Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

June 17, 2022

TORONTO -- In the Snake Bed: Indigenous Assassinated while Mining Corporations Lure Natives

At the Toronto conference, Dore Copper mining board member Martha Manuel; Clean Air Metals mining board member Shannin Metatawabin; Inclusive mining founder Rosario Astuvilca-Roja; Newmont-Goldcorp board member Matthew Coon Come, KWG chromite mining board member Fiona Blondin, and reporter Alisha Hiayat.

Western Shoshone Carl Bad Bear Sampson protests Newmont gold mining, Longest Walk 2008. Photo by Brenda Norrell.

While Indigenous are being assassinated defending their land and water from mining -- global mining corporations lure Natives at world mining conference in Toronto 

By Brenda Norrell
Censored News
French translation by Christine Prat:
Updated June 28, 2022

TORONTO -- While Indigenous are being assassinated around the world defending  their homelands from mining, the world's largest mining conference was held in Toronto, June 13 -- 15.

As Indigenous gathered with the mining industry at the annual Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada, around the world Indigenous protest the loss of lives, land and clean rivers.

Chief Wayne Moonias of Neskantaga First Nation said mining contaminated their rivers. His community hasn’t had drinking water for 27 years.

“My 24 year old daughter never had clean drinking water."

Myka Jaymalin, with Anakbayan Filipino youths, said that Canada is home to 75 percent of the world’s mining companies. She said that between 2001 and 2019, at least 300 environmental defenders were killed in the Philippines.

Kirsten Francescone, Latin America Program Coordinator for Mining Watch Canada, said, “They are engaging in practices that are destroying the environment. They’re committing environmental and human rights crimes.”

Meanwhile, the mining corporations hosting and attending the Toronto conference  have a long history in Indian country, including Rio Tinto's Resolution Copper, now targeting Apaches sacred Oak Flat, and Newmont, which devastated Western Shoshone lands with gold mining.

Cameco, which mined uranium near Pine Ridge, pushed for more uranium mining in Toronto.

The agenda of the mining conference, shown below in the Indigenous Program, reveals the industry's strategy on how to avoid honoring Indigenous rights. Mining corporations now target Indigenous lands around the world and are linked to murders  of land defenders -- from South Africa and Australia to the Americas.

The U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples was one of the topics in the Indigenous Peoples Program in Toronto.

The agenda, however, of mining corporations is clear: It is to make as much money as possible, attract as many investors as possible, and avoid compliance with as many environmental laws as possible while mining gold, copper, silver, lithium and uranium.

The rapid addition of Natives to the boards of directors since the fall of 2021 is among the new strategies of mining corporations, whose agenda is to seize the land, gouge out the earth, rip out her veins, deplete and poison the water, and made profits.

The diverse topics in Toronto ranged from iron ore mining in Ukraine, to the use of  social media, luring young people with a program for youths.

Greenwashing, and the push for electric vehicles

Electric vehicles are part of the ongoing greenwashing. The mining of lithium and other metals for batteries is now targeting Indigenous lands and water, and resulting in cruel working conditions in mines around the world for children.

The Toronto conference identified critical minerals, including scandium, lithium and gallium, for electrification and energy storage for electric vehicles. Rio Tinto was among the presenters.

Paiutes in Nevada are battling to protect the sacred Thacker Pass, the Paiute massacre site, from a planned lithium mine. Hualapai in northwest Arizona are also battling a planned lithium mine on their ancestral land west of Flagstaff. Havasupai on their ancestral land in the Grand Canyon are battling uranium mining. Barona Band of Mission Indians are protesting new lithium mining near the California Mexico border.

Bingham open pit copper mine near Salt Lake City, Utah, operated by Rio Tinto. 

Rio Tinto: Sexual Assaults

Rio Tinto is the owner of Resolution Copper, now targeting Apaches Sacred Oak Flat with a copper mine east of Phoenix.

In Toronto, Rio Tinto discussed its report, of its own "workplace culture" that was published in February. Rio Tinto mine workers reported sexual assault, harassment, racism, bullying and other forms of discrimination throughout the company.

'By location, employees in Australia (52 percent) and South Africa (56 percent) were the most likely to experience bullying.

'Of those surveyed, 28 percent of women and 7 percent of men reported having been sexually harassed at work. Twenty-one women reported actual or attempted rape or sexual assault,' National Jeweler reports.

"Of those who identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander in Australia, 40 percent of men and 32 percent of women said they experienced racism." 

In Toronto, CBC reports that miners and First Nations from northwestern Ontario led a discussion on First Nations' consent in mining projects.

The chiefs of Long Lake #58, and Animbiigoo Zaagi'igan Anishinaabek, joined representatives of Greenstone Gold Mines on one panel, CBC reports.

While mining was cutting and scraping out the earth, Chief Theresa Nelson of   Animbiigoo Zaagi'igan Anishinaabek, praised Greenstone mining.

In October 2021, four gunmen shot and killed South African anti-mining activist Fikile Ntshangase in her home.

From Award-Winning Environmentalist to Newmont Gold Mining Board

Cree Grand Chief Matthew Coon Come was among the speakers in the Indigenous Program in Toronto. Coon Come earlier served as Chief of the Assembly of First Nations in Canada.

Coon Come also led the Cree’s fight against the massive James Bay hydroelectric development project in Quebec and was awarded the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize in 1994.

The Goldman Prize said the Hydro Quebec, If completed, would have consisted of more than 30 dams and 600 dikes, blocking nine major rivers.

Now, Coon Come is on the board of Newmont gold corporation, after serving on the board of Goldcorp. Coon Come was appointed to Goldcorp's board in July of 2017. Goldcorp is now owned by Newmont. The gold mining corporations have been protested for abusing human rights, and the land and water, on Western Shoshone land and globally.

Coon Come's salary and benefits from Newmont gold mining are shown below.

Natives Join Boards of Mining Companies

Dore Copper Mines, Clean Air Metals, and KWG Resources added Natives to boards in the fall of 2021. Newmont-Goldcorp added a Native board member in 2017.
In Toronto, the Indigenous Program included Martha Manuel, Neskonlith Band, Secwepemculecw, British Columbia. Manuel is now on the board of directors for Doré Copper Mines.

Martha Manuel, daughter of Indigenous activist and national leader George Manuel, worked for New Gold Inc. until 2020. 

Announcing Manuel's addition to the board in August, Doré said it plans to restart the Chibougamau mining camp. Doré Copper Mining Corp. is a copper-gold explorer and developer in the Chibougamau area of Québec, Canada.

Indigenous Program speakers included Shannin Metatawabin, on the board of Clean Air Metals. Metatawabin is Cree / Inninow from Fort Albany (Pethtabeck) First Nation of the Mushkegowuk Cree Nation.

Clean Air Metals appointed Metatawabin in November. Clean Air Metals owns the Thunder Bay North Project, a platinum, palladium, copper, and nickel mining project located near Thunder Bay, Ontario, and the Lac des Iles Mine owned by Impala Platinum.

The Thunder Bay North project is on the traditional territories of the Fort William First Nation, Red Rock First Nation and Biinjitiwabik Zaaging Anishinabek.

The Indigenous Program included KWG Resources board member Fiona Blondin. KWG announced in September that Blondin, Yellowknives Dene First Nation in the Northwest Territories, was selected as director of the company.

Now, KWG Resources is exploring chromite, used in making stainless steel, in the James Bay Lowlands of Ontario. It is part of mineral-rich area known as the Ring of Fire.

Indigenous program facilitator Lana Eagle, White Cap Dakota, is a consultant promoting mining.

Gold mining in Venezuela and Brazil results in murder, rape and disease. The situation in the Yanomami territory in Brazil is catastrophic and now resembles a war zone. “Yanomami under Attack” documents violence, sexual abuse and high rates of malaria and mercury poisoning among the Yanomami as a result of the illegal mining, Survival International reports.

World mining conference Toronto 2022

The Indigenous Program 

Partnerships, participation, and ESG-I: Canada and the emerging global paradigm for Indigenous communities and the mining industry (IN PERSON)

Chair: Sandra Gogal, Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP Toronto, Canada

Monday, June 13, 2022, 11:45 AM - 1:15 PM


John Hibble, Coeuraj, Toronto, Canada

Sandra Gogal, Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP, Toronto, Canada

Camilla Lott, Vale, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Mark Podlasly, University of British Columbia Sauder School of Business, Vancouver, Canada

Sharon Singh, Bennett Jones LLP, Vancouver, Canada

Saga Williams, AS Williams Consulting, Curve Lake First Nation, Canada


FPIC and collaborative consent: Navigating UNDRIP the right way (IN PERSON)

Chair: Sandra Gogal, Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP, Toronto, Canada

2:45 PM - 4:15 PM

Sandra Gogal, Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP, Toronto, Canada

Chad Norman Day, Tahltan Central Government, Smithers and Telegraph Creek, Canada

Chief Judy Desmoulin, Longlake #58 First Nation, Canada

Grand Chief Jackson Lafferty, Tłı̨chǫ Government, Behchoko, Canada

Chief Theresa Nelson, Animbiigoo Zaagi'igan Anishinaabek First Nation, Canada

Angela Bigg, Rio Tinto -Diavik Diamond Mines Inc., Yellowknife, Canada

Daniel Gagné, Greenstone Gold Mines, Geraldton, Canada

Eric Lamontagne, Greenstone Gold Mines, Geraldton, Canada

Winter Bailey, Rio Tinto Diavik Diamond Mine, Yellowknife, Canada

(Agenda) June 21 2021 was a historic day as Canada marked the 25th anniversary of National Indigenous Peoples Day and Bill C-15: An Act respecting the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People, received royal assent.

Through the development of an Action Plan over the next two years, the Bill will outline a road map for ensuring Canadian laws are consistent with the principles of UNDRIP.

As we are approaching one year since the adoption of the Bill, a panel of speakers will comment on the development of the Action Plan and what we can expect for it’s implementation.

Learn about the proactive steps majors and juniors are taking to better understand anticipated changes by adopting best practices around engagement.
Hear from legal experts about the development and meaning of FPIC and collaborative consent, where they overlap and how they differ. Witness an open discussion between companies and community partners on their interpretation of meaningful consultation and expectations from project partners.

Economic reconciliation pathways: Reimagining equity participation models (IN PERSON)

Chair: Lana Eagle, Lana Eagle Consulting, Campbell River, Canada Sarah Weber, C3 Alliance Corp. Vancouver, Canada
1:30 PM - 3:00 PM

Don Bubar, Avalon Advanced Materials Inc., Toronto, Canada
Abraham Drost, Clean Air Metals, Inc., Thunder Bay, Canada
Frank Hardy, Biinjitiwaabik Zaaging Anishinaabek, MacDiarmid, Canada
Dawn Madahbee Leach, National Indigenous Economic Development Board, Birch Island, Canada
Donald McInnes, Vancouver British Columbia, Canada
Joe Moses, Clean Air Metals, Thunder Bay, Canada

(Agenda) The concept of economic reconciliation centres on the fundamental right to self-determination Indigenous peoples have to freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development. In recent years this concept has become prevalent in the natural resources sector, to describe resource revenue sharing models in project partnerships, allowing communities to reinvest funds, advance capacity and build generational wealth.

In the fall of 2021, PDAC undertook research to build greater awareness around the economic opportunities associated with Indigenous community partnerships at the exploration phase of the mineral development sequence. The Economic Impacts of Exploration Projects on Indigenous Communities report identifies several opportunities communities and Indigenous businesses can pursue to maximize project investment and create mutually beneficial agreements leading to long-term financial prosperity for all proponents.

This session aims to educate exploration companies, vendors, and other stakeholders about the steps they can take to ensure Indigenous communities and businesses participate fruitfully in mineral exploration. Learn about the unique participation models companies have employed, how these agreements were constructed and the financial tools available at our disposal.

Claiming your seat: Reflections on accelerating Indigenous representation on corporate boards (IN PERSON)
Indigenous on boards of directors of mining corporations in Canada.

Chair: Rosario Astuvilca-Rojas, CEO & Founder Inclusive Mining, Toronto, Canada (Peruvian, Indigenous ancestry, began her mining career in 1996 at Centromin (Empresa Minera del Centro del Perú) in Perú.

4:30 PM - 5:30 PM

Alisha Hiyate, The Northern Miner, Toronto, Canada

Fiona Blondin, KWG Resources Inc. Board Member, Cambridge, Canada

Matthew Coon Come, Newmont Board Member, Mistissini, Canada

Martha Manuel, Doré Copper Mining Corp. Board Member, Kamloops, Canada

Shannin Metatawabin, Clean Air Metals Board Member, Belfast, Canada


Empowering Indigenous entrepreneurs: Increasing industry participation through procurement, employee training and retention (IN PERSON)

Chair: Glenn Nolan, Noront Resources Ltd., Toronto, Canada

11:30 AM - 1:00 PM

Karen Restoule, Shared Value Solutions, Dokis First Nation, Canada

Jason Batiste, Wabun Tribal Council, Mattagami First Nation, Canada

Melanie J. Campbell,
Natural Resources Canada, Ottawa, Canada

Chad Norman Day, Tahltan Central Government, Smithers and Telegraph Creek, Canada

Paul Gruner, Tahltan Nation Development Corporation, Yellowknife, Canada
At each stage of the mining supply chain there are opportunities for companies to partner with Indigenous businesses. In this session, we focus on empowering indigenous entrepreneurs by increasing industry participation through procurement, employee training and retention.

In Sonora, bordering Arizona, José de Jesús Robledo Cruz and María de Jesús Gómez were killed in April 2021 after organizing a campaign against Mexico’s largest gold-mining company Penmont. It wasn’t the first time the married couple had been targeted: In 2017, they were kidnapped and tortured by unknown assailants dressed in army fatigues. When their bodies were discovered last year, a note with the names of 13 other activists was attached to one of them. Nearly three-quarters of the human rights defenders killed in Mexico were protecting land, the environment or Indigenous rights.

Toronto: Indigenous Peoples Program

Economic reconciliation pathways: Reimagining equity participation models

Chair: Lana Eagle, Lana Eagle Consulting, Campbell River, Canada Sarah Weber, C3 Alliance Corp. Vancouver, Canada

8:00 AM - 9:30 AM
Don Bubar, Avalon Advanced Materials Inc., Toronto, Canada
Abraham Drost, Clean Air Metals, Inc., Thunder Bay, Canada
Frank Hardy, Biinjitiwaabik Zaaging Anishinaabek, MacDiarmid, Canada
Dawn Madahbee Leach, National Indigenous Economic Development Board, Birch Island, Canada
Donald McInnes, Vancouver British Columbia, Canada
Joe Moses, Clean Air Metals, Thunder Bay, Canada
The concept of economic reconciliation centres on the fundamental right to self-determination Indigenous peoples have to freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development. In recent years this concept has become prevalent in the natural resources sector, to describe resource revenue sharing models in project partnerships, allowing communities to reinvest funds, advance capacity and build generational wealth.
.This is the recording of an in-person session from PDAC 2022 in Toronto, that is available on-demand for our online attendees.

Toronto Indigenous Peoples Program

Exploring the social impact of mineral development projects in Indigenous communities (ONLINE)

Chair: Lana Eagle, Lana Eagle Consulting, Campbell River, Canada Michael Fox, Indigenous Community Engagement, Fort William, Canada Glenn Nolan, Noront Resources Ltd., Toronto, Canada

12:30 PM - 1:30 PM

Sabrina Dias, SOOP Strategies Inc., Toronto, Canada

Beverely Russell, Project Manager, Gitanyow Education & Training Institute, Gitanyow Hereditary Chiefs, British Columbia, Canada

Dorinda Shirey, Gitanyow Elder, British Columbia, Canada

Norma Vazquez, SOOP Strategies Inc., Toronto, Canada

(Agenda) In 2021 PDAC set out to identify anticipated impacts and subsequent increased demands on social infrastructure within host Indigenous communities that are proximal to mineral development projects in Canada.

Using a gendered lens, the Social Impact Study established a set of practical strategies mineral resource development companies can exercise to mitigate or manage the social impacts on host Indigenous communities, as well as to create opportunities for improving situations often found in remote, Indigenous communities.

In this session hear community leaders’ reflections on findings, companies employing GBA+ principles and approaches as part of their permitting process and how these recommendations can be adopted to new projects.

Indigenous cultural awareness: How traditional values, teachings and knowledge have influenced the industry over the years (ONLINE)

Chair: Lana Eagle, Lana Eagle Consulting, Campbell River, Canada

12:30 PM - 1:30 PM


Lana Eagle, Lana Eagle Consulting, Campbell River, Canada

Ed Sackaney, Knowledge & Wisdom Keeper, Fort Albany First Nation, Canada

Jason Batiste, Wabun Tribal Council Coeuraj, Mattagami First Nation, Canada

Nalaine Morin, Tahltan Central Government, Smithers, Canada

(Agenda) In this session, Indigenous leaders from across Canada come together to discuss core values, teachings and knowledge and reflect on the impact Indigenous culture has had on the mineral industry. These leaders share how they view resource development and discuss similarities and differences between key cultural pillars.

Company and community leaders identify the factors that lead to strong partnerships and successful long-term relationships. All speakers come together to reflect on what resource development means to them and their thoughts on where the industry is headed.

Photo: Newmont's gold mining on Western Shoshone land. Carrie Dann, Western Shoshone said, "To dig under the earth to get to that gold, to pump out that water to get to that gold, is a crime, it's a crime against humanity, a crime against life, the very life upon which all people depend on, not only people but we have other things out there -- we have the deer, we have the eagle, we have the rabbits, we have all life out there and the gold mining today is going to destroy that, it is destroying that, the life for the future generations is going to be gone."


Newmont states, "In 2019, Newmont became the world’s leading gold company and a producer of copper, silver, zinc and lead following the transformational acquisition of Goldcorp and its world-class mines, including four operations in Canada."

"Newmont’s 100 percent-owned operating assets in Canada include Éléonore in Quebec and Musselwhite and Porcupine in Ontario as well as the Red Lake operation in Ontario until its sale to Evolution Mining on March 31, 2020. Canadian exploration properties are the Coffee project in the Yukon as well as the Galore Creek joint venture with Teck Resources Limited in British Columbia (B.C.). Our North America regional office is located in Vancouver, B.C." according to Newmont.

Source: Newmont:

Asbestos mine in Quebec: Source: Rabble/Chilanga Cement
"The Terrible Paradox of the Green Energy Transition

At the world mining conference in Toronto, Peru, Brazil and Canada had their own three days of sponsors. Indigenous in Peru and Brazil continue to be murdered as they defend their land and water from mining. In Canada, there is a trail of cancer and disease from mining. -- Censored News. 

The world's largest mining convention in Toronto this week.


More than half of activists killed in 2021 were land and environment defenders. Article  by Mongaby news

Survival International: Yanomami under attack by miners in Brazil and Venezuela

Read more: 

Paiute Shoshone Myron Dewey warned of lithium mining the day before he was killed

Paiute Shoshone Journalist Myron Dewey

Paiute Shoshone journalist Myron Dewey warned of lithium mining at the Paiute Massacre Site at Thacker Pass, on the day before he was killed. A truck pulled into his lane, on a dirt road, and hit him head-on.

Dewey was a journalist and drone activist at Standing Rock in North Dakota, 2016 -- 2017, during the resistance to Dakota Access Pipeline. At home in Nevada in September, Myron livestreamed from the Fallon bombing range, warning of its expansion, the day before he was killed in the head-on collision on an isolated road near his family's home in the Paiute homelands at Yomba.

Lithium future
"The first challenge for researchers is to reduce the amounts of metals that need to be mined for EV batteries. Amounts vary depending on the battery type and model of vehicle, but a single car lithium-ion battery pack (of a type known as NMC532) could contain around 8 kg of lithium, 35 kg of nickel, 20 kg of manganese and 14 kg of cobalt, according to figures from Argonne National Laboratory." -- Nature

Barona Mission Indians and Hualapai Defend Ancestral Lands from Lithium Mining

"Members of the Barona band of Mission Indians and other tribal nations have joined a fight aiming to stop the proposed Sandy Valley lithium mine in Arizona and proposed lithium mining at the Salton Sea in California that could adversely impact Native Americans."

Mining Companies Strike Gold by Destroying Public Lands: Tohono O'odham cancer is the result of arsenic from copper mining

Contaminated water—polluted by old, closed gold mines in Montana’s Little Rocky Mountains—flows down the peaks toward the Fort Belknap Indian Community’s reservation in September 2021. Cleanup costs at least $3 million annually. 

Tohono O'odham Nation on Arizona Border: After a century-old copper-mining facility on the Tohono O’odham Nation in Arizona closed in 1999, for example, the Department of Health and Human Services found the mine had added enough arsenic to local drinking water to cause nausea — and skin, bladder and lung cancers.

Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation, Fort Belknap, North Dakota: Beautiful tree-covered peaks turn to pale yellow slash when toxic gold mining runoff ran down from Montana  -- The contamination came from a gold mine that had operated in the mountains from the 1860s until 1998. The mine used cyanide to extract the gold. The process produced tremendous amounts of toxic runoff, which included not just cyanide but acids created when the rocks were exposed to air. That all made its way into local tap water.

Canada's Ring of Fire: Canada's Mining Push Puts Major Carbon Sink and Indigenous In Crosshairs -- by Mongabay news

  • A massive mining project called the Ring of Fire is being proposed in Canada’s Hudson Bay lowlands, a region that houses one of the biggest peatland complexes in the world and is home to several Indigenous communities.
  • According to the federal and provincial governments, this region hosts one of the “most promising mineral development opportunities,” which is expected to generate jobs and revenues in the remote region.
  • Environmentalists say the proposed development threatens to degrade peatlands, which act as a massive carbon store, and could lead to an increase in emissions; First Nations communities have also voiced concerns about mining impacts on traditional lands and livelihoods


Article copyright Brenda Norrell, Censored News

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