorder for a fee, and a lease can be issued for 21 years, with a yearly payment of $1/acre. To register claims at the Yellowknife offices, people are often hired to stand as ?place holders?; these individuals sit outside of the mining recorders offices for weeks in advance of the office opening simply to keep the prospector?s priority in line.26 A validly staked claim permits the prospector to enter the land and explore for minerals. Once a claim is staked and recorded, work has to be performed each year to maintain the claim, such as drilling, geological, geochemical or geophysical work and construction roads or airstrips to provide access to the claim. The claim must be renewed after a two-year period. If a significant mineral deposit is discovered, the proponent can seek a mineral lease, which offers greater long term stability to the proponent (Campbell 2004).   This system of prospecting created the architecture for what occurred when the first kimberlite pipes were found and the land was staked, spurring what was locally termed the ?helicopter wars? of the 1990s. Modern signs of prospecting arrived with the first diamond find in the Lac de Gras region. The significance of the free entry system lies in the fact that aboriginal peoples with an existing aboriginal title may not refuse entry to prospectors or prevent them from carrying out mineral activities on aboriginal lands (Bankes and Sharvit 1999). At the time of the staking rush, which dwarfed even the gold rush in the Klondike, land claims by the T??ch? and Akaitcho had not been launched, effectively allowing access to all traditional territory to prospectors. The resulting mineral claims were then given priority and unavailable to the T??ch? or Akaitcho when land claims were subsequently re-entered.   Akaitcho and T??ch? elders speak of a lack of engagement with the industry. The Colomac mine was one of the only mines to hire a significant number of T??ch? people in the north, although the Port Radium uranium mine near Great Bear Lake hired ore carriers among the Sahtu Dene. Among the Dene, a common perspective is that mines of the mid-twentieth century have left nothing but scars on the land, with the Colomac mine leaving cyanide leaks                                                  25 Section 7-10, CMR (1516) 2004 of the Canada Mining Regulations. 26 The same individuals will be seen on the Yellowknife street in front of the mining recorder?s office sitting in lawn chairs, bundled up to withstand the cold, and reading books or entertaining themselves with games. I once went by for one week and daily talked with a place holder who was reading Guns, Germs and Steel to find out what he thought of the book.    58from the tailings ponds, and Giant Mine abandoning 270,000 tonnes of toxic arsenic trioxide dust underground. A T??ch? elder reflected on runoff from the mines:  There was a mine site at Discovery Mine and another in Gordon lake area, and in those mine sites, and in the winter time it melts, and flows to Yellowknife, so that should be cleaned up right away. Something should be done about it right away, instead of abandoning it, like they have abandoned a lot of old mines. (T??ch? elder interview, April 5, 2005)  A Yellowknives Dene elder reflected on the legacy of mines, arguing that the environmental and public health impacts continue, even as the aboriginal communities received no royalties and were rarely employed:  We know that ever since that prospector and other people came around working at that mine, I never recall that native people work at that site, it is only white people that have been working at that site. And they ruined that whole area around the mines, and not till today that we got a sense of the benefit or compensation from that mine. We know that the Giant mine shut down completely, but I don?t know about the Con mine. I don?t know about that. ? not once did we get royalty for a mine that is in just our backyard, next to our house that big operation. I don?t know what some of the elders think, but from my point of view, it looks like they stole some money from us and all the money they made went down back south and it never went to us. That is how I feel. That arsenic that is being stored underground they say they are monitoring it right now, but what about if the money runs out from the government, and what will happen if there is no more money. (April 19, 2005)    In interviews with only eight T??ch? and Yellowknives Dene elders, 27 closed or abandoned mine or exploration sites were named, most of which have not been reclaimed adequately or at all. These include: Rae Rock, Colomac, Giant, Discovery, Neegus, Ptarmigan, Pine Point, Canadian Zinc, Nanisivik and others. Legat reports that ?between 1931 and 1947, twenty mines within T??ch? n??k?? were producing gold, silver, uranium, copper, tungsten and tantalum, and another seven were in operation between 1950 and 1982? (Legat 2007, 177). The federal government now holds responsibility for reclamation for many abandoned properties. Of 190 properties listed on the federal contaminated sites inventory, 116 are located in the NWT. With a $3.5 billion federal liability for federal contaminated sites, 60% of this fund is related to sites in the north (Keller 2005).   In interviews, elders describe multiple impacts of these mines on the land, raising concerns for animals, plants and water. They worried that animals will consume contaminated plants, drink poisonous water, or break a leg. A T??ch? elder noted that waste dumps and rock birms are a hazard for caribou: ?We have seen caribou limping; that is something we have never   59seen before? (Interview, April 5, 2005). Elders engage frequently with Treaty mining companies, suggesting management options for animal protection include diversionary tactics and fencing, as well as smoothing waste rock piles. When it comes to vegetation, there is a range of opinions about what might be done, including using moss to re-vegetate, planting to bring trees back, and using moss and seeds together. Water is also of great concern to elders. In particular they observe run off from mines, noting that water and fish smell different. They are aware that contamination spreads in water?and suggest that it can travel far, into all the streams and rivers. Elders are also concerned for the spirits that live in the land, and one elder described how blasting can affect or change the location of the spirit altogether.  The elder says that there is a place ? There used to be some sort of a whirlpool there, there was some sort of a water creature ... People didn't use to go through that channel, because it is like a channel and people don't travel through there. But now since they have been blasting the rocks, they have driven that water creature away from that area. It is a sacred area; there are two places like that? The spirit it doesn't like the sound. So it is gone now. That is the spirit in the rock, but me I call it water creatures, but it is in the rock. (Interview, April 10, 2005)    Legat (2007, 106) reflects on this same issue: ?from the perspective of these elders, rock and stones have spirit, but to maintain their spirit they require place. Similarly, water and wind beings have spirit and their own place within the d? [the land], and should be shown respect if life is to remain balanced and in harmony?. One management strategy elders suggest in areas where there is mining is to pay the land for safe passage of animals and humans.    Historic mining thus appears to have engaged very little with the Dene economy. Where the fur-based economy provided a livelihood, goods, and relationships of mutuality, the mining economy parachuted geologists in to make ?finds? without ever acknowledging locals, visiting, engaging people in employment or agreements. The aboriginal ?claims? to the land were subservient to prospectors ?claims? to minerals, essentially allowing an ideology of development first, which is fiercely defended by the mining industry. The architecture of this ethic of non-engagement was birthed by a mineral policy that encouraged this itinerant geologist to stake, lay mineral claims and make way for the modern mine.   The framework continues to be the source of friction today. An environmental assessment decision of a uranium exploration development suggested: To reduce the potential for conflict between the duty to consult when aboriginal rights are infringed by mineral exploration and development and the free-entry system set out in the Canada Mining Regulations, the Government of Canada should adapt and apply the prospecting permit process to areas in the Akaitcho Territory, particularly in the Thelon Basin, in order to provide notice and ensure   60opportunities for consultation with aboriginal users of that area, before mineral interests are granted. (MVEIRB 2007, 42)     This suggestion was made due to the perception that communities can be completely unaware of a staking rush, due to the exemption of prospecting activities from the requirement of a land use permit by the Canada Mining Regulations framework (combined with the Mackenzie Valley Land Use Regulations). In this case, the community of ?utsel K?e was unaware of a 2002 staking rush in their territory, just as the T??ch? and Akaitcho communities were unaware of the extent of the 1996 staking rush following the initial discovery of diamonds.   3.2  The T??ch? Cosmology and Dene History in the Mackenzie Valley    While these two economies, the fur-trade and mining, provided the central justification for the settler economy, aboriginal histories surface narratives of history that offer distinct explorations of change and history. An aboriginal Cosmology (T??ch?) describes history as a series of eras driven forward by the negotiation and resolution of conflict through incorporation of outsiders as kin or through agreement making. John B. Zoe, an indigenous T??ch? specialist (as well as the Chief Negotiator for the land claims and self government agreement and the current T??ch? Executive Officer), classifies history according to agreements and Treaties made over time. The ?T??ch? Cosmology? defines distinct eras, suggesting a pivotal relationship forms the backbone of each era. The reconciliation of the relationship, through agreement or Treaty, is the key driver of the era. The T??ch? Cosmology, described by Zoe after long work with T??ch? elders, is separated into distinct eras, with external relationships serving as the driving force of change. In 2005, as the Senate Subcommittee on Aboriginal Peoples reviewed Bill C-14, which was to give effect to a land claims and self government agreement among the T??ch?, the GNWT and the federal government, John B. Zoe gave a speech to orient a Cabinet Committee members to the meaning of the current agreement. In the speech, Zoe signals the centrality of land as a repository of history as captured through place names and the continuing significance of agreements, of which a modern land claim agreement is only the latest:  In the T??ch? world, we did not have a written language but we had an oral history that was documented on the lands. A past event has a marker in the form of a place name that describes the event of the time. We know from oral history and the place names that the T??ch? agreement is not the only agreement that we have had. It is an extension of earlier agreements. From the place names and from what we are told and shown by the Elders, one of the first agreements that   61we had was with the animals that we rely on in order to coexist. To neutralize our passing on those lands we make offerings to the land so that those animals will continue to sustain us in the environment to which we are accustomed. We rely on these principles to make our case for environmental assessments; we have the responsibility to protect the environment and to ensure that the animals are protected to sustain their continuance. It is those principles that we use in a modern world and in modern management. (Zoe 2005, emphasis added)    Each era of the Cosmology consists of a pivotal relationship that is stressed by some force: for example, in one era large animals began to predate on humans and in another a neighbouring aboriginal group warred with the T??ch?. Pivotal relationships include those with animals, neighbours, settlers, and the self. The Cosmology illustrates how outsider histories can underestimate the influence of the time before the settlers: as a group origin narrative, it locates the emergence of social relations with the settlers only in the third era. The stories anchor the group to the landscape, placing them firmly in the land through historic placenames, and telling of the social relations that have emerged with animals, neighbours and outsiders (Andrews 2004). Akin to other oral traditions, these stories follow specific ancestors, documenting their travels through the land (West 2006). The T??ch? Cosmology27 is written of here to provide a synthesis of T??ch? history, and to provide a counterpoint to the written history of anthropologists (Helm 2000), historians and missionaries (Fumoleau 2004). There are many stories and elements of the Cosmology that overlap with other groups (for example Yam??zha is also known as Yamoria in other regions (Andrews 2004), however this history is specific to the T??ch?.  Each era is marked by the resolution of the conflict through agreement making, pledging the parties to co-existence and reciprocity. Conflicts are transformed as the newcomer (be they aboriginal neighbour, settler society or Treaty mining company) is incorporated, sometimes as kin and always through an agreement. For example, in one era, the warring of animals and humans is settled by a peacemaker in sites that remain spiritually significant. In this same era, the peacemaker himself incorporates a key animal, the beaver, through marriage. Old Fort Rae (called N?hs?h K??) was built by Yam??zha?s beaver wife, as referred to in the Cosmology.28 This pattern of resolution involves the movement from conflict to friendship (Levi-Strauss 1949).                                                  27 John B. Zoe holds and shares the gift of this Cosmology after years of work with the elders. It is a special responsibility. I have been honoured to share in understanding and documenting the gift of this Cosmology.  28 The Development Corporation office in Rae is now built in the shape of a beaver dam as a marker and memory of this story of the alliance of Yamoozah with the beaver.   62Each agreement involves mutual exchange and is generative of distinctive values, principles and rules. As Yam??zha made peace with animals, new close relationships were established. This relationship generated the values of preservation, protection and respect among these groups. These values are acted on through practices, such as paying the land. An elder tells of how this practice enacts the values of respect and reciprocity between animals and humans: ?we have to respect that place, even when we go to other places, we pay to the land. We have to respect that place. For us to go through that place to travel through the land, not only for us but for the animals to go through? (April 5, 2005). The act regenerates the spirit of past agreement.  This Cosmology is literally ?written into the land? (Andrews, Zoe and Herter 1998). In his speech to the Cabinet Committee, Zoe signals the meaning of land as a repository for historical knowledge. Place names suggest the continuity of the people in the land, serve to anchor historical events to distinct locations, and signify use of the land. Zoe also refers to the continuity of agreement making: place names make reference to multiple agreements over centuries. Each agreement continues to be ratified, as Zoe notes, and each agreement is extended through current time, suggesting old principles are incorporated into modern management. For example, the act of ?paying the land? recognizes the mutuality of animals and people. With the offering, the people re-negotiate passage safely through the land, and the animals offer themselves for sustenance and relationship. Zoe?s Senate speech was forward looking, comparing the act of reciprocity of making an offering to the land to the act of participating in environmental assessment. That people continually make offerings, of their time and knowledge and through the symbolic act of ?paying the land?, illustrates the continual faith to the agreement. Zoe comments that the new agreements are ?extensions? of old agreements, signaling the continuity of cultural practice and values. One mine displays a photo of two elders paying the land when it was first broken to build a dike for the mine; however both mines infrequently engage elders in this practice.    The agreements set the tone and frame for the relationship of T??ch? to others and to the land. The T??ch? Cosmology emphasizes the transformation of relationships; other work documenting history concerns missionization, Treaties and disease (Fumoleau 2004; Petitot 1891), fur trade economies (Asch 1977; Russell 1898), treaty making, schooling and political consciousness (Helm 2000). The Cosmology describes the social relations with animals, the warriors of Akaitcho (a neighbouring aboriginal band), and the settler society. Principles generated in each agreement (as often captured in place names, songs, stories and dances)   63continue to be practiced through the repetition of the story, song or in the event of a dance. A hybrid account of history is presented here, inclusive of the T??ch? Cosmology, but also of the accounts of political economists, anthropologists, missionaries and explorers. Anthropological work by June Helm with the T??ch? classifies history into a series of stages, organized primarily by the nature of contact change due to European goods, governance and economies (2000).   3.2.1  Floating Time    Pre-contact time, for which there are no contemporaneous European records, teaches T??ch? people of the sameness of humans and animals, reminding the listener that they once spoke the same language. With one language spoken among all, the animals shifted forms, met and danced.  So that we know that the names were the same and they had the same language and they told stories, a lot of them told stories and they also had songs and they also danced way back then. But you never heard anything about, we know they were using land, we just know that they were using land but they never mentioned any place names in those stories. None of those stories say well this story happened right there or it happened over there, it?s just floating. We can?t really put a time frame on it?So this is a floating time where you can?t really put a timeframe on it. But this is also the period where the animals got together to determine what they would want to be. Then that?s where the stories of the raven handing out the feathers so that whatever animal that wanted to be, talking to the wind, and then there?s the hunter, the moose hunter that wanted to be a trout so he took all his tools and all his moose parts and put it into his head and went into the water. And then there are a lot of these other animal stories of the weasel. (Zoe 2006)  While there are no stories of conflict from this era, the ground was set for the battles of the next era. The story of the grebe, N?ht?, is pivotal to this era, as it marks the time when animals met to dance and choose their forms. As they waited for N?ht? to arrive, they danced until N?ht? arrived to end the dance with a song that is sung to this day. ?We still sing that song at the tea dance to this day. And I?m sure our grandfathers danced to that song at Old Fort Rae. I?m talking about a long time ago when N?ht? came up with this song? (Black n.d.). N?ht? danced until he was tired, then lay down and everyone danced on his feet until they were flat. The song, ?My footprints will show and everyone will copy me? (Translated by Philip Rabesca 2006) is sung at tea dances. When this era is invoked, T??ch? people are reminded of the reciprocity they have with animals, the need to understand the animal spirits, and the common community of people   64and animals. Signifiers of this continuity lie in the family names that continue to be used (i.e., Marten, Blackduck, etc.), their recognition in rituals, repetition of stories, and practice of songs and dances about these key cosmological figures. Values are taught through these practices. For example, as a story of Raven is recounted, the T??ch? listener learns about the depth and nature of grieving a death. The individual is instructed, through the story, that to grieve for too long will cause one to lose hope.    3.2.2  Coexistence (pre-contact)   During this time, relationships and rules of respect were established between people and animals (Zoe 2006). This period is marked by stories of animals and humans changing forms and a peace making effort with the animals after great conflict. As the animals chose forms, conflict arose as the large animals, such as eagles, became more aggressive towards humans. Harmony was restored by the great leader Yam??zha 29, who is revered for delivering peace to human-animal relations. This time of conflict marks the first time animals and people separated: Yam??zha came around to get rid of all the larger animals and made the younger ones promise not to eat people anymore, and he gave them something else to do. One of them, the eagle, will now go fishing and become a fisherman. So we know what is in our area because we were in a period where animals and people can still switch places. Yam??zha took a wife and that wife was really a beaver but she was a person until her feet got wet and then she turned back into a beaver. And so during the chase to get her back, there are some places that Yam??zha stopped at (Zoe 2006).   As Yam??zha made peace with different animals, including beavers, eagles, wolverines, owls and dinosaurs, rituals of mutual respect were generated. Through this era, the Dene learned about how to live well with animals, focusing on the rituals of life, death, relationships and celebration. Primary teachings from this time include the knowledge of: proper relations with animals; songs, rituals and medicines essential for healing; obedience to laws; the language, and knowing history through visiting the sites of historic events. The places that Yam??zha stopped are written on the land and to visit the site of the interaction with the right person is to know the history of this era. Each place this earliest Dene lawmaker stopped has since become a landmark to the peacemaking efforts, as noted through many cosmological stories of time. Many rules of co-existence are still practiced and observed today, such as the paying the land. Legat                                                  29 Born from the cleft of a caribou hoof, this leader and his brother were raised by an adoptive grandfather. Yam??zha is known as one of the great leaders who drew on medicine power (Legat 2007).   65(2007) quotes an Elder, Jean Wetrade, as he tells the story of this great leader and his motivations:  Yam??zha wanted order within the d?. There had been too much conflict and the people did not know how to act or who they were. It was Yam??zha who told the people and animals where they should live and what they could use. Yam??zha was a great yahbahti [leader]. He is responsible for order in the d?, and responsible for the laws and knowledge for cooperating in order to co-exist. All beings know these laws and knowledge; animals know when to make themselves available to humans and humans know how to treat what they use within the d?. Because the laws are clear everyone knows when laws are broken. Before the brothers gave all beings laws, all beings were the same, they were all like people, Yam??zha is the reason only some beings can still change into something else. (67)  For example, ?muskeg rock mountain? (tso kwe) marks a historic location for young men who fast at puberty to seek visions and power. This practice is differently actualized now, as in the spring of 2007 when John B. Zoe suggested that troubled T??ch? youth be taken together to ?musket rock mountain? for healing and visions. The rules generated in this era of Coexistence also form the basis for social relationships. By ?paying the land?, an individual asks permission of animals for safe passage, invoking this Agreement and noting the reciprocity of the animals and humans.   3.2.3  Respect/incipient contact (1800-1850)   Peace was made amongst the T??ch? and Yellowknife Indians after years of hostilities, and a new relationship of solidarity and friendship was enacted in a three day dance that marked the settlement of this historic agreement. This era is characterized by first contact with white people (Franklin 1823). With the introduction of European goods and guns and the possibility of the fur trade economy, friction arose between aboriginal groups. Helm suggests that the Yellowknife Indians became traders as early as 1800, whereas the T??ch? were geographically isolated from ?the generally easy trade contact afforded the neighbouring peoples of the Upper Mackenzie drainage by 1820? (2000, 113). The retreat of the T??ch? from the river northward and away from easy river access may explain this isolation, as the T??ch? were displaced by Yellowknife aggression during the 1820s into the ?area of refuge?, now a protected area under the T??ch? land claim (Zoe 2006). Franklin (1828) documented his relationship with the Yellowknife Indians, suggesting they emerged as middlemen, guides and traders for Europeans. Akaitcho, the leader of the Yellowknife Indians, led 190 Chipewayan   66speakers and guided Franklin and Back at various times and even saved the lives of Franklin and his men at their base in Fort Enterprise.30 In 1821, when the Northwest Company and Hudson?s Bay merged, Fort Providence was closed (1823), and Akaitcho?s band had to travel further for trade to Fort Resolution. The T??ch? are first written of by Hearne, as he made note of the ?Copper Indians? (Yellowknife Indians) and a few ?Dogribs? (Hearne 1911). Franklin notes the adversarial relationship of the Dogribs and the Yellowknife Indians: ?as the Copper (Yellowknife) Indians generally pillage them of their women and furs when they meet, they endeavour to avoid them, and visit their ancient quarters on the barren grounds only by stealth? (Franklin 1823, 2: 80-83, in Helm, 1972, 294). Helm and Gillespie write, ?Dogrib tradition stresses that the Dogribs were ?friends to everyone,? (1981, 15). In 1825, the Dogrib and Yellowknife Indians made peace (Helm 1972). The story of the Peace Treaty between the two tribe leaders, Edzo and Akaitcho, is told here by John B. Zoe (2006). After living under the threat of attack, Edzo who thought only of peace, finally decided to confront the warring tribe. When he got to the camp of the enemy, Edzo talked with his sister, who was married to K??tehwh?i. Together they made a plan for Edzo to enter the camp. The next day, Edzo and his brothers entered the camp. They used their power to control things, such as the enemies? minds, and the metal in the camp. It is said that when Edzo spoke of peace, his words were so strong that the trees started to shake and they cracked. Finally, Akaitcho agreed with Edzo and peace was made. The agreement was celebrated with a dance of three days. It is to this day that the T??ch? people live under the n?owo of Edzo, which is to live peacefully with neighbours.   So here you have Edzo period (which is) about having respect for another, other aboriginal groups. We know that Edzo created the law of respect for other aboriginal groups.   This narrative is also documented by Helm, through the testimonies of four informants from 1967-1974.31 Helm and Gillespie (1981) suggest this historic event is the second most popular historic narrative, next to the Slave Woman, a tale shared with the Chipewyan. Key to this narrative?s endurance is the power of Edzo?s oratory: it was the great speech of Edzo that sealed the peace, and in one rendering of the story, Edzo?s words caused trees to bend and Akaitcho to cry (Naedzo in Helm and Gillespie 1981). Dance serves as the marker of                                                  30 This illustrates the point that the fur trade involved reciprocity. The Yellowknife Indians received goods, guns and funds, while Franklin and his men were given knowledge of the place that kept them safe and allowed them to survive. This relationship is reflected on by Michael Asch (2007), who suggests that this reciprocity ought to be reinvented in modernity, as the relationship of Older Brother to Younger Brother. The Older Brother has knowledge systems about the land that are critical to living well in the land, knowledge that kept Franklin and his men alive.  31 These people are Johnny Huskey, Pierre Mantla, Joseph Naedzo, and Vital Thomas.   67reconciliation between the groups, as the peace treaty concluded with a three day dance. The marks from the dance in the ?fragile moss and lichen carpet of the edge-of-the-woods country? (Helm and Gillespie 1981, 23) may still be seen there today, in the form of a great circle beaten by the dancers.32 The circle, in much literature, symbolizes the ?oneness of the First Nations people with the creator and the spiritual, social, and political institutions of the First Nations. It is at once a statement of allegiance, of loyalty, fidelity, and unity by both nations and its peoples? (Cardinal and Hildebrandt 2000, 14). The popularity of this narrative lives on, with T??ch? informants throughout this research referring to the peace agreement, the abuse suffered at the hands of Akaitcho, and the present day ramifications of that relationship. Akaitcho and his warriors were greatly feared, causing the T??ch? to leave their communities and retreat into the area of refuge. This area is now a protected area under the T??ch? land claims agreement and has significant cultural importance as a sacred place. The legendary peace-making of these groups continues to be invoked in the land claims discussion with the federal government and in federal court. For example, in 2002 the Akaitcho Treaty 8 Government launched a court case against the T??ch? and the federal government, in an attempt to defend the creation of a boundary amongst these neighbours. According to T??ch? renditions of this peace agreement, the leaders agreed to share the land (Zoe 2002), without reference to boundaries.   3.2.4  Collective/contact traditional era (1850-1921)   Helm (2000) marks the opening of this period with the establishment of an enduring trading fort in Old Fort Rae, while Zoe marks this period as a time of T??ch? unity (2005) in response to the need to trade; both note the ?establishment of peaceable relations between Indian and white? (Helm 2000, 111). This achievement, T??ch? unity, marks the beginning of a constant theme of T??ch? history: unity of the population builds collective strength. This idea is reflected on by Zoe:  We have place names to describe how those agreements came to be. It is all written onto the landscape. We also know that the early fur trade enhanced this agreement. Right across Canada, early contact with the Aboriginal groups always involved the pillaging of the next group. That was taken care of when, after the peace treaties, the T??ch? people organized themselves under trading chiefs whereby the trade was done on a collective basis. That gave far more bargaining clout to our group. In a sense, we approached early trade on a business basis such                                                  32 According to Territorial Archaeologist, Tom Andrews, the circle can only be seen if the witness is there with a member of both groups. If a witness is there only with a T??ch? person, then the circle will not reveal itself (Personal communication, April 5, 2005).   68that we harvested, collected and traded on our own behalf. Our culture has adapted to that lifestyle of the time. (Zoe 2005)    Certainly, the trading post and the mission were the two new installations in the lands during this period. Some groups benefited from producing food for the posts, such as the Dogrib who provided caribou meat (Russell 1898). Helm suggested the ?missionization of the Dogrib was essentially completed within a decade? after the first 139 children were baptized in 1859 (1972, 294)33, and she concludes that by 1900 all except the most isolated Athapaskan groups of the subarctic were Christian (2000). Further north, Asch (1984) suggests a period of 50 years as likely for missionization of the Slavey. While exchange was completed at Fort Providence by the Dogrib until it closed in 1823, the Dogrib then hauled provisions and furs to Fort Simpson until Fort Rae was established in 1852 (Helm 1972). The fur trade, as noted earlier, was marked by exchange and mutuality of settlers and aboriginal populations: both populations gave and received quite different but invaluable things: task changing European goods were returned in the form of furs, and importantly, life saving information and skill. The site of this exchange, the fort, also became the location for a tribal rendezvous, which ensued for the T??ch? at Fort Rae at Christmas, Easter time, and in June (Helm 1972). Families came together to bring caribou meat and fur to the Fort, which became a lead in the trade of musk-ox robes (Russell 1898). Helm (1972) refers to this period as un-traumatic. Zoe (2006) suggests:  So then you get into this fur trade era and that was the collective period. Collective means that we do it together, we do it as one. And we not only do it as one but we have a leader that does the same thing. The fur trade brought people together yearly at the forts to trade furs and meet with the ek?a?wi (the Hudson Bay traders). The ek?a?wi built their stone chimneys, still seen in the communities, where people would go into meet them. As we approached a fort, we would shoot bullets up into the air to announce our arrival. On arrival, a dance would always happen and tea would be drunk. This is the start of the tea dance. Through trade, we got good fishnets, bullets and knives. In this period, we began to explore the area more and names of people began to appear on the land.     As the fur trade was introduced, the regional economy was transformed from what Asch calls a ?total economy?34 to one reliant on subsistence and the use of externally produced goods exchanged for furs. Asch suggests this shift ?appears to have created no major changes in the                                                  33 Helm?s work is based on Petitot (1891).  34 The regional economy of the Dene was ?a total economy both in the sense of production and circulation of goods. The people of the region were themselves wholly responsible for their own survival. They achieved this end by organizing themselves into self-sufficient local groups within which production and distribution were collective activities? (Asch 1977, 49).    69internal dynamics of production and circulation within the native economy? (Asch 1977, 52). Still, this new reliance on external goods created a dependency which was unmarked as long as fur trade prices were high (Cox 1987). This era is characterized by the unification of the T??ch?, the arrival of the first missionaries (1859), and the establishment of Fort Rae. Tea dances 35 became so named during this era, although the dance has much longer history. While these forces of impact were primarily economic and religious, political change and increasing federal administration were the dominant forces marking the next era.  3.2.5  Representative/contact (1921-1990) The name of this era, ?Representative?, marks the first time that one individual was chosen to speak for the collective: this shift in political representation was made in response to federal requests of a