A Dene perspective on resource development in Canada for, by and among First Nations





A Dene perspective on resource development in Canada for, by and among First Nations

Darrell Beaulieu

In his plenary talk, Mr Darrell Beaulieu will address how mineral exploration and environmental studies are means to walk, explore, take care of and benefit from the land. How being involved first hand in the mineral industry fosters empowerment, economic growth and prosperity for the Dene First Nations and Canadians in general.

Over the last decade, the Dene people have gone from developing a strong indigenous service industry, where they worked for mining projects owned by others, to being decision-makers, controlling their own mineral exploration company and exploring the land they have walked upon for centuries, from Great Slave Lake to Great Bear Lake. Mining drives the NWT economy and First Nations people, including many of today’s leaders, have worked in the mining and exploration sectors. In the process, First Nations have become an important part of the mining industry and are well positioned to participate in resource development, ensuring a balanced approach between preserving the environment and developing Canada’s natural resources.

First Nations share with geologists and prospectors a love for the land. This includes conducting mineral exploration and baseline environmental studies, extracting mineral resources, remediating mine tailings, making informed decisions on land use, and managing the lands. Encouraging First Nations youth to stay ‘On the Land’, where their ancestors travelled and lived, can mean promoting careers in geology and geosciences with broad applications – for exploration, mining and the environment.


Short Bio


DARRELL BEAULIEU epitomizes the new face of mining in Canada for his overall achievements in First Nations involvement in natural resources development. He is the founding Director, President and CEO of DEMCo Ltd., a mineral exploration company, and of iDene Ltd., a remediation and environmental solutions company owned by the Dene people. He is also President and CEO of Denendeh Investments Inc., the umbrella structure that invests in mineral exploration, energy, remediation, environment, communications, and infrastructure logistics on behalf of the Northwest Territories Dene First Nations.

Mr. Beaulieu is an Akaitcho Dene from Yellowknife. He has been Chief of the Yellowknives Dene First Nation, and started early his efforts to foster empowerment, economic growth and prosperity of the Dene First Nations by founding the Deton’Cho Corporation which services the resource industry and Deton’Cho Diamonds which processed diamonds. He has served on the Mine Training Society, NWT Chamber of Mines Boards of Directors, several foundations, the National Orphaned and Abandoned Mines Initiative, etc. For his exceptional Aboriginal accomplishments in the mineral industry, Mr. Beaulieu received the Skookum Jim Award from the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada and the MAX award for indigenous achievement.

For their 2019 joint annual meeting in Quebec City, the Geological Association of Canada, the Mineral Association of Canada, and the Canadian Chapter of the International Association of Hydrogeologists are deeply honoured to have DARRELL BEAULIEU as keynote speaker for one of the plenary sessions at the meeting.