Webequie First Nation
Manager, Community Relations
What I Do.
As Community Relations Manager at Noront, I am the contact person for local First Nation communities. This mainly involves talking about exploration and mine development, answering questions and addressing concerns about work that is proposed or underway.
My Typical Day.
I spend a lot of time on the phone, talking with and listening to community members. I also go to site and to events in local communities, Thunder Bay and Toronto. My goal is to understand what people are thinking and to explain the plans and work that Noront has proposed.
What do you like best about your job?
I really enjoy translating company information into traditional language that people can understand. Other mining companies in the area have not done this, but Noront realizes that communicating with people in their own language makes it a lot easier to get the point across.
It takes quick thinking to help people understand what is being said in their own language. Things can get pretty tense when I am translating a presentation on the go, but it allows us to understand what people think about things like the all-season road, and what it will be like when that comes to the area. Listening to specific project-related issues helps us better address people’s concerns.
Has being a former Chief helped your work?
Definitely, the work I did as a leader in the past allowed me to meet other community leaders and hear what is going on in their communities. That gives me an awareness about what the communities are going through. I also dealt with the federal and provincial governments as a Chief, which has helped me understand how various ministries work.
What are your hopes for Noront in the future?
I look forward to bringing more First Nation people into the company so they can benefit from what is happening going forward. We made an example by hiring from local communities in the exploration stage, and we will continue to do that in future.
What do community members typically want to know from you?
They ask about what’s happening at camp. What kind of work is available? Sometimes people call for clarification about something in the news. Anyone can call and request a community presentation, attendance at a career fair or open house, or an update on what is going on. I carry my phone wherever I go and we’re are always open to visiting communities.
Do you have any questions about Noront or our projects?
Please call Scott Jacob: 1-855-966-7668 ext. 4