The Bralorne property is located in the heart of the St'at'imc First Nation's traditional territory, over which the St'at'imc maintain title and rights. Since acquiring the Bralorne project, Avino's management as made it a priority to forge a trusting and mutually beneficial relationship with the St'at'imc Chiefs council, the Lillooet Tribal Council and the four St'at'imc communities (Xwisten, N'Quatqua, T'it'q'et and Tsalalh) directly affected by our activities. Avino staff hold regular consultation meetings to openly discuss our development and reclamation plans, capacity building and environmental monitoring as well as training and educational opportunities for members of the St'at'imc communities.
In February 2016, in conjunction with North Island College and St'at'imc Government Services, Avino completed a four-month, underground mining training educational cohort for 12 members of the St'at'imc communities---all of whom graduated the program and received a number of industry certification tickets. The program, funded largely by the provincial government, involved three months of classroom instruction in Lillooet followed by two weeks of hands-on training at Bralorne. Avino plans to conduct a similar program beginning this November and will include a state-of-the-art training simulator from Sandvik. Avino intends to employ a number of the existing and future graduates once operations resume. The company is working with a number of partners to develop more advanced training programs for the St'at'imc.
A video about the training program can be viewed here: