Goldcorp Answers the Call of the Moose

Nov 19, 2014 8:05 PM ET

Goldcorp 2013 Sustainability Report

At Goldcorp, we have a lot of internal expertise on the technical aspects of mining and environmental management, but we know that knowledge comes in many forms. We want to be contributing members of partnerships that will build a body of knowledge that contributes to the social and environmental well-being of the communities in which we work.

When a young moose climbed into the Dome pit at our Porcupine mine three years ago, Goldcorp reached out to local chiefs and elders for advice on how to better protect local wildlife and natural habitats. With that initial outreach, the seeds were planted for a unique partnership: the AMAK Institute. AMAK, which stands for Anishnaabe Maamwaye Aki Kiigayewin, means “All people coming together to heal the earth”. The AMAK Institute is an emerging entity initiated by Goldcorp’s Porcupine Gold Mines and elders from Aboriginal communities across Canada and with the collaboration of the University of Waterloo, Queen's University, Wilfred Laurier University, Social Innovation Generation (SiG), and Golder Associates. Elders participating in AMAK come from a variety of areas in Ontario, Québec and Saskatchewan, including Fort Francis, Moose Factory, Whapmagoostui, Kowacatoose, Mattagami, and Matachewan. A small group of Aboriginal elders from across Canada now guide the operation of the AMAK Institute.

The overall goal that guides AMAK is to improve mine reclamation strategies and outcomes by including both scientific data and Indigenous traditional knowledge in the design, planning and monitoring stages of the mining and reclamation process.

The AMAK Institute has three main objectives: to strengthen communication and relationship-building; to facilitate the transfer of knowledge; and to implement collaborative environmental monitoring. We believe that using a more holistic approach to mine reclamation will lead to more sustainable, transparent and inclusive mine closure practices.

Because this project emerged organically, through strong communication, relationship-building and a shared vision of a healthy human-environment system for future generations, the strategy is often described as “Spirit Driven”. At the heart of the strategy is the holistic notion that current scientific processes can be improved by acknowledging the validity of Indigenous traditional knowledge as a distinct pillar of understanding our relationship to the Earth.

Three years into the initiative, we are pleased with the results, but most importantly, with the partnership that has emerged with our Aboriginal communities, which sets the stage for achieving collaborative and responsible resource development for future generations.

Read more about our community relations approach in the 2013 Sustainability Report: