Northern Dreams: Resource Development/Indigenous Employment
Monday, April 3, 2017
Talbot College (TC)
A critical look at Community Benefit Agreements and Indigenous Employment on Two Northern Resource Development Projects
DAN Management and Organizational Studies guest speaker
Dr. Suzanne Mills
Associate Professor of Labour Studies and Geography
The Labour Studies Programme and the School of Geography and Earth Sciences
This paper uses the examples of the Voisey's Bay mine and mill in Northern Labrador and the Lower Mattagammi River Project (LMRP) hydro development project in Northern Ontario to critically examine the role of community benefit agreements (CBAs) in promoting Indigenous employment on northern industrial relations. Widespread across Canada's north, CBAs have been celebrated as a mechanism used by Indigenous governments to gain influence over resource development in their territories. Since CBAs are the main mechanism specifying socio-economics benefits, they have also become instrumental in the design and execution of Indigenous training and employment programmes. Despite the existence of often detailed plans, however, resource companies and Indigenous governments often continue to face obstacles meeting employment targets and Indigenous workers continue to be concentrated in low job classifications.
Mills draws on empirical research with the Moose Cree First Nation and Nunatsiavut Government to argue that there is a spatial mismatch between CBA related employment plans that are necessarily local in nature, and larger scaled processes that influence industrial relations and labour organizations.
Mills' research adopts a geographic approach to the study of identity, work and labour unions. Mills has developed an expertise on resource and construction employment in northern Canada, specifically examining questions pertaining to Indigenous identity and gender.
Management and Organizational Studies