Abitibiwinni Nation: Taking Action to Share Knowledge
The Abitibiwinni Nation is organizing a conference to strengthen relations with the mining industry
The Abitibiwinni Nation is organizing a conference in January 2011 to share its perspective on mining development in its territory and ensure that any future development benefits the community as a whole. Conseil de la Premiere Nation Abitibiwinni (Pikogan), is located in Quebec.
In September 2010, the Abitibiwinni Nation asked the Centre to facilitate a Leadership Essentials Workshop to assist the chief and council in developing a deeper understanding of their roles and responsibilities. Workshop participants were keenly interested in the subject material – and had many questions about inherent rights – particularly given that members of the Nation’s leadership were meeting with Quebec’s provincial minister of natural resources the following day.
The leadership were inspired by the possibilities for the future articulated in the workshop, and are interested in learning more about their rights. The leadership team is also dedicated to increasing opportunities for the Nation’s people.
In support of both these objectives, the Abitibiwinni council is organizing a conference on mining resource and development issues. The council is seeking greater dialogue with key decision makers in the mining industry to increase awareness of the First Nations perspective and to enable the two groups to seek a new and unified approach to development.
In an article in le Citoyen de la Vallee de l’Or newspaper, Steve Rankin, a member of the Abitibiwinni council, spoke of the hope that the January 2011 conference will enable the community to share information with mining companies on ancestral land rights and to seek new ways forward to ensure appropriate consultation and accommodation of First Nations interests are part of the development process. The Nation is also interested in exploring policies in support of a healthy environment, as well as increased employment and training opportunities for community members.