Nunavut Post

Sunday, November 28, 2021

Fiona Blondin, a mining industry veteran, explains Indigenous values

Fiona Blondin

Key Takeaways:

  • Fiona Blondin of Yellowknife has transferred her leadership skills to KWG Resources as the Ontario-based exploration company seeks to advance its projects in the Ring of Fire.
  • Blondin worked for BHP at the Ekati mine for three years when it was still in its early stages of development.

She worked in the securities division and saw the mine progress from the construction to the operational phase. “I look back on that period as being foundational in my career and approach,” Blondin, who was in her early twenties at the time, says.

“I felt like it opened up a lot of opportunities for our people in terms of employment, and I learned a lot from that experience about the impact of policies within the organization on Indigenous people.” I also learned a lot about how Indigenous people can play a more significant role in society.

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“Twenty-five years ago, our role in mining was focused on employment. Our entire sector, as well as our participation in mining companies, has changed dramatically in the last 25 years.”

With that in mind, she accepted a position as a director on the board of KWG Resource in September. She believes that panels are becoming more diverse and inclusive.

“I believe it is critical to have representation (from Indigenous communities) “The companies we work with should understand our environmental values and why we’re taking the approach that we are,” she says. “I believe that Indigenous communities expect the people they work with to be representative of their populations.”

She cites several examples across the country of Indigenous groups acquiring ownership stakes in mining projects, such as the Tahltan First Nation collaborating with Skeena Resources on a gold project in British Columbia’s Golden Triangle.

Blondin spent her early childhood in Yellowknife.

Fiona’s mother, Georgina, went to the University of Alberta to get her teaching degree, bringing Fiona with her while in elementary school. Her aunt, Ethel Blondin-Andrew, was also a teacher. They then relocated to Fort Providence, where her mother and Ethel worked as teachers.

Her mother later relocated to Vancouver to further her education. Fiona has lived in Ontario for the past two decades, but she still has a solid connection to the NWT.

Source: Nunavut News

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