New Afton Mine honoured with award
New Gold Inc.’s New Afton Mine west of Kamloops is already an award-winner.
New Afton has been selected by the Industry Council for Aboriginal Business (ICAB) as a recipient of the Corporate Champion for Aboriginal Business Award.
The award is in recognition of New Afton’s leadership in fostering opportunities for aboriginal people and economic development through its partnership with the B.C. Aboriginal Mine Training Association (BC AMTA).
The ICAB Recognition Awards honour individuals and corporations that demonstrate leadership in developing aboriginal and non-aboriginal business relationships.
The Corporate Champion for Aboriginal Business Award recognizes a non-aboriginal corporation that has demonstrated leadership and best practices in establishing a working relationship with an aboriginal business.
“The New Afton Mine management team has shown proactive leadership by working with B.C. AMTA to create employment and contracting opportunities for local First Nations that surpassed our expectations,” said Laurie Sterritt, executive director of the B.C. AMTA.
“New Afton consistently challenged the status quo by making decisions based on the question, ‘What is the right thing to do?’ and recognizing the financial benefits that result for First Nations and the company.”
The New Afton/B.C. AMTA partnership has bridged employment gaps in aboriginal communities, which Sterritt said has led to greater aboriginal participation in the labour market, while at the same time filling projected labour and skills shortages in the mining industry.
Chief Shane Gottfriedson of the Tk’emlúps Indian Band agrees the partnership between B.C. AMTA and New Gold is a success story. Several of the band’s members have participated in BC AMTA programs and are now working at the New Afton Mine.
“The partnership is an excellent example of how First Nations and the mining industry can work together to come up with solutions that work for us all. Economic development is the door to financial freedom and prosperity for First Nations, and this serves as a shining example,” Gottfriedson said.