June 22, 2023
National Indigenous History Month is commemorated each June to recognize and honour the history, cultural heritage and diversity of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis People, and all their immeasurable contributions: past and present. At Côté Gold, we take time to recognize and reflect on the importance of learning more about Indigenous peoples, cultures and histories, as we continue creating and nurturing mutually beneficial relationships.
To mark the occasion, Hudson Naveau, full-time Environmental Monitor and member of Mattagami First Nation, reflects on his role and contributions at Côté Gold and told us how he plays an active role in environmental management.
At Côté Gold, we are grateful to the partner communities who have welcomed us to their traditional territories. We respect their traditional knowledge that helps inform our practices as we work on the land, and we are proud that many community members have chosen to be a part of our workforce. Hudson Naveau shared his journey with Côté Gold and offered advice to other community members looking for opportunities in this sector.
What motivated you to become an Environmental professional?
I was always interested in protecting the environment as it was important to my community. I grew up fishing in the lake and it has always been a part of my life. When I was asked to take care of the Mattagami community hatchery ten years ago, I was thrilled that I’ll be able to help the community, and I instantly liked what I did there. When I was given the opportunity to work for Côté Gold as an environmental monitor, I was excited: it’s close to home and I have wanted to be part of the Côté Gold team.
What do you do in your role as a monitor?
I do what an environmental technician would typically do. Collect water samples, environmental inspections and audits and other various field tasks. Apart from the technical work, I also participate in community events and ceremonies.
Can you tell us about the values that you grew up with in the community?
Protecting land, wildlife, lakes are important to my community, and I believe in preserving them not only for our generations only but for seven generations including the ones that are yet to come. I know that the community is willing to collaborate with the mines that are around us to co-develop an environmental management system that can protect the environment.
How are the MFN values incorporated in your everyday work/tasks? How do you ensure that those values are respected in everyday operation?
I have a unique role to play where I represent both: the community and Côté Gold; I make my colleagues aware of what the expectations of my community and Elders are from the company.
Do you have any advice to other community members starting out in their careers or looking for opportunities in mining or in the environmental space?
My advice to those who are seeking opportunities would be to expand their horizon and explore what’s out there. I also think that industry and the community are generating lots of opportunities for all of us—we as the seekers of those opportunities have an obligation to prepare ourselves for the challenges ahead.