2005/2006 Seeking Common Ground

The Seeking Common Ground project group at the Ottawa conference.

The Seeking Common Ground project group at the Ottawa conference.

Chiara Barazzuol, Yan Cimon, Craig Kielburger, Cheryl Matthew, Karel Mayrand

As mining companies struggle to meet the expanding mineral demands of a growing global economy, they are also faced with moral and legal requirements to avoid detrimental impacts on local populations.

The Seeking Common Ground group sought to address this dilemma by creating a neutral forum to advance mutual understanding and improve early community engagement in mining projects.

They hosted a breakfast meeting and dialogue forum in Vancouver May 8-9. The breakfast meeting, which featured a number of distinguished speakers, including the Honourable Bill Bennett, B.C.’s minister of state for mining, attracted over 100 members from the B.C. mining community. The dialogue forum attracted 31 representatives from governments, academia, non-governmental organizations, aboriginal communities and mining industries of several countries.

The group then compiled a report of constructive principles and recommendations to potentially be published in Simon Fraser University’s Dialogue Series. The group also established a listserv of dialogue participants for continued sharing of expertise and resources.