Impacts and Benefits Agreements : A Way Towards Lasting Relationships Between Aboriginal Peoples and the Mining Industry

CIM Edmonton 2004
Abstract The negotiation of Impacts and Benefits Agreements (“IBAs”) in Canada has emerged in response to the effects of major mining projects located on or close to aboriginal lands and communities. Today, IBAs are increasingly becoming common practice to address socio-economic and cultural impacts of mining projects on aboriginal communities and to secure benefits for aboriginal people.

The negotiation of IBAs often results from the existence of aboriginal rights or treaty rights, including rights defined pursuant to various land claim agreements. Certain statutory requirements may also give rise to these agreements between mining companies and aboriginal groups. In certain circumstances, IBAs involve governments as well.

IBAs address wide ranging issues. They may include education and training of aboriginal people, employment of aboriginal people, transportation and workplace conditions, business opportunities for aboriginal businesses, environmental protection, cultural protection, harvesting compensation for aboriginal people and other financial provisions. The particular circumstances of each aboriginal group and of each project influence the contents of these agreements.

IBAs are a positive way towards the building of successful and lasting relationships between all parties involved since they are intended to address the obstacles related to mining developments in an aboriginal context.
Keywords: Aboriginal communities, treaty rights, aboriginal rights, aboriginal employment, aboriginal groups, socio-economic and cultural impacts, IBAs, Impacts and Benefits Agreements, aboriginal businesses, environmental protection
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