1. Ekati and Diavik Diamond Mines
BHP Billiton’s Ekati Mine and Rio Tinto’s Diavik Diamond Mine in the Northwest Territories were the first diamond mining operations in Canada.
Located in an extremely remote region northeast of Yellowknife, the mines were the result of successful negotiation between governments, corporations and local communities.
Following an extensive community consultation process, Enterprise Advisory board member Al-Nashir Jamal helped initiate discussions with the Governments of Canada and Northwest Territories and supported the negotiations for the first-ever combined Regional Land Claim and Self-Government Agreement in the region.
This provided the framework for certainty around land tenure issues, paving the way for the creation of Canada’s diamond industry.
Having laid the foundation, Mr. Jamal, as the President and CEO of the Dogrib Nation Group of Companies, negotiated strategic resource development related joint-ventures, in the areas of power supply, construction, engineering, aviation services and camp management.
The Dogrib Power Corporation, in partnership with the NWT Power Corporation, then developed the first-ever 100% community-owned, $30-million hydro power project of its kind in Canada.
This success led to bidding for camp construction and related work around the Ekati Mine, and eventually to the largest construction contract in Canada for that year, soon followed by the largest engineering, procurement and construction management contract for mine development in Canada at the time at $1.3 billion. The project was the first-ever EPCM contract of that magnitude awarded to a community-controlled corporation.
2. Five Nations Energy
Five Nations Energy Inc. is Canada’s first Indigenous-owned high-voltage electrical transmission development which allowed three remote Indigenous communities to replace diesel generation, replacing the need for approximately 25 million litres of diesel fuel in the communities.
Making this project successful required maintaining the support of the owner First Nations through the life of the project. Financing was arranged through the federal government and private sector, and transmission licensing was obtained with the Ontario government at a time of significant regulatory changes.
Lloyd Girman, Nancy Wood and Merv McLeod were a significant part of the development team that worked with the First Nation owners, Ontario and Canada to create Five Nations Energy Inc.
Nancy Wood and Merv McLeod worked with each of the three owner communities to build locally owned distribution companies to develop human resource management and policy and procedures, before electricity came on through the 270 km of transmission line that now pass through and power traditional territories between Attawapiskat and Moosonee.
3. New Post Creek
Coral Rapids Power Inc. is owned by the Taykwa Tagamou Nation, and recently developed a 28 MW hydro-electric dam site on New Post Creek in partnership with Ontario Power Generation (OPG).
Enterprise partner McLeod Wood Associates Inc. was involved in the project from the concept phase. Their work involved negotiation of the partnership agreement with OPG, a revenue agreement with the Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator, as well as the waterway parkland alienation process, as the intake for the Peter Sutherland Sr. Generation Station was previously located in Little Abitibi Provincial Park.
Merv McLeod worked closely with the First Nation partner and OPG, to obtain a directive from the Minister of Energy, allowing for negotiations to take place and for the project to proceed successfully — while maintaining community support and assisting with capacity development within the community itself.