Communities in Canada

Communities

As the biggest mining and metals company operating in Canada, we are committed to Canada and ensuring that we create value and opportunity that reaches far beyond our operations. We hire local people. We partner with leading Canadian businesses and community organisations. We work hard to be good neighbours and to take good care of our people, our natural surroundings, and Canada’s rich cultural heritage. Our community investment programme aims to support our communities by helping to meet their current needs while safeguarding their legacy for future generations.

Frontline workers, truck drivers, grocery store staff and so many more – are working hard to help us in the fight against COVID-19 – and we want to play our part. So we are investing US$10m to support our communities in Canada and the US. This investment draws on our US$25m global fund to support our communities in the COVID-19 response and recovery – as well as on existing programmes such as the Rio Tinto Aluminium Canada Fund and Regional Economic Development Fund.

Rio Tinto Aluminium Canada Fund

The Rio Tinto Aluminium Canada Fund was set up in 2008 to support the communities where we operate. We have contributed over C$10 million annually through First Nations initiatives, as well as health, education, youth, and environment programmes. For instance, since 2011, as partners with the Breakfast Club of Canada, we have contributed nearly C$1 million to support breakfast programmes for schools in Kitimat and Nechako watershed regions. There are now 14 breakfast programmes feeding almost 1,000 students every school morning in our communities in the region. 

Partnerships with First Nations

We foster long-term partnerships with communities where we operate, and that includes our relationship with Indigenous communities. We have made a commitment to be an ally in the promotion of education at all ages, the preservation of cultural heritage, the generation of economic development and the stewardship of the environment.

By supporting programmes that connect young people and elders, we are helping develop the next generation of local leaders. This not only preserves Traditional Knowledge, it also opens new doors for career opportunities and can improve economic development outcomes in the region. 

In partnership with Indspire, we sponsor an award for Indigenous students, which provides them with financial support as they pursue post-secondary studies and training. Indspire has a proven track record – 95% of students supported by Indspire graduate.

Helping the Next Generation Succeed

As a company with innovation, science and technology at our core, we recognise the value of education as a building block for strong, thriving communities today and in the future.

We provide the tools and life skills for thousands of students from low-income communities to graduate high school and succeed in post secondary institutions. Whether it is through scholarships, programmes like Pathways to Education, free homework help to students of all ages or research fellowships in Canadian universities, we want to inspire the next generation of Canadian innovation.

A Trusted Employer for Thousands of Canadians

We strive to provide a healthy and safe working environment for the 15,000 Canadians who work for us in Canada, as our people are central to our success.

The safety and wellbeing of the people who work with us is our number one priority, and this extends to the home and in our communities. That is why we launched new measures to protect and support employees and their immediate family members who are experiencing family and domestic violence or abuse, and also introduced a standard for paid parental leave for all our employees.