Mining Denendeh: A Dene Nation Perspective on Community Health Impacts of Mining



This paper reviews issues related to mining in Denendeh from the perspective of the Dene Nation, an Aboriginal governmental organization that supports the five Dene governments of Denendeh. There is no single Dene perspective on mining: some call for greater involvement of Dene mine development; some for a greater share in the resource royalties and other benefits; some could be characterized as preservationists (of both lands and cultures). Dene have always mined, manufactured, and traded metals, and have used metals in order to live healthy and good lives. Metals and minerals have increasingly played an important role in living a good life. While traditional Dene mining must be characterized as small-scale, industrial large-scale mining in Denendeh made significant economic, social, and environmental changes to northern Canada. Mining has profound impacts on the physical and social environment. The Dene Nation supports sustainable development and this short discussion paper describes five points we feel would contribute to Dene goals for sustainability relative to mining.

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