Continued Collaboration: Goldcorp Supports Cree Cultural Institute

Aug 12, 2016 11:00 AM ET

When we acquired the Éléonore Mine in 2006 and began planning for its construction, it was important to us that the process include and demonstrate respect for stakeholders from the surrounding area. Five years ago, we signed a major collaboration agreement co-authored by those stakeholders – the Cree Nation of Wemindji, the Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee) and the Cree Regional Authority – that ensures sustainable development opportunities for the Cree Nation and signifies our commitment to continuous collaboration and communication with Indigenous peoples wherever we operate.

This year we continued to build on our partnership through a $250,000 contribution to ensure the preservation of Cree culture. And as part of the Eenou-Eeyou Community Foundation’s Securing the Future fundraising campaign to secure long-term sustainability, these funds will be part of an endowment that will support the Aanischaaukamikw Cree Cultural Institute, the central museum and cultural institute of the Cree Nation of Eeyou Istchee, and will be used to make strategic acquisitions for Aanischaaukamikw's collection of artifacts.

The Aanischaaukamikw Cree Cultural Institute is a museum, archive, library and teaching centre – the cultural hub of the Cree Nation of Eeyou Istchee. Developed in collaboration with all nine communities of the region, the institute helps the Cree Nation preserve, study and celebrate their culture, and share it with others. Every week, busloads of visitors from all over North America visit the UN award-winning village of Ouje-Bougoumou to experience the institute and learn about Cree culture and history.

The donation announcement was made last month at an event attended by Grand Chief Dr. Matthew Coon Come, Ouje-Bougoumou Chief Curtis Bosum, Dr. Abel Bosum, community members and representatives of Goldcorp.

"Goldcorp is pleased to further our relationship with the Cree by supporting Aanischaaukamikw, which is key to the Crees' efforts to preserve, study and share their culture, language and history more broadly,” said Brent Bergeron, Goldcorp Executive Vice President of Corporate Affairs and Sustainability. “Our work at Goldcorp has been profoundly influenced by our relationships with First Nations and specifically the Cree, and we believe Aanischaaukamikw provides an ideal resource for Canadians to learn more about Cree culture and history."

Grand Chief Matthew Coon Come commented, "I was pleased to learn of Goldcorp's very generous donation to the Eenou-Eeyou Community Foundation for the benefit of Aanischaaukamikw. This is a testament to the strong relationship between Goldcorp and the Crees, adding philanthropic support to our strong partnership for economic development and job creation in Eeyou Istchee."

Dr. Abel Bosum, President of the Eenou-Eeyou Community Foundation, explained, "The Eenou-Eeyou Community Foundation will steward these funds and assure that they are used to grow Aanischaaukamikw's capacity to deliver high-quality cultural programs for the benefit of our Cree people and to share our culture with the world. The Foundation will continue its work to strengthen private-sector support for Aanischaaukamikw and other charitable projects in Eeyou Istchee."

Growing relationships with community stakeholders built on respect and open communication is critical to our success as a business.

In his speech at the event, Bergeron said, “Our relationship with the Cree shows what can be possible when people are focused on building a positive relationship.” Our resolve to work in partnership creating sustainable value for communities near our operation remains as strong today as it did when we embarked on this journey with the Crees, and we look forward to many additional positive milestones in the future, together.