IBA Negotiation

A strong Impact and Benefit Agreement (IBA) with a company can generate substantial benefits for a community, while also protecting their lands and way of life.

What We Do

We aim to help communities to negotiate strong agreements with companies. We take direction from the community, often working alongside a strong community-based negotiator, and with community-based teams. Our work can be tailored to a variety of needs, from short training workshops to extensive community-based support in negotiations, to planning and support for the implementation of benefits. We can also provide corporate and resource analysis as well as financial reviews.


Our team includes social scientists with decades of experience working alongside Indigenous communities on the negotiation and implementation of IBAs. Our IBA work brings together research from many areas — traditional knowledge and use, ecology, socio-economic — which highlights opportunities and barriers.

Capacity Building

Firelight provides mentorship and guidance through all stages of the process of negotiating IBAs. This includes helping communities to define and build the processes and capacity that they need to successfully implement an IBA after it has been negotiated. We also provide training sessions and workshops on negotiation and implementation of IBAs. Often we use the Impact and Benefit Agreement Community Toolkit as a resource.


Ginger Gibson
PhD Mining & Engineering
Edmonton Office
Phone: (780) 488-0090

We are supporting a chief negotiator working with many communities in negotiations. It has been hard work, but unity among the communities has never fallen apart. It is incredibly moving to see the friendship and self-determination at the table. These strong relationships are also an outcome of the IBA process.

Dr Ginger Gibson
Firelight IBA team lead



Order or download IBA Community Toolkit

IBA Community Toolkit

The IBA Community Toolkit is a free resource for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis communities in Canada considering impact and benefit agreements (IBAs), specifically those with mining companies. While the Toolkit focuses primarily on the mining industry, many of the issues and processes addressed in the Toolkit are relevant to the making of agreements in other industry sectors and contexts, including protected areas, oil and gas, hydro and forestry.

The goal of the Toolkit is to help communities, negotiators and consultants achieve positive agreements for Aboriginal communities.

The Toolkit was authored by Ciaran O’Faircheallaigh (Griffith Business School) and Ginger Gibson (Firelight). In 2015 the Gordon Foundation and the Firelight Group teamed up to update the Toolkit with the help of several IBA experts, to reflect the recent changes in legislation and court decisions which may impact negotiations. The new Toolkit is now available for order or download.






Download Impact Assessment in the Arctic: Emerging Practices of Indigenous-led Review

Impact Assessment in the Arctic: Emerging Practices of Indigenous-led Review.

The report is leading the way in identifying the strategic approaches Indigenous governments are taking as they lead their own major project assessments. By doing this, Indigenous governments are breaking ground, ensuring culture, language and way of life are central to the review of projects, and asserting their rights and responsibilities for environmental stewardship and land and resource decision-making in innovative and concrete ways.

The report, put together by The Firelight Group, is based on case studies from across Canada, is being released to participants from the eight member nations of the Arctic Council who are in Yellowknife this week for a Sustainable Development Working Group (SDWG) of the Arctic Council Workshop on “Best Practices in Arctic Environmental Impact Assessment”. It will inform their project that aims to identify best practice in environmental assessment.

The Firelight Group

Research, policy, planning, mapping, negotiation, advisory, and capacity building services for Indigenous and local communities.


VICTORIA (250) 590-9017
EDMONTON (780) 760-1255


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