IN MY VIEW: Meaningful talks

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A meaningful meeting is one that results in well-informed engagement for all parties of interest. This involves planning and understanding the scope of the issues at hand.

In My View with Harry Maksagak
In My View with Harry Maksagak

When we look around us, we recognize that social matters are complex but relative; a connection with other entities.

For example, when we talk about mining this involves Crown land, Inuit owned lands, the environment, the wildlife and humans. A process of negotiation comes alive with the proponent and the affected population. The party interested in a particular parcel of land will give notification of interest and do some preliminary testing to confirm the quantity and quality of identified material.

When they find a substantial amount with good or high grade, then they place a formal request for a feasibility study, which usually leads to assessments and procedures for a permit, licence and so on. The public becomes involved through fact finding and will question how the interested party will address any type of impact the project might present to the public, environment and the wildlife.

To have a meaningful engagement allows for many meetings to see how the proponent tries to convince the public and the regulators that every measure will be taken into account for mitigation to the immediate environment, the wildlife and marine habitat along with human interactions. For the meetings to be successful and productive, open and transparent dialogue moves the system forward and the public will get a good understanding, the interested party can proceed with their management and business plans through well written documentation and strong human resource establishment.

This sounds simple enough, but to implement the site and production of materials, strong leadership that allows meaningful engagement of the public and regulators can make the proceedings unfold much easier. There are risks and rewards in medium and large operations and, if everyone does their part, it can be profitable as well.

There are several ways to a more relaxed approach in informing the public of the development and extraction of base and precious metals. There are presentations, gatherings, trade shows and limited site visits to give the public a hands-on view of the actual operations.

In the early 1990s my wife was able to travel to the Lupin Mine site with some of her colleagues from the hamlet council to see first-hand what I would be getting into with mining underground. They had to don the personal safety equipment and undergo some safety orientation before proceeding underground. This is also a good way of showing meaningful engagement for those who are at home while the workers go to work.

On a more personal level, meaningful communication between partners will enhance the relationship and this openness will strengthen the ties and bonds and equip the couple with tools and techniques in addressing whatever comes their way.

Life is fast, complex and involves others as well. Our children have a certain impact on us as parents and we are always planning and making sure their basic needs are met with food, clothing and shelter, but most importantly they need our love and affection to grow. Taking the time to talk with them and allow them to know they belong and are included in our plans gives them confidence and assurance that they are special in our lives.

This is what ‘meaningful’ is all about.

As you mature and have gained knowledge and understanding, you went through some stuff that helped you to understand you are not the only person in life. You learn to put your personal agenda aside and make every effort to make the other person(s) feel included and considered.

We wish this is always the case but things happen, life happens, good things happen, bad things happen. If we think clearly, meaningful growth takes us a long way.