The MPDA’s bold, innovative Rock Circle radio program has proven to be a great success in increasing awareness of the exploration and mining sectors and improving relations with Manitoba’s indigenous community.
Our project is an innovative two-way dialogue with the goal of building lasting understanding and true partnerships between the minerals sector and Indigenous communities. We recognize things have to be done differently, and this dialogue is an important step to get to a point where we can together, through constructive introspection, build partnerships that will boost our respective economies, while honoring our commitments to our future generations.
With our partners Manitoba Government Manitoba Mineral Development Fund, Treaty Relations Commission of Manitoba and NCI-FM Radio (Native Communications Inc.), we produce a weekly radio show, the ROCK CIRCLE, with topics related to the mineral sector. This series features Indigenous representatives, representatives from the mineral sector, and other stakeholders. NCI reaches 80 per cent of Manitoba and is the primary source of information for many Indigenous communities. Topics of discussion include UNDRIP, the Truth and Reconciliation recommendations, new exploration developments, prospecting, economic development, regulatory considerations, basic geology, employment opportunities, capacity building and environmental stewardship.
There are two ways for you to support the Rock Circle project, as a sponsor or as an advertiser.
Your financial sponsorship contribution will be recognized on our website, social media channels and annual reports. We currently have opportunities for support at our Partner (over $30,000) Gold ($30,000 – 15,000), Silver ($15,000 – 5000), Bronze ($5,000 – 1,000) and Supporter (up to $1000) levels. You will have an opportunity to participate in discussion sessions.
This project’s aim is to renew relationships by creating a respectful space for constructive dialogue, and renewing Manitoba’s mineral sector. The MPDA believes a renewed, strong, and meaningful relationship with Indigenous partners is key to moving new projects forward. We’re asking for your support in this initiative.
For more information please contact MaryAnn Mihychuk, President MPDA,at 204-299-4036.
Thank you to our current supporters including:
- Manitoba Prospectors and Developers Association (MPDA)
- NCI FM
- Treaty Relations Commission of Manitoba
- Manitoba Government Manitoba Mineral Development Fund (MMDF)
- Hudbay Minerals
- Cummins Inc.
- Manitoba Environmental Industries Association (MEIA)
- 1911 Gold Corp
Our Library of Past Recordings:
June 21, 2022 What is diamond drilling?
Kevin Norberg, General Manager of Rodren Drilling, a Manitoba company active in the mineral exploration business talks with MaryAnn Mihychuk about diamond drilling – what it is, and why this industry should be interesting to northerners.
June 14, 2022 Government Programs
The Hon. Jeff Wharton, Minister of Environment, Climate and Parks in the provincial government, talks to MPDA President MaryAnn Mihychuk about the government’s program to clean up old minesites in places where the responsible company is no longer in business.
June 7, 2022 Community concerns about mining
MPDA’s MaryAnn Mihychuk is in conversation with journalist and former MKO Grand Chief Sheila North, talking about the concerns some Indigenous communities have about mineral exploration and mining, and why governments and industry need to address the roots of mistrust.
May 17, 2022 Indigenous participation in resource development
What do Indigenous communities think about resource development? Are “outside actors” allies or are they getting in the way of Indigenous economic development? Chris Sankey, President and Chief Executive Officer for Blackfish Enterprises and a member of the Coast Tsimshian Lax Kw’alaams Band near Prince Rupert, British Columbia provides his perspectives, in conversation with MPDA’s MaryAnn Mihychuk.
May 10, 2022 Jason Combe
MPDA Vice President Jason Combe and President MaryAnn Mihychuk in conversation about issues facing the resource sector.
May 3, 2022 Manitoba Mineral Development Fund
The Manitoba Mineral Development Fund (MMDF) is a $20M provincial fund, administered by the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce, that provides funding for northern economic development and mining projects that create Indigenous partnerships, increase local employment, and stimulate investment in Northern Manitoba. Program Manager Jessica Ferris explains what MMDF does, in conversation with MPDA’s MaryAnn Mihychuk.
April 26, 2022 Hollow Water land issues
How are mining projects viewed by Indigenous communities? Wesley Monias from Hollow Water joins MPDA’s MaryAnn Mihychuk to talk about his community’s long history with mining and its concerns and hopes for future projects.
April 19, 2022 Treaty Land Entitlement
Bill Gallagher returns to the Rock Circle to talk about Treaty Land Entitlement: what it is, where it came from, and how it can have a significant impact on mineral exploration projects.
April 12, 2022 Manitoba Geological Survey
Join us for a conversation with Tafa Kennedy, the Director of the Manitoba Geological Survey, a branch of the provincial Natural Resources and Northern Development Department. Dr. Kennedy talks about the Manitoba Geological Survey – what it is, what it does, and how people anywhere in Manitoba can get access to information about the geology and mineral potential of their area.
April 5, 2022 Resource Rulers
Bill Gallagher is an authority on the rise of Indigenous empowerment in Canada’s resource sector. He has published two books – Resource Reckoning and Resources Rulers – that address the gridlock is now the defining feature of many resource projects. After winning an unprecedented number of court rulings in the Canadian resource sector, it is Indigenous people – the Resource Rulers – who now determine the outcome of resource projects.
March 29, 2022 1911 Gold
Does Manitoba have any gold mines? Do we have any promising finds? Scott Anderson, Vice President of Exploration for 1911 Gold Corporation, is in conversation with MPDA President MaryAnn Mihychuk, talking about his company’s exploration projects in the Bissett and Snow Lake areas.
March 22, 2022 Critical minerals
Michelle Nicolas, head of the Manitoba Geological Survey, presents a talk on critical minerals: what are they, why are they important, and where they could be found in Manitoba.
March 15, 2022 Bill 12 Crown Land Dispositions Act changes
Bill 12, the Crown Lands Dispositions Act, makes significant changes to the oversight and process for the sale of Crown lands in Manitoba, and is aimed at increasing the number and efficiency of Crown land sales. Mike Sutherland, Director of the Consultation and Special Projects Unit at Peguis First Nation, explains the concerns that First Nations have with Bill 12.
March 8, 2022 Indigenous governance of water and resources
How are resources like water and minerals to be managed in the future? What’s the role for First Nations? MaryAnn Mihychuk speaks with Dr. Stewart Hill, a Senior Research and Policy Analyst at the Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak (MKO), the Manitoba northern Chiefs organization. Dr. Hill has researched and asserted Indigenous governance over land and water in the traditional territory of his home community of God’s Lake First Nation, that has implications for all First Nations.
March 1, 2022 What is geology?
Geology – the study of rocks and other earth materials – is today a key discipline that is unknown or underappreciated by the public. Jeff Young, a Senior Instructor in earth sciences at the University of Manitoba, talks about the science of geology and the role of the University in preparing students for a career in one of the diverse geoscience fields.
February 8, 2022 The exploration process
What is involved with early-stage exploration: who are the players, what kinds of activities are carried out? Are there opportunities for Indigenous people during this part of the mining cycle? Ken Lapierre, President and CEO Rockcliff Metals Corporation, brings some clarity to the process of exploration in conversation with MPDA president MaryAnn Mihychuk.
February 1, 2022 The 2.8% formula
The “2.8% formula” refers to the up-front fee paid to a First Nation by an exploration company, a feature that is sometimes part of a negotiated exploration agreement. Our guest is Indigenous entrepreneur Robert Houle, President and co-founder of Talon Resources and Community Development Inc. in Kenora, Ontario. Robert will explain what is involved, in conversation with MPDA president MaryAnn Mihychuk.
January 25, 2022 Resource Revenue Sharing
By sharing resource revenue, governments can meet their treaty, legal, constitutional, and moral obligations to the Indigenous people of the country. What’s involved? Who shares the revenue – government, the industry, or both? Lawyer Bruce McIvor from First Peoples Law helps us understand this concept, in conversation with MPDA’s MaryAnn Mihychuk.
January 18, 2022 Agreements
Agreements between mineral exploration companies and First Nation communities have the potential to provide income or equity to communities, and certainty to companies. How do they work? Dale Ginn (Managing Director at Aston Minerals and Executive Chairman at Pacton Gold) in conversation with MPDA’s MaryAnn Mihychuk.
January 11, 2022 The Indian Act
The Indian Act is pervasive in its effect on First Nations people and their communities. What does the Indian Act provide to communities and what are the issues, particularly as they impact the minerals sector? Nathan Neckoway (Band Councillor at Tataskweyak Cree Nation) is in conversation with MPDA’s MaryAnn Mihychuk.
December 14, 2021 Duty to consult
What does “consultation” mean and where does the requirement to consult come from? How does it affect mineral exploration companies, who are on a tight time-line imposed by provincial and federal regulations? Treaty Commissioner Loretta Ross and MaryAnn Mihychuk are in conversation with MPDA’s Ric Syme.
December 7, 2021 Resource Management
How are natural resources managed now, and how will Indigenous communities play a bigger role in the future to manage the resources in and on their traditional territories? Chief Trina Halkett (Barren Lands First Nation) and Ed Huebert (Natural Resource Manager) are in conversation with MPDA’s MaryAnn Mihychuk.
November 30, 2021 Communities vs Camps
A big issue in the north are the camps set up on site for their employees at construction projects, and sometimes mines. That often means those workers don’t live or buy things in nearby communities. But in some cases the workers do try to get into neighbouring towns, sometimes with negative results. What are the pros and cons of camps vs communities? Today’s guests are Nathan Neckoway (Band Councillor at Tataskweyak Cree Nation) and Jordan Willner (CAO of Riverton), in conversation with MPDA’s MaryAnn Mihychuk.
November 23, 2021 Indigenous Protected Areas
Something called “Indigenous Protected Areas” are being proposed across Canada, including one in the Seal River watershed in Manitoba. What exactly are these “protected areas”? Will development such as mining be allowed in them, and who would set the rules? MPDA’s MaryAnn Mihychuk is in conversation with AFN Regional Chief Cindy Woodhouse and MPDA member Raymond Reichelt.
November 16, 2021 Company environmental responsibility
It seems that mining companies leave environmental disasters behind, at places like Lynn Lake and Sherridon. But is this really true, and can it happen today? Have things really changed so that companies are not allowed to do environmental damage? Who is responsible for cleaning up old sites – the company or the provincial government? Environmental lawyer John Stefaniuk has the answers, in conversation with MPDA’s MaryAnn Mihychuk.
November 9, 2021 A deep dive into the rocks
Why are oil wells found in southwest Manitoba and not in Thompson? Why are copper and zinc mines common in Flin Flon-Snow Lake and not in the south? The answer is geology – the rocks and the information locked in them. All rocks have a backstory, and guest geologists Ric Syme and Michelle Nicolas take a deep dive into Manitoba’s geology and mineral potential’
November 2, 2021 FPIC
“Free, prior and informed consent”, or FPIC, is part of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. What does it mean in the context of mineral exploration and development? Robert Wavey from Fox Lake Cree Nation is in conversation with MPDA’s Ric Syme.
October 26, 2021 Where are the benefits?
What are the benefits to Indigenous people, and to mining companies, when companies and communities collaborate and develop agreements? MPDA’s MaryAnn Mihychuk is in conversation with Andrew Colomb of the Marcel Colomb First Nation and Colin Webster of Alamos Gold, which has a project in Lynn Lake.
October 19, 2021 Land Back
The “Land Back” movement is complex. In this week’s episode, MPDA’s MaryAnn Mihychuk is in conversation with Chief Dennis Meeches from Long Plain First Nation, talking about Treaty One’s decades-long battle to acquire the former Kapyong barracks site in Winnipeg for development as the $1.2-billion Naawi-Oodena project.
October 12, 2021 Claim Jumpers and more
What is a “claim” and what does it mean? Is there going to be a mine? MPDA’s MaryAnn Mihychuk is in conversation with exploration geologist Dr. Scott Jobin-Bevans to explain how the mineral exploration companies acquire land to explore.
October 5, 2021 Sacred sites, sacred relationships
How should mineral exploration companies conduct themselves to make sure they avoid First Nation sacred sites? MPDA’s MaryAnn Mihychuk is in conversation with former MKO Grand Chief David Harper and archeologist Amber Flett.
September 28, 2021 Where are the mines?
We often hear that Manitoba is blessed with a vast mineral potential. Is that true, and what are the impediments that result in Manitoba doing so poorly in international mining rankings? Listen to MPDA’s MaryAnn Mihychuk for an overview, and a featured interview with national Indigenous leader Phil Fontaine and MPDA’s Chris Beaumont-Smith.
September 21, 2021 Let’s make a deal
How do Indigenous communities and the minerals sector make mutually-beneficial business agreements? How common are these agreements? Listen today for perspectives by former OCN Chief Christian Sinclair and industry insider Jennifer Boyle.
September 14, 2021 Treaties
Numbered treaties define the legally binding obligations and rights of governments and First Nations. However, for some people there is uncertainty as to what the treaties say and what they actually mean. Today’s show features Manitoba Treaty Commissioner Loretta Ross and the MPDA’s MaryAnn Mihychuk, in conversation with Ric Syme about what the treaties mean and why they are important to the minerals industry.
September 7, 2021 The Environment
In popular perception the mineral exploration and mining sectors have the potential to damage the environment. What is the Indigenous view of the environment, and what is the industry doing to mitigate risk? Listen to Elder Margaret Swan and industry representative Tara Shea for some answers!
August 24, 2021 Lets talk UNDRIP 2
We’re continuing the conversation about the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), today with Indigenous commentator and U of Manitoba professor Dr. Niigaan Sinclair, for his views on what UNDRIP really means.
August 17, 2021 Lets talk UNDRIP 1
Does the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) make it easier, or harder, for the minerals industry to operate on the land? Listen to the head of the BC Mining Association, Michael Goehring, for his take on UNDRIP.
August 10, 2021 Welcome to the Rock Circle
The Rock Circle is an innovative, two-way dialogue between First Nations and the minerals industry. Listen every week at 6 pm on NCI FM. Today’s show introduces the partners that are producing the show: Manitoba Prospectors and Developers Association, the Manitoba Mineral Development Fund, the Treaty Relations Commission of Manitoba, and Narratives Inc.