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Metro Toronto Convention Centre 
255 Front St West, North Building, Toronto Ontario 
June 13-15, 2018 


Stream 8 – Indigenous Engagement
Rayrock Remediation Project - Strategies for Obtaining and Maintaining a Social Licence to Operate
Ron Breadmore, Andrew Richardson, George Lafferty
Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada
The objective of this presentation is to share successful Social License to Operate approaches and experiences for a mine remediation project.
Abstract

The Rayrock Mine is a former uranium mine site situated 145 km northwest of Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. Rayrock sits within the traditional lands of the Tłıchǫ (pronounced “klee-cho”) People who call the site “Kwetııɂaà” or “where the rock meets the river”. Exploration began in 1955 with mine operations between 1957 and 1959. Approximately 208,000 kg of yellowcake were produced along with 71,000 tonnes of un-neutralized tailings. Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (formerly the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development) (INAC) assumed the site at abandonment and capped the exposed tailings and mine openings in 1996. INAC conducted annual monitoring between 1999 and 2009 and, although only legally required every ten years after 2009, discussions with the Tłıchǫ Government suggested that a three-year monitoring frequency was more appropriate. Additional site characterization occurred between 2013 and 2017, with final remediation slated for 2019-20.

The Tłıchǫ have expressed concerns over Rayrock since mine operations. Some elders reported fish kills in the nearby Marian River; some Tłıchǫ site workers reported burns to their skin; and, after the mine closed, there were reports of increased cancer incidence among Tłıchǫ workers. Risk perception has been further fuelled by Tłıchǫ author Richard Van Camp who posted his short story “The Uranium Leaking from Port Radium and Rayrock Mines is Killing Us” on YouTube, which was later aired on CBC radio.

The Tłıchǫ Executive Council’s request that they become more involved with the Rayrock Project led to a number of engagement initiatives:
• 2012 – Kwetııɂaà Elders Committee (KEC) was struck with Tłıchǫ elders, some of whom worked at the Rayrock site.
• 2013 – Tłıchǫ student assists with site characterization fieldwork and now works full-time for the Tłıchǫ Government.
• 2014 – Tłıchǫ elders assist with archaeological and site wide hazard assessments and participate in a risk workshop that includes a panel discussion with NWT Chief Medical Officer of Health and NWT Chief Mines Inspector who speak to occupational exposures, cancer and worker’s compensation.
• 2015 – “On-the-land” exercise with KEC members and Tłıchǫ Government conducted on the Marian River, downstream of Rayrock, via canoe and remote camping.
• Field season is capped off with a site blessing.
• 2016 – Building Environmental Aboriginal Human Resources (BEAHR) training program results in certificates in Contaminated Sites Management being issued to 12 Tłıchǫ students.
• 2017 – Remedial options analysis workshop with Tłıchǫ Government; four BEAHR graduates work on the final Phase III ESA field program.

Social Licence to Operate is considered to have been obtained. Final remediation and long-term monitoring of the Rayrock site – in full partnership with the Tłıchǫ – will ensure that Social Licence to Operate is “maintained”.

Indigenous Involvement in the Rayrock Remediation Project
Stephanie Joyce1, Michael Weber1, Tyanna Steinwand2, Jessica Hum2
1Arcadis Canada Inc.
2Tłıchǫ Government
The objective of this presentation is to provide some background information about the Building Environmental Aboriginal Human Resources (BEAHR) Program, and describe a recent field program where BEAHR students were successfully integrated.
Abstract

The first part of the presentation will introduce the audience to the Building Environmental Aboriginal Human Resources (BEAHR) Program. BEAHR training programs are designed to be delivered in communities and integrate Aboriginal culture and local knowledge into practical field experience. The program and student goals will be presented, along with examples of the courses offered and hands-on field experience students have the opportunity to obtain.

The second part of the presentation will describe the 2017 field program at the former Rayrock Mine. Rayrock Mine is a former uranium mine, located approximately 145 km northwest of Yellowknife, Northwest Territories and situated within the boundaries of the Tłıchǫ Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement. Environmental assessments have been undertaken in recent years, in preparation for remediation of the site. The 2017 field program included several different environmental studies, including: a hydrology study of the downstream discharge routes; a bathymetry study of site lakes; a comprehensive fishing program in site lakes; a vegetation assessment of impacted areas; a small mammal collection and sampling program; a benthic habitat assessment; and, a sediment core sample collection program. Four BEAHR students were involved in the 17-day field program, with much success. Logistical challenges were encountered and lessons were learned. For example, the Rayrock site is accessed each day by floatplane from Yellowknife so transportation arrangements had to be made daily. These challenges will be presented, along with personal feedback from both the BEAHR students and the field personnel.

The third and final part of the presentation will look to the future. Future plans for the involvement of the BEAHR students at Rayrock will be presented as well as the anticipated benefits of having the BEAHR students participate first hand in the data collection. This will be important as the Rayrock Remediation Project moves through discussions in the community and toward remedial option selection. It is hoped that BEAHR students will be involved in other long-term environmental monitoring programs. Potential sites and opportunities will be shared, along with information on how to involve BEAHR students in other northern environmental programs.

Human Health Risk Assessment for the Consumption of Country Foods in Hopedale, NL
Kelly Johnson and Mark Richardson
Stantec Consulting Ltd.
The objective of this presentation is to highlight the results of biota and food sampling for PCBs in Hopedale, provide an overview of the community dietary study, summarize the human health risk assessment, and resulting consumption advisory, and discuss the impacts within the context of an isolated Aboriginal Community with a deep nutritional and cultural reliance on the surrounding lands and waters.
Abstract

Many sites in the Canadian North have been contaminated due to government military activities that occurred before their environmental impact was fully understood. The Community of Hopedale in Northern Labrador is one such site. The United States Air Force (USAF) operated a military radar installation approximately one kilometer north of Hopedale during the 1950s and 1960s. Historic USAF waste disposal and discharge practices caused extensive contamination affecting the use of the land, harbour, and traditional food gathering (hunting and fishing). Traditional foods in the community are a key dietary component due to the challenges associated with obtaining food from other sources.

We will present the outcomes of a human health risk assessment conducted for residents of Hopedale considering polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) exposure through consumption of country foods from the terrestrial and aquatic food chains. The risk assessment considered northern community-specific food items and country food consumption patterns by incorporating extensive biota sampling, as well as a community dietary study and a country foods sampling program. The risk assessment ultimately set a food consumption advisory for local residents which limited their consumption of sculpin, rock cod, and other bottom-dwelling fish from Hopedale Harbour. The fish consumption recommendations and advice were formulated and presented to the community in close consultation with the Nunatsiavut Government and a stakeholder committee formed specifically for the Hopedale assessment.

We will highlight the results of the biota and food sampling, provide an overview of the community dietary study, summarize the human health risk assessment and resulting consumption advisory, and discuss the impacts within the context of an isolated Aboriginal community with a deep nutritional and cultural reliance on the surrounding lands and waters. We will show that the management of these Northern sites goes beyond remediation of chemicals in the environment – it requires the direct involvement of local residents with deep concerns for the health and safety of their families and communities.

Development of a Country Foods Dietary Survey Instrument and Collection of Voluntary Country Food Samples in Support of the Giant Mine Human Health Risk Assessment
Harriet Phillips1, Stacey Fernandes1, Caroline Lucas1, Nicole Thackeray1, Jane Amphlett2, Erika Nyyssonen3
1CanNorth Environmental Services
2Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada
3Government of the Northwest Territories
The objective of this presentation is to share a method to conduct a dietary survey and voluntary country food sample program in the community, as well as discuss what are important things to consider, what to avoid and how to summarize the information in a way that the community would understand.
Abstract

In 2010, the developer’s assessment report (DAR) for the Giant Mine Remediation Project was submitted to the Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board (MVEIRB) for approval to proceed with the remedial activities at the site. As part of the findings (Measure 10), MVEIRB indicated that a comprehensive quantitative human health risk assessment (HHRA) was needed before regulatory approvals would be provided. An HHRA was implemented in 2016 to fulfil these requirements. A significant part of the HHRA involved community consultation with the Yellowknives Dene First Nation as well as the North Slave Metis Alliance.

A dietary survey instrument was designed to collect information on how much country foods these communities ate in order to reduce uncertainties in the HHRA. Traditional knowledge was shared during these dietary survey activities. In addition, a voluntary country food sample program was initiated to collect country food samples from the community to represent the different types of food people ate. Over 100 samples were collected in this program.

This presentation will discuss key issues in setting up the dietary survey and the voluntary country foods program and present the findings.

What Have We Learned from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and How Can We Integrate These Learning in Consideration of the Psycho-Social Impacts from Federal Contaminated Sites Projects
François Lauzon, Stantec Consulting Ltd. 
The objective of this presentation is to consider the integration of “calls to action” from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission into project engagement plans.
Abstract

In June 2015, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) presented the Executive Summary of the findings contained in its multi-volume Final Report, including 94 “calls to action” (or recommendations). In the summary report, one could read how “new policies can easily be based on a lack of understanding of Aboriginal people, similar to that which motivated the schools…We must learn from the failure of the schools in order to ensure that the mistakes of the past are not repeated in the future.” This statement can easily be applied to how contaminated sites projects can be influenced by a “southern approach” that simply does not address the potential psycho-social stresses caused by contaminated sites. This presentation will discuss the importance of “engagement” (vs. consultation) with our First Nations and how selected “calls to action” from the TRC could be integrated into the project engagement plan, with particular attention to addressing potential psycho-social stressors in the community.

Indigenous Community Workforce Engagement Programs
Martin Gavin, Max McCormick, Jon Dimascio
Arcadis Canada Inc.
The objective of this presentation is to showcase the process and successes of the engagement program in building capacity in Indigenous communities through employment, contracts and training.
Abstract

The indigenous population is the fastest growing cultural in Canada by birthrate. In the field of environmental remediation, construction projects are often working within the traditional lands of indigenous peoples which presents a perfect opportunity to work with indigenous groups. An Indigenous engagement and benefits program has developed and implemented that focuses on developing capacity of indigenous groups business arms, enhancing training to position for employment opportunities, providing employment and development of skills through consultation and sponsorship of formal training programs.

Within the environmental remediation construction business line we face the need for available and skilled resources and equipment in the area where projects are undertaken. These areas are often remote. When planning these projects, contractors must examine their options to secure the required resources to complete the project in the most effective and efficient manner. The decision as to weather to import labour and equipment to the area for the period of the remediation project or to use local resources is key.

Importing resources, while generally logistically simplistic, does little for the community upon project completion and leaves little or no positive legacy. As social responsibility is a paramount fundamental of society, corporations and government agencies, the development and implementation of an indigenous employment process was needed. This indigenous employment process:
Identifies communities near remediation projects;
• Engages communities to identify best fit for inclusion of the communities businesses;
• Works with community leadership and elders to identify their business capabilities and goals; and,
• Consults with community business arms to identify capacity and growth commitment.

This community engagement has resulted in the creation and implementation of a community specific program developed for every remediation construction project. The program focus has three priority benefit themes:
Community: Each project and community is unique. Ideally the skills and equipment in the community will match project requirements. This alignment is rarely occurs, requiring companies to work with the communities to determine a) skills, resources and equipment are available; b) skills, resources and equipment are required for this or future projects; and, c) development opportunities for the community.
Residents: Employment of residents is very much a top priority of community leadership and must be understood by companies working with these communities. There are other benefits to residents which are less apparent and include skill development and post secondary education.
Company: Inclusions of Indigenous participation has become a requirement on many bids for government and non-government projects in the remediation field. While the development of an engagement program will be of benefit when bidding on these projects it should not be the driver. The driver is the benefit to companies working with communities to establish sources of trained experienced workforces across Canada which are available for future projects.

This approach has been implemented successfully on multiple remediation projects in southern Canada (Ontario, Nova Scotia and British Columbia). This approach has also been implemented in the North.

Historical Review in Northern Communities: Is it possible?
Andrew Henderson, Yedoma Environmental
The objective of this presentation is to show the current state of historical environmental data for northern communities and to propose a coordinated approach for future efforts.
Abstract

Phase I environmental site assessments include four components: a review of historical records; a site visit; interviews; and, reporting. In southern contexts, historical records are often obtained from commercial providers or a standard list of resources owned by a consultant. In the north, however, commercial providers are often unable to provide much relevant historical information, and standard resources like city directories and fire insurance plans are unavailable.

In recent years, consultants and government have been developing proprietary maps and databases of historical environmental information including spills and known contaminated sites for northern communities. The source information is often in the public domain, but choosing locations often requires specialized local knowledge including town building identification systems, the location of historical businesses, and historical military activities in the area. Because written sources are limited, environmental mapping also includes interviews with Elders and other long-time community members knowledgeable about local history.

In the south, environmental databases and maps typically require payment of membership fees or one-time use fees. Because the information sources in the north are primarily government and because their interpretation relies so heavily on local knowledge, there is an opportunity to create a new approach: a single local map of all known spills, known contaminated sites, and other relevant environmental information.

This presentation will show where current approaches are in the private sector and government, and show how a combined approach could be useful to community residents, public sector bodies, and consultants.

Ennadai Lake Remediation Project: The Historical Relocation and the Community Engagement
Charlotte Lamontagne and Courtney White
Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada
The objective of this presentation is to demonstrate how we have been able to reach out to a community and consult with them regarding and extremely culturally sensitive issue. Our goal is to provide insight on what happened, what we did to reach out to the community and help others who have situations similar to this.
Abstract

The Nunavut Regional Office of the Northern Contaminated Sites Branch of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada is responsible for overseeing the remediation and/or risk management of the high priority contaminated sites in Nunavut and making plans to address all other sites. The goal of the program is to manage these sites to protect the health and safety of Nunavummiut, to protect the environment and to reduce the liability associated with these sites.

Ennadai Lake is a lake located in the lower central region of Nunavut where a small community of Inuit had established a settlement. In May 1957, the Government of Canada built a weather station in the area. According to elders, a vehicle pulled up one day and advised them they were being moved within a day or two and that they were to pack their belongings. The government had the Ihalmiut airlifted from Ennadai Lake to Henik Lake, which was located 72 kilometers from the Padlei trading post. Since then the site has been classified as a high priority contaminated site.

This presentation shall present and discuss the unique challenges provided by the culturally sensitive site location and the previous inhabitants of Ennadai Lake. It will include the community engagement and site visits provided to families of those relocated during weather station construction and the opportunities given to return to the site for cultural and healing purposes.

During initial assessments at the site, we reached out to the communities and family members of those that had been involved in the relocation. We offered a site visit for those affected to have an opportunity to see the land that was so important to them and their families, as well as open discussions about the hardships they had endured.

Keys to the success of the site visits of this project will be outlined and summarized in a format that can be used to implement similar opportunities other culturally sensitive sites across the North.

The Giant Mine Remediation Project: Continued Engagement in Preparation for Site Remediation
Geneva Irwin and Natalie Plato
Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada
The objective of this presentation is to introduce and/or update participants on the inclusion of engagement on the Giant Mine Remediation Project.
Abstract

Following the discovery of gold in the Yellowknife, Northwest Territories area, Giant Mine officially opened in 1948. After the mine closed in 2004 the care and control of the mine fell to Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC), and attention focused on the environmental issues left behind, including the arsenic trioxide stored in underground chambers. The Giant Mine Remediation Project was created in 2005, between INAC and the Government of the Northwest Territories, with the overall goal to protect human health and safety, and the environment.

An environmental agreement was signed in 2015 between six parties: The Government of the Northwest Territories, INAC, City of Yellowknife, Yellowknives Dene First Nation (YKDFN), North Slave Métis Alliance (NSMA) and Alternatives North. One of the main intents of the agreement is to “facilitate collaboration among the Parties who signed the Agreement”. Giant Mine is also within the Akaitcho Dene asserted territory and is in the near vicinity of the Yellowknives Dene First Nation (YKDFN) communities of Ndilo and Dettah. Giant Mine is also within the traditional land use area of the Tlicho, known as Mowhi Gogha De Niitlee, and it falls within the provisions of the Tlicho Agreement (2003). It is also situated within the municipal boundaries of the City of Yellowknife, and as such, it impacted by the City’s bylaws and permitting requirements. All factors make engagement, consultation and collaboration vital to the success of the project.

The site has always had a high profile within the community, with special interest groups, and with the local media for both positive and negative reasons. This interest, along with specific requirements established through the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act and other acts, agreements, and by-laws make it incumbent on the project team to engage with community members, stakeholders and partners when determining and implementing the final remediation plan for the site. This presentation will explore the methods the project team has taken to fulfil this requirement. The challenges, impacts and successes that engagement and consultation has had on the project plan will be discussed. The details of the changes to the remediation and closure plan as a result of engagement and consultation will be discussed.

Faro Mine Remediation Project – Indigenous Engagement
Jesse George, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada
The objective of this presentation is to communicate the engagement approaches, challenges and lessons learned associated with the Faro Mine.
Abstract

Faro Mine, once the largest open pit lead-zinc mine in the world, has become one of the most complex abandoned mine remediation projects in Canada. Thirty years of mining left behind 70 million tonnes of tailings and 320 million tonnes of waste rock, which have the potential to leach heavy metals and acid into the surrounding land and water. When the last owner declared bankruptcy in 1998, the Government of Canada stepped in to fund the work required to keep the site safe.

The project is located on the asserted traditional territory of the Kaska Nation, and upstream from Selkirk First Nation. Engagement with First Nations is part of Canada's commitment to good governance and to the reconciliation agenda.

Considerable work has taken place to build relationships with the Kaska Nation, and increase First Nation involvement in the project. In June 2016, the Kaska Faro Secretariat was established as Kaska's preferred method for increased involvement in the project. It represents the interests of Ross River Dena Council, Liard First Nation and Kaska Dena Council. The Secretariat allows the Kaska to build capacity and be fully integrated as project partners, participating in all aspects of the project, from project oversight committee and topic-specific working groups to day-to-day activities. It also coordinates Kaska's participation in the planning process and further enables the Kaska to be an effective and contributing partner in all phases of the project.

The Kaska Faro Secretariat plays an important role in the Faro Mine Remediation Project and helped facilitate community consultation sessions in Ross River and Watson Lake in the summer of 2017. Other consultation sessions were also held in the Town of Faro, Pelly Crossing, Carmacks and Whitehorse. During these community sessions, the project team solicited input, feedback and concerns on plan for remediating the Faro Mine site. The next round of consultations have been scheduled to take place in early 2018 and will review how community input was reflected and addressed in the remediation plan and environmental assessment project proposal.

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