Resource Royalties Distribution and Community Development
Project Leader: Thierry Rodon, Professor at Université Laval and Northern Sustainable Development Research Chair
Rémy-Darith Chhem, Masters Student, Laval University
Community researcher (TBD)
Project Update July 2015:
As there were few online surveys completed, researchers are instead conducting phone interviews. They are selecting case studies at the moment, one will be Red Dog Mine (Alaska), one will be Uashat mak Mani-Utenam (Quebec) and there will be one more in Northern Ontario. They are working closely with Makivik and Innu Takuaikan Ushat mak Mani Utenam.
Resource Royalties Distribution and Community Development (NWT research license details at http://data.nwtresearch.com/Scientific/15458
This project originates in the priorities identified during the first meeting of the Knowledge Network on Environmental Impact Assessment and the Social Impacts of Mining in the Canadian Eastern Arctic, a SSHRC partnership development grant led by Thierry Rodon. Many Inuit and Cree communities and organizations are partners in this network:
- Makivik Corporation
- Kativik Regional Government
- Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. (NTI)
- Qikiqtani Inuit Association (QIA)
- The Government of Nunavut
- The Government of Nunatsiavut
- The Grand Council of the Cree of Eeyou Istchee / Cree Regional Administration (GCC(EI)/CRA)
- Cree Board of Health and Social Services of James Bay (CBHSSJB)
The negotiation of Impact Benefit Agreements (IBAs) between resource development companies and Aboriginal communities often include provisions for the payments of royalties and/or profit shares. These IBA provisions illustrate the challenges around finding the best way to distribute resource royalties in communities. These payments are generally meant to be distributed back to communities. However, there are no uniform ways to distribute them. They may be distributed directly to individuals or used for community projects. In fact, not much is known about the modes of distribution used to share these payments and their impacts on local communities. What are the social and economic impacts of various modes of distribution? Are there modes that can better mitigate the impacts of a non-renewable development on Aboriginal communities? Are some modes of distribution better/worse at giving the capacity to communities to benefit from this wealth? We do not have answers to these questions.
This research project will attempt to bridge this knowledge gap by achieving the following three objectives:
- Making a list of various methods used by Aboriginal communities and organisations to distribute royalties and profit shares paid by resource companies;
- Identifying the characteristics of each modes of distributions, their qualities and flaws;
- Identifying the most sustainable practices and those that allow communities to benefit economically and socially from the royalties.
Our overall objectives is to make the data and analysis available to communities so that those who are expecting royalties and profit shares from resource companies will be able to make enlightened decisions by knowing what are the different modes of distribution available to them.
This research project relates to one of the main ReSDA’s theme: Sustainable Communities. It actually stems from priorities identified by many Inuit and Cree communities during the first meeting of the Knowledge Network on Environmental Impact Assessment and the Social Impacts of Mining in the Canadian Eastern Arctic, a SSHRC partnership development grand, led by Thierry Rodon and supported by Makivik Corporation, Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. (NTI), Qikiqtani Inuit Association (QIA), the Grand Council of the Cree of Eeyou Istchee (GCC), the Cree Health Board, the Kativik Regional Government (KRG) and the Governments of Nunavut and Nunatsiavut. It will identify the most sustainable practices and those that allow communities to benefit economically and socially from the royalties and profit shares. This project also relates to ReSDA broader objective, which is to get a better understanding of how Northern communities can get a larger share of the benefits of resource development. By identifying what are the different modes of distribution of royalties, this project will provide the knowledge to many communities and organizations to increase their capacity to benefit from resource development.
In its initial stage, the project will start with a literature survey that will identify everything that is known about the distribution of royalties and profit shares in aboriginal communities in Canada, but also abroad (i.e. Australia, New Caledonia, South-America, etc.). This literature survey will cover IBAs, the distribution of royalties and the impacts of this distribution in local communities. The survey will focus on the science literature, but also on southern and northern media who have reported news about this topic. A survey about the modes of distribution will then be prepared and sent to communities and resources companies. The survey will be sent by email, but a follow up will be made over the phone to insure a good participation and collaboration. Following the survey, two case studies will be chosen with participants and document further with interviews to illustrate the argumentation of the report. The student working on the project will travel to both locations for a period of three weeks where he or she will work with a local aboriginal researcher. They will work together to make interviews to document both case studies. The choice of case studies still has to be determined, but potential cases include: Raglan (Nunavik), Éléonore (Eeyou Istchee), Meadowbank (Nunavut) and Diavik (NWT). The choice of the case studies will be decided in close consultation with our aboriginal partners through the Mining Knowledge Network. Finally, an analysis will be produced and shared in a report, communications and journal article.
Timeline: Fall 2013 to Spring 2015
The project will start with the literature review during the fall of 2013 and early winter 2014. During that period, the elaboration of the survey and the preparation of ethics approval at Université Laval and research license in the North (Yukon, NWT and Nunavut) will also be made. The survey will be sent in the winter 2014. Follow up phone calls will be made shortly after. Fieldwork in the locations chosen to make the two case studies will be made between March and September 2014. During the fall of 2014, the analysis will be produced, communications made in several conferences (see below) and a journal article written. The final report will be published in the winter or early spring 2015.
ReSDA related projects (ongoing research)
- Knowledge network on environment impact assessment and the social impacts of mining in the Canadian Eastern Arctic and Subarctic (Eeyou Istchee, Nunavik and Nunavut) is funded by SSHRC (2013-16) with a partnership with governments (Nunavut and Kativik Regional Government) and aboriginal organisations in Nunavut (NTI, QIA), Nunavik (Makivik) and Eeyou Istchee (Grand Council of the Cree, Cree Health Board);
- Social impacts of Raglan in Salluit and Kangiqsujuaq, Ministère des Ressources Naturelles du Québec. 2012-2014.
ReSDA related projects (completed)
- Social impacts of mines in the Arctic, Ministère des Ressources Naturelles du Québec. 2010-2012.
- “The Social and Economical Impacts of Mines on Inuit Communities”. T. Rodon, Kuujjuaq Mining Workshop, Kuujjuaq, April 10, 2013.
- “The paradoxes of development in Inuit Nunangat”. T. Rodon, dans le cadre de la conférence Arctic Dialogue 2013: Arctic in a Global Perspective, Bodø, Norway, March 21, 2013.
- “Mieux comprendre les impacts sociaux des mines sur les communautés autochtones du Nunavik et d’Eeyou Istchee, un aperçu des enjeux juridiques, politiques et sociaux”. T. Rodon, Québec Mines, Québec, Nov. 18, 2012.
- “Aboriginal Communities and Mining Development in Northern Canada: Issues and Research Gaps”. T. Rodon, dans le cadre du Second Annual ReSDA Research workshop “Bridging Gaps in Knowledge”, Whitehorse, Nov. 21-23, 2012.
- “Social Impact of Mining on Northern Aboriginal Communities”. T. Rodon, dans le cadre de la 2nd Annual Cree Nation Mining Conference “From Many Voices to a Common Vision”, Montréal, Oct.21, 2012.
- “Toward Sustainable Nunavik Communities: Challenges and Opportunities”. T. Rodon, dans le cadre de la conférence The Far North: Economic Opportunities, Environmental Challenges and Scientific Exploration au Canada Forum, salon IFAT, Munich, Allemagne, May, 9, 2012.
- Rodon, Thierry, Francis Lévesque and Jonathan Blais. (accepted 2013). “De Rankin Inlet à Raglan, le développement minier et les communautés inuit”, Études/Inuit/Studies. 37(2). 18 p.
- Stephan Schott et Thierry Rodon. (2013). « Towards a Sustainable Future for Nunavik » Polar Record. May 22: 1-17.
- Gap Analysis: Mining Development in Canada. Prepared by Josianne Grenier, Julien Keller, Thierry Rodon et Francis Lévesque for (ReSDA) Resource and Sustainable Development in the Arctic. Spring 2013.
- The symposium Développement minier et communautés inuit et cries : Comment rendre le développement minier plus durable dans le Nord? was organised during the 81st congress of the French Association Knowledge (ACFAS) on May 8th of 2013. It brought together representatives from many Inuit and Cree for organizations who came together to discuss how to make the development of mining projects more sustainable in Northern communities and how to allow Inuit and Cree communities to better mitigate the impacts of such development. Guests were: Josianne Grenier, Julien Keller and Jonathan Blais (students, Université Laval), Sarah Carriere (QIA) Jean-Sébastien Boutet (Gouvernment of Nunatsiavut, Labrador), Andy Baribeau (consultant, Grand Conseil des Cris), Anna Deffner (student, CNRS / CEFE), Markus Herrmann (professor Université Laval), Pierre Philie (Kativik Regional Government), and Thierry Rodon (professor, Université Laval).