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Indigenous Relations

IOC is a strong believer in building and maintaining strong relationships with all community stakeholders and Aboriginal groups in the regions where we operate, namely Labrador and Quebec.  We engage in a variety of ways with the five identified Aboriginal groups in Labrador and Québec who claim and/or assert Aboriginal rights and/or other interests in the regions where we live and operate.

  • Innu of Matimekush-Lac John (Québec);
  • Innu of Uashat mak Mani-Utenam (Québec);
  • Labrador Innu (Sheshatshiu and Natuashish, Labrador, as represented by Innu Nation);
  • Naskapi Nation of Kawawachikamach (Québec)
  • and the NunatuKavut Community Council (Labrador).

We are committed to sustainability, diversity and supporting Aboriginal groups through training, education, employment and business opportunities. Given our fundamental belief in partnering for success with all stakeholders, community engagement is at the heart of how we operate.

A glance at some of the highlights of our partnerships to date:

Aboriginal Service Centre in Labrador West

The NunatuKavut Community Council (NCC) celebrated the grand opening of a new Aboriginal Service Centre in Labrador West on March 26, 2015.  The Center provides programs and services to all Aboriginal people living in Labrador West and Fermont. IOC is proud to support this important initiative.


Todd Russell, President- NunatuKavut Community Council
Patricia Ford, Ordinary Member –Constituency of Canada and Deputy Speaker of the Nunatsiavut Assembly















Tshiuetin Rail Transportation


  • Tshiuetin Rail Transportation Inc. which operates the passenger service owned by the Innu Nation of Matimekush-Lac John, the Naskapi Nation of Kawawachikamach, and the Innu Takuaikan Uashat mak Mani-Utenam was sold by IOC (QNS&L)  for the nominal sum of $1.00 CAD in 2005.
  • The company provides all passenger rail and freight service from Sept-Îles to Schefferville.
  • The agreement between IOC and the Tshiuetin Rail Transportation Inc. has resulted in the first aboriginal ownership of a railway line in Canada.


Wapikon Multi Media Mobile Studio


  • Since 2008, IOC has provided transporation free of charge to Schefferville on the QNS&L Railway.
  • This partnership allows the Wapikoni organization to bring together young people from communities that often face important social issues.
  • The Wapikoni’s mission is to fight isolation and suicide among First Nations youth while developing artistic, technical, social and professional skills in introducing young people to practical workshops tailored to their reality and their culture.
  • By using the mobile studio, participants can produce a video clip or a short movie, and they are involved in every stage of the process from writing the script to shooting the scenes and delivering the final product.


The First Journee Conference Nature, Commerce et Industrie


  • In 2013, we partnered with the Société de développement économique Uashat mak Mani- Utenam (SDEUM) and the Commission de développement économique des Premières Nations du Québec et du Labrador (CDEPNQL).
  • The event was aimed at raising awareness and provides tools to community members who wish to start their own business or expand upon an existing one.
  • A full day of conferences and workshops about entrepreneurship was held in Sept-Îles. This sponsorship has enhanced our collaboration with Innu companies and services in terms of procurement.


Resource Development Agreements


  • 2014 marked a milestone in IOC’s history.
  • IOC and Innu Nation of Labrador reached a life-of-mine agreement, in June 2014, reflecting IOC's solid commitment to developing valuable and mutually beneficial relationships with our aboriginal partners. Successful conclusion of this agreement establishes benefits through training, education, and employment business opportunities and financial benefits. Through the agreement, Innu Nation supports IOC’s activities and projects and aligns with our values as a company and our community engagement philosophy.
  • IOC is proud to have signed a Community Partnership Agreement with NunatuKavut Community Council in November 2014, supporting business, education, training and employment benefits, and the opening of the Aboriginal Service Centre in Labrador West.

IOC actively supports Aboriginal initiatives today such as:

  • NunatuKavut Community Council (NCC) 2014 Annual General Assembly
  • Canadian Aboriginal Minerals Association 2014 Annual Conference
  • Marathon Mamu: This popular event initiated by the aboriginal community is an annual get together for the entire Sept-Îles community. Proceeds raised at the event go toward initiatives for aboriginal youth.
  • Painting symposium (Institut Tsakapesh): The symposium is a major event for the visual arts community both amateurs and experienced artists. The event brings together both aboriginal and non aboriginal artists.
  • Festival innu nikamu: A popular cultural event for the community. 2014 marking its 30th anniversary, the festival hosted a record number of non aboriginal participants.
  • Classique innu open: A day of golf which brings together business people from the two communities.
  • Journée nationale des autochtones: IOC participates in this day celebrating the language and culture of the First Nations people.
  • Les amis du musheau-nipi: Established in 2005, this gathering is an opportunity for outstanding exchange of ideas in a northern setting.
  • AMIK: This aboriginal organization which represents the fishing industry has partnered with IOC to create increased awareness of the marine environment.


Community and Aboriginal Consultation

Community consultation plays an important role in the way we operate at IOC and we are committed to ensuring that all community stakeholders including Aboriginal peoples are consulted adequately and appropriately.  This allows us to listen and respond to feedback so we can use the benefits that flow from our business to mutually support surrounding communities.
There are ongoing significant efforts to engage with each of the relevant Aboriginal groups in Labrador and Québec. IOC will continue to consult with host communities including Aboriginal groups and other organizations to provide opportunity for information exchange, dialogue and addressing issues of mutual concern.  IOC continues to explore ways to demonstrate its solid commitment to developing meaningful and mutually beneficial relationships with our aboriginal partners.