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As the presence of IBAs increases, so too do issues surrounding them.  The following items have been compiled since 2006, and represent Knowledge Gaps, Issues and Concerns expressed by Aboriginal communities, the mining industry, academics, consultants and (northern) government agencies.

IBA Utility & Monitoring

- How are positive outcomes of IBAs being identified in communities?
- Are IBAs being effectively implemented?
- Are IBA targets being met?
- Are IBAs benefiting communities?
- What methods/methodologies are gauging progress?
- How are models of community sustainability being integrated into IBAs?
- Can a baseline be created to measure success?
- Is there a correlation between broader community involvement and ‘strengths’ of IBAs?

Role of Government

- What is the role of the government?
- Should IBAs be legislated?
- Is there existing legislation that can be modified to support IBAs?
- Should the government provide money for Aboriginal Groups training in IBA negotiations and other administrative capacity?

Information Sharing

- Agreements or case studies to reference.
- Cross sectoral applications (e.g. Forestry Access and Resource Benefit Sharing).
- What other models exist?
- Is there a best practice model that Aboriginal Groups can draw from?

Incentives, Leverage and Circumstances

- How does corporate culture affect IBA implementation and negotiations?
- What are the political and legal conditions to favour a ‘strong’ IBA?
- Determine IBA effectiveness from the corporate perspective, are there financial incentives?


  • Lack of cohesion and collaboration between federal, provincial and territorial governments in socio-economic mitigation, planning and implementation.
  • Transparency and communication within communities.
  • Community awareness and the foundation to foster community ‘forward thinking’ beyond mine closure.
  • Socio-economic benefits and costs of reactive versus forward community planning.
  • Confidentiality.  
  • Internal tensions regarding employment and contracting opportunities
  • Should IBAs be linked to the ‘Crown’s Duty to Consult’?
  • Real sustained benefit versus appearance of benefit.
  • IBA process is not meant to supplement government or permitting.

Of course, other IBA knowledge gaps exist; indeed we welcome further suggestions from IBA signatories and observers. We also welcome offers of assistance to address some of these knowledge gaps whether in the form of research funds, research assistance, and/or community cooperation.

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