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Improving consultation processes between mining companies and First Nations in BC

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British Columbia’s Premier Christy Clark has promised eight new mines by 2015, and upgrades to current mines. Unfortunately, the variety of individual mining company practices for consulting with BC First Nations regarding mining activities on traditional native land contributes to an atmosphere of uncertainty regarding the success of the negotiations. This uncertainty jeopardizes the Premier’s plan by raising the constant spectre of litigation, fractured relationships between companies and First Nations, and delayed mine development timelines. This capstone research contributes to the literature in three ways: it provides analyses of the consultation processes used in four BC mineral deposit and mine development cases; identifies positive and negative aspects of the status quo; and recommends effective policy options and implementation procedures for the BC government to reduce the likelihood of litigation, improve First Nations’ capacity to respond to mine development projects, and assist mining companies and First Nations in building mutually-beneficial relationships.
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