Indigenous Peoples

Hecla has long appreciated the importance of open and respectful dialogue and engagement with Indigenous Peoples in our local communities around our operations.

Local Hiring

Our local economic impacts include the hiring of First Nation workers as employees and contractors. In 2022, around 100 First Nations workers were working at the Casa Berardi mine site. Hecla also encourages suppliers to hire Indigenous Peoples. Casa Berardi is committed to providing business opportunities to Abitibiwinni First Nation businesses. The collaboration established with the First Nation led to the granting of contracts to companies from this community.

An image of a hecla employee with truck in the background.
A map of canada.

Exploration Agreement

Hecla Quebec and the Gitanyow Band in upper British Columbia have in place an exploration agreement that addresses mutual benefits of future exploration activity, including employment, contracting, environment and permitting, and additional considerations.

Cooperation Agreement

Our Casa Berardi property is located on the traditional territory of the Abitibiwinni First Nation, from the Pikogan community, and we have prioritized building a strong connection with this community since Hecla’s acquisition of the mine in 2013. This led to the signing in 2018 of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Hecla Quebec and the Abitibiwinni First Nation Band Council regarding exploration and mining activities.

In accordance with the MOU, we signed a Cooperation Agreement in 2020 setting out an objective of meaningful participation for community members in training programs, employment and advancement opportunities, business opportunities, and environmental protection measures. The agreement also creates a mechanism that allows the Abitibiwinni First Nation community to benefit financially from the long-term success of the projects.

Reclamation Partnership

At our Troy Mine in Montana, Hecla partners with the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes (CKST) of the Flathead Indian Nation Council on reforestation projects, as part of the Troy Mine Reclamation Project. The CSKT Forestry Greenhouse harvested native seeds from the reclamation area and from that native stock has provided over 200,000 plants for repopulating the recovered area and providing a landscape of natural wildlife habitat for future generations.

Cultural Resource Training

Much of our Hollister Mine in Nevada is within the Tosawihi Quarries Archaeological District, which is significant for its role as an important source of tool stone in Northern Nevada prehistory and as a place of traditional cultural importance to the Te-Moak Tribe of Western Shoshone. As part of our operational agreement, an archaeologist and tribal monitor from the Western Shoshone tribe must be present for all ground-disturbing and pre-construction work conducted. All employees and contractors who work at the Hollister Mine must receive cultural resource training. The training includes discussion on the significance of the quarry, the laws associated with cultural resources, and the company’s zero tolerance policy regarding infractions.

Comprehensive Cooperation & Benefits Agreement

At our Keno Hill operation, we have a Comprehensive Cooperation and Benefits agreement with the First Nation of Na-Cho Nyak Dun (NND). This agreement provides for a cooperative engagement process for our environmental management plans as well as training and employment for NND citizens, and access to business contracting opportunities for NND businesses, including the Na-Cho Nyak Dun Development Corporation.

Superior Rating

At Casa Berardi, we achieved a level AAA score for TSM indicators related to Indigenous and community relationships. The 2022 TSM external audit evaluated the operation on eight protocols, including Indigenous and community relationships. The site performed well in this section, receiving a level AAA score for three of the five indicators.

Youth Programs

In Alaska, the Hecla Charitable Foundation partnered with the Angoon Youth Conservation Corps for the seventh year in a row. This program provides job opportunities in environmental stewardship for Native youth in the Admiralty Island National Monument, the Kootznoowoo Wilderness, and the village of Angoon.

A group of indigenous people by the beach.

Photo: Josh Orem, AYCC Youth Leader

Community Investment & Volunteerism

Our employees and Hecla give back to communities in a variety of ways such as volunteerism and local donations.