Diamond company and First Nations groups want to join forces in Canada’s Northwest Territories

De Beers Canada presented a joint proposal with four Dene communities to a panel reviewing the Gahcho Kué diamond project on Wednesday. CBC.caGroups propose a joint forum to build trust around Gahcho Kué diamond mine

De Beers Canada presented a joint proposal with four Dene First Nation communities to a panel reviewing the Gahcho Kué diamond project on Wednesday.

The company and the communities want to develop a forum that will allow them to work together on the proposed diamond mine near Lutsel K’e, a community in Canada’s Northwest Territories.

The proposed group, calling themselves Gahcho Kué Ni Hadi Yati, made a presentation in Yellowknife, the capital city of the Northwest Territories, during an environmental review of the project.

It includes the Lutsel K’e Dene First Nation, Yellowknives Dene First Nation, Deninu Kue First Nation, the Tlicho Government and De Beers.

They say a joint partnership will build trust among the parties and ensure that First Nation groups know what’s going on at the mining site.

The forum would have them acting as one entity, rather than five separate groups. They told the environmental review that should also reduce costs.

Veronica Chisholm, a manager with De Beers, says the company will provide annual funds to support the group.

“It is up to the parties to choose to participate in this group. De Beers cannot run this alone,” Chisholm said.

Other groups, like the North Slave Métis Alliance, were approached to join the forum. But its president, Bill Enge, is not convinced it will work for them.

“We were informed about it on Monday, November 19th, a mere 16 days ago. And the means by which we were informed about this was with a PowerPoint presentation. There wasn’t any protocol document or any other kind of structure … to make an informed decision,” Enge said.

There is nothing set in stone – this week’s presentation was only a proposal. But if the board approves it, the groups will sign a binding contract that will determine how they intend to work together for the Gahcho Kué Project.

The environmental review for the diamond project continues this week in Yellowknife.

De Beers’ proposed Gahcho Kué mine is located about 280 kilometres northeast of Yellowknife. If approved, the mine could be in operation by 2014.


Links to Eye on the Arctic’s special series on diamond mining in the Northwest Territories:

Canada – a diamond mining superpower

Diamonds fuel the Northwest Territories’ economy

Dreams made of diamonds

Canada’s ice road to diamonds

Diamonds – the darker side of prosperity

Social ills keep many on the sidelines of NWT’s diamond boom

Smaller communities still suffer from high unemployment


Related Link:

De Beers’ mine plans raise caribou concerns, CBC News

For more northern stories from CBC News, click here

CBC News

For more news from Canada visit CBC News.

Do you want to report an error or a typo? Click here!

Leave a Reply

Note: By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that Radio Canada International has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Radio Canada International does not endorse any of the views posted. Your comments will be pre-moderated and published if they meet netiquette guidelines.
Netiquette »

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *