Indigenous Traditional Knowledge enriches our environmental stewardship
Dominion Diamond partners with Indigenous groups to protect caribou near its Ekati mine in the Northwest Territories. The North is experiencing a decline in the Bathurst Caribou Herd population, which is concerning for all northerners, but particularly for Indigenous peoples. While the cause is unknown, some residents have wondered whether resource development has played a role. When Dominion Diamond took over the Ekati mine in 2013, it heard these concerns and immediately took action.
Working alongside local and Indigenous communities, Dominion developed Caribou Mitigation Measures to help identify factors behind the herd’s decline and to take proactive steps to limit potential impacts. Traditional Knowledge is integrated into all aspects of the mine’s caribou program and Indigenous groups play a lead role in monitoring the herd’s activities. They also share critical information with the company and Indigenous and territorial governments to support the management and protection of the herd.
Traditional Knowledge has led to changes on the ground. For example, it shaped the design and placement of the Jay pipe access road to make it more caribou-friendly and so that it crosses at the narrowest point of the Esker—known as a “caribou highway”—to minimize impacts. Traditional knowledge has also contributed to reclamation efforts, informing the locations of wildlife access ramps in the waste rock areas being reclaimed.
By embedding Traditional Knowledge into our business, Canada’s mining industry is working alongside our communities to preserve the environment for future generations.