The North-South Institute



Lutsel K’e Dene First Nation’s Experience Negotiating with Mining Companies

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Lutsel K’e Dene First Nation’s Experience Negotiating with Mining Companies

Published: January 4, 2006

This report provides a snapshot of one Canadian First Nation’s experience and strategies in addressing large-scale mining on their ancestral territory. Based on field research guided by, and undertaken together with members of Lutsel K’e Dene First Nation, this case study is a direct response to Lokono Indigenous communities in West Suriname, South America, asking to learn more from Canadian experiences dealing with mining companies, and specifically BHP Billiton. This company set up the Ekati diamond mine in Northern Canada which affects Lutsel K’e’s lands and community, and the same company was interested in undertaking bauxite mining on Lokono Territory in Suriname.

The case study gathers diverse community perspectives to strengthen and complement the knowledge and views that were shared first-hand by two community members from Lutsel K’e who participated in a training session in west Suriname. A training video sharing diverse perspectives is also available in both English and Spanish.

While these materials were made specifically for the use of West Surinamese communities, they are useful for other communities wanting to learn more about the impacts of mining and related activities, the possible options available regarding getting organized, strategizing and negotiating. The case study provides rich insights to further current and controversial debates around free, prior and informed consent, and whether impact benefit agreements are instances of FPIC.

Author: Viviane Weitzner

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