Contractual agreements between mining companies and Aboriginal communities now play a critical role in shaping the terms on which minerals will be extracted from Aboriginal lands in Canada. The capacity to negotiate and implement such agreements is critical to ensuring that resource extraction generates substantial benefits for Aboriginal communities, and that the negative impacts that can be associated with large-scale resource development are avoided or minimised. In simple terms, an impact and benefit agreement is a contract made between a community and a company that provides Aboriginal consent or support for a project to proceed. These agreements can also be known by other names: participation agreements, benefits agreements, supraregulatory agreements, benefits sharing agreements, etc. In the toolkit, we also briefly discuss forms of agreement that might be used during the project life cycle (for example, exploration agreements). This toolkit is designed for communities engaged in negotiating these agreements with mining companies. It is written for community negotiators, members of community negotiating teams, and consultants working with Aboriginal communities and organisations. The goal of the toolkit is to provide materials, tools and resources for communities to help them address the process and content issues relevant to negotiating agreements in Canada. The focus is on private commercial agreements, where the parties are Aboriginal communities and mining companies.
Gibson, G. & O'Faircheallaigh, C. (2015). IBA community toolkit: Negotiation and implementation of impact and benefit agreements. Toronto: Gordon Foundation.