Mining Brings a New Standard of Living to Nunavut
In Spring 2017, two Inuit employees from our Meadowbank mine shared their thoughts on how the mining industry has changed their lives and communities for the better.
Speaking at the Nunavut Mining Symposium, Travis Rusk and Devon Killulark praised the jobs and training they have received at Meadowbank, handing out information about mining to the public at Agnico Eagle’s trade show booth in Iqaluit.
Travis, who is from %%, began working at Meadowbank in 2011 as a laborer and is now a haul truck driver and auxiliary equipment operator. Devon, who is from Baker Lake, began as a mechanic’s helper and through on-site training, has now earned his Red Seal certification as a mechanic.
These men’s careers provide just two examples of how mining and the roughly 300 jobs that Agnico Eagle has brought to Nunavut to date have increased the standard of living in communities like Baker Lake and Rankin Inlet—a theme underscored by others at the symposium.
According to Patrick Tagoona, president of Nunavut Investments Ltd., “Meadowbank has literally created a new middle class. There are new opportunities that didn’t exist before.”
Those opportunities extend to Gabriel Ulayok, who after years of training and study at Meadowbank, is now a Production Class 1 Equipment Operator and is certified to operate the RH120 shovel – one of the largest and most sophisticated pieces of equipment in the global mining industry. Gabriel is the first Inuit employee to reach the highest position within our Mine Career Path program, which Meadowbank’s Training Team designed to support the upward mobility of Inuit employees. Since the Mine Career Path program began in 2012, all haul truck driver positions, for example, have been filled by Inuit employees only, thereby eliminating the need to hire workers from the South for these positions.