Donlin presentations in Yup’ik aid understanding
The people of Quinhagak attend a presentation by Donlin Gold.
This spring, the staff at Donlin Gold visited more than 20 villages throughout the Yukon Kuskokwim region to share information on the proposed project and also hear feedback directly from residents. Although Donlin has held dozens of village project update meetings for many years, the company took a new approach on how they communicated during this year’s visits.
At the beginning of every meeting, attendees were asked whether they would like to have Donlin’s project presentation given in English or Yup’ik. Out of the 24 villages visited, 19 of them requested to have the presentation conducted entirely in Yup’ik with the PowerPoint slides provided in English. Donlin communications employee, Vernon Chimegalrea, gave the presentations in Yup’ik. Many residents said they understood the presentation a lot better and it gave them a greater comprehension of the complex mining process, and the technical terms and processes can be difficult to interpret during simultaneous translation.
“The feedback from the attendees has been very positive,” Chimegalrea said. “We received a lot of words of compliments for presenting the project updates in Yup’ik.”
Donlin Gold employee Vernon Chimegalrea talks to the people of Napakiak.
At previous meetings, Donlin always provided a Yup’ik translator on an as-needed basis while the presentations were given in English. By providing an option for residents to decide how they wanted to hear about the project, a more open-dialogue environment was created in which residents could ask questions and voice their concerns using their primary language. Speaking Yup’ik is also important for preserving and sharing the cultural and traditional values of the region.
Donlin is committed to communicating with local communities, and will continue to visit villages providing residents with updates on the project in both Yup’ik and English. Residents in the region can also continue to learn about the proposed project online at DonlinGold.com, or by visiting one of Donlin’s regional offices in Bethel or Aniak.