Northern Mine Remediation course for First Nation communities


A nine module Northern Mine Remediation course was developed in partnership with Eliza Van Bibber School and Minto Explorations Ltd to offer high school students four course credits for participating in the program through the class: “Citizens 11”. Two researchers from the NMR team traveled to Pelly Crossing every 2 weeks from January to June 2021 to deliver modules contributing to the course. The course focused on a scientific experiment that was conducted and monitored in the classroom, involving Selkirk First Nation students. Modules were also supplemented with guest speakers invited to present about topics pertaining to the course.

Project overview

The objective of the course was to highlight the importance of passive treatment systems in the North, specifically though a simulated bioreactor experiment. The first module involved constructing a column size bioreactor with inoculum from Eagle Gold Mine site and mine impacted water from Minto Mine. The second module was a presentation about the Environmental Monitoring Program - career and training opportunities at Yukon University. The third involved a presentation from a Minto Environmental Officer about the different groundwater and surface water monitoring techniques, the science behind the setup of Minto Mine. Module 4 was a presentation regarding Mine revegetation and its challenges in the North and First Nation expectations.

Module 5 was about the importance of involving First Nation communities in research projects -it was led by a YukonU First Nation liaison and Selkirk First Nation's Citizen. Module 6 was a tour of the analytical lab at Yukon University -to teach students about how to safely and accurately use lab equipment. These skills were then used to analyze samples from the column bioreactor. Module 7 detailed the exploration to development process at Minto Mine to teach students more about the operations at a working mine. Module 8 was about Minto mine’s constructed wetland treatment system and its role in post-closure reclamation of the site. The last module was a conclusion of the bioreactor experiment, including the creation of graphs and charts illustrating the results.

Project team and funders


Dr. Guillaume Nielsen, NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Northern Mine Remediation, YukonU Research Centre

Benjamin Prince, research assistant, YukonU Research Centre

Inderjeet Kaur, Research Assistant, Northern Mine Remediation


David Petkovich, instructor, Yukon University

Helaina Mose, Nacho Nyak Dun citizen, Environmental Technician, Victoria Gold

Chris Wall and Ian Smith, Minto Environmental Officer

Journey Paulus, Senior Coordinator

Dylan MacGregor and Laura Volden, SRK

David Silas, First Nations Engagement Advisor, Yukon University

Kevin McGinty and Dawna Hope, SFN

Ben McGrath, lab tech, YukonU

Shawn Horte, Minto geologist


Yukon Mine Research Consortium (YMRC): BMC, Selwyn Chihong, Newmont Coffee, Casino, Alexco, Victoria Gold Corp., Minto Explorations