Published 10 October 2017
For many host communities, mineral resource developments are synonymous to several negative impacts (social, cultural and environmental) without the possibility of acquiring any corresponding benefits. In recent decades however, host communities, or indeed, indigenous peoples (as they are referred to in certain jurisdictions), are seeking to capitalise on international human rights law, wherein their claims can be translated into recognisable rights. In parallel with the emergence of such distinctive rights for indigenous peoples, progressive jurisdictions such as Canada have devised an instrument for its implementation, and it is through the adoption of Impact and Benefit Agreements (IBAs). Due to the novelty of this instrument, its effectiveness is largely unproven. Thus far, however, IBAs are projected as positive tools for mitigating negative impacts and securing benefits for indigenous peoples. On the other hand, some studies have raised concerns about the implementation and enforcement of these agreements - leading one to ask, are IBAs worth the hype? This article argues that IBAs are in fact, worth the hype, as despite the challenges associated with these agreements, they represent a fundamental step towards the protection of host indigenous peoples' rights.