Working with Indigenous Peoples
Kinross is committed to working with the indigenous peoples who live near our mines and projects. Our aim is to develop and operate projects in a manner that respects and strengthens their communities and brings positive long-term contributions to their quality of life. We believe that, when undertaken with appropriate safeguards and in consultation, mining is a strong source of positive benefits for our host communities.
This commitment is articulated in our Ten Guiding Principles for Corporate Responsibility and, over the past three years, we have been examining ways to operationalize our approach. Meanwhile, in 2011, the global conversation evolved significantly in light of updates to the IFC’s Sustainability Framework, which became effective in January 2012, and the presentation and unanimous endorsement by the UN Human Rights Council, in June 2011, of John Ruggie’s Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. These new perspectives confirm the need for a careful, diligent approach that takes into account the specific circumstances in each jurisdiction. Within that context, we recognize the unique considerations of indigenous peoples, including:
- The unique histories, languages, cultures, knowledge, traditions and values of indigenous people and their contribution to the cultural and social diversity of the countries where we have a presence;
- The cultural importance of connections with the natural environment, including land, water, wildlife, and plants; and
- The distinct nature and importance of indigenous institutions in realizing the aspirations of indigenous peoples for their own development.
Consistent with the laws regarding the rights of indigenous peoples in the countries where we operate, some of the practices that we undertake as appropriate to engage with indigenous peoples include:
- Conducting due diligence to identify areas where our activities may impact the lands, rights, or interests of indigenous peoples;
- Designing our projects to avoid any physical relocation of indigenous peoples from their customary lands, and following international standards for relocation when it cannot be reasonably avoided;
- Consultation to seek mutually acceptable solutions to avoid, minimize, or mitigate adverse impacts prior to beginning any activities that would cause those impacts;
- Ongoing engagement with indigenous communities near our operations to understand the economic, social, and development aspirations of those communities and to endeavour to contribute to their self-sustainable capacity to attain those aspirations;
- Encouraging opportunities for training and local business development that enhance indigenous peoples’ participation in our activities as employees and suppliers; and
- Providing training to employees and contractors interacting with indigenous peoples to promote cross-cultural understanding and respect for traditional languages, customs, and practices.