UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

A review and analysis of Canadian Indigenous mining policy Zimmerling, Stephanie


In recent years, certain Indigenous governments and organizations have established their own mining codes and policies to address mineral development on their territory. Aside from the policies themselves, there is a lack of research exploring the emergence of these policies, the contents and implications of mineral resource development in Canada. The researcher was engaged by the Tłı̨chǫ Government to bridge this knowledge gap in support of the development of the Tłı̨chǫ Mineral Strategy. Through this process the Tłı̨chǫ First Nation became the case study for this research. In addition to the Tłı̨chǫ First Nation case study, the research reviewed twelve additional Indigenous mining policies. The goal of this evaluation was to: explore the differences between adopted policy approaches and goals; understand how the policy approach taken relates to the nature of the legislation to which it connects; and determine whether there are enabling frameworks that drive or launch the creation of an Indigenous mining policy. The research revealed that there is there is no clear standard of practice established for the creation of an Indigenous mining policy; however, there are three primary drivers for policy creation: specific mining events, assertion of rights and land claims agreements. These drivers, along with the relationship established between the Indigenous government or organization and the Crown, influence the structure and contents of the policy. The outcomes of this research have contributed to the development of the Tłı̨chǫ Mineral Strategy and can be used to inform other Indigenous governments and organizations looking to develop their own mining policy. Recommendations for future work include understanding the response of industry to these policies and how Indigenous mining policies integrate with provincial, territorial or federal mining policy.

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