MAR • 2024

Red Lake Celebrates the Success of the Mikinaak MineExcell Program

Red Lake celebrates the success of the Mikinaak MineExcell Program, a local and Indigenous Training Initiative.

Red lake mikinaak program

Evolution Mining Red Lake and its partners celebrated the success of the Mikinaak MineExcell Program, an underground mining training program. It aims to train qualified candidates to secure their modules for underground mining and successfully find a rewarding career in the field. With the cooperation of community and industry partners, such as the Sioux Lookout Friendship Accord, Northern College, Red Lake Career and Employment Centre, and Brynecut, the program ran from September to November 2023. An Indigenous term, Mikinaak (mih-kih-nahk)—a ‘Snapping Turtle’ was used as it is an important figure in First Nations legends and significant to their spiritual and cultural beliefs.

Eight Red Lake and Lac Seul First Nation trainees were selected to undertake the 12-week program at Red Lake. Participants from across Ontario were encouraged to apply, with preference given to applicants from the Lac Seul and Wabauskang First Nations and the local community.

The program is divided into five parts and modules that aim to foster the culture of Safety, Accountability, Excellence, and Respect—Evolution’s Values. They aligned with our approach to partnerships, inclusion and diversity and advancing outcomes for First Nation peoples. Through this program, Evolution will be able to invest in meaningful sustainable development projects and build enduring community relationships.

  • Part 1. Introduction: “Explore, Dream, and Grow”
  • Part 2. Underground Basic Common Core
  • Part 3. Surface Fundamentals
  • Part 4. Underground Equipment and Support Operations Specialty
  • Part 5. Moving On: “My Evolution Experience”

Red Lake Operations was delighted to host this training and share its success and accomplishments with the trainees. Five Lac Seul First Nation and Red Lake community trainees completed the 12-week program. Upon completion, they received a Certificate from Northern College and an accreditation in Hard Rock Underground Mining issued by the Ministry as follows:

  • U0000 Follow Surface and Underground Induction Procedure
  • U0001 Perform General Inspections
  • U0002 Scale Loose Rock
  • U0012 Perform General Lock and Tag on Prime Movers and other related Equipment

A trainee from Red Lake, Brittany Sky, remarked— “Training was culturally appropriate and a mix of classroom and practical learning experience to ensure the success of each applicant.” Another trainee from Lac Seul, Lawrence Angeconeb, commended— “I was very thankful for the moments that got me to meet new people who have great mining experience and give their best to accomplish Evolution’s production goals.”

The program provided the trainees with skills and job opportunities, both internal and external. Congratulations go to three graduates who also went on to be hired with Evolution Mining:

  • Isaac Storms, Operator – Haulage, Mining Department
  • Brittany Sky, Operator – Haulage, Mining Department
  • Lawrence Angeconeb, Operator - Services, Mining Department
  • Troy Ningewance, Operator - Services, Mining Department


A toast to our Community, Training, Safety, P&C, Geology, and Mining Teams for successfully carrying out the 12-week training program by being generous with their time and knowledge and willing to go the extra mile to share their experiences.

We express our appreciation to our community partners, the Red Lake Indian Friendship Centre and the Red Lake Career and Employment Centre, for supporting the participants’ journey as they plan their next steps.

Finally, we are grateful to our partners in facilitating the program, the Sioux Lookout Friendship Accord, and Northern College, and for allowing Red Lake Operations to be part of this important milestone.

Did you know?

We support our local community and First Nations partners by providing training and development opportunities. Across Evolution, we partner with them to strengthen our approach to playing our part in developing strong and sustainable communities. Strong partnerships ensure we leave a positive legacy and foster trust and credibility when forming relationships with new stakeholders. It also ensures we are considered in our approach to partnerships, inclusion and diversity and advancing outcomes for First Nation peoples.

Building and maintaining strong, supportive relationships and partnerships with local people in the areas Evolution Mining operates drives value creation for both the business and community.

  • Cowal. The Wiradjuri People in New South Wales. Our partners include The Wiradjuri Condobolin Corporation.
  • Mungari. Our partners include the Marlinyu Ghoorlie People in Western Australia.
  • Ernest Henry. Our partners include The Mitakoodi People in Queensland.
  • Mt Rawdon. Our partners include Port Curtis Coral Coast (PCCC) who represent: Bailai, Gooreng Gooreng, Gurang and Taribelang Bunda people and the Gidarjil Development Corporation in Queensland.
  • Red Lake. Our partners include the Lac Seul and Wabauskang First Nation in Canada.