A new publication entitled “Indigenous Peoples Guidebook on Free Prior and Informed Consent and Corporate Standards” identifies the Natural Resource Stewardship Circle (NRSC) as a best practice in private sector standard setting processes. The publication, developed by First Peoples World Wide (FPW), the International Indian Treaty Council (IITC), and Trillium Asset Management (Trillium), seeks to provide a range of strategies that Indigenous Peoples can choose from to secure their rights, “based on what best suits their needs and talents.” The first section of this Guidebook lists the public-sector mechanisms adopted at the international level by governments, while the second section lists the private-sector mechanisms.
As the public sector seeks to better develop partnerships with the private sector toward finalizing the United Nations post-2015 Development Agenda, the Guidebook serves as a timely “resource for Indigenous Peoples affected by business activities” at various levels. Whether they are in negotiations with corporations, working to strengthen government protections, or seeking redress for violations of their rights, Indigenous Peoples can engage both public-sector and private-sector strategies to advocate for their rights and pave the way for culturally-appropriate development.
Within this context, the Tribal Link Foundation recommended a case study on the NRSC to the publications developers, who independently assessed the merits of inclusion. The study includes region of operation, membership size and membership requirements, member examples, specific language addressing Indigenous Peoples, and an organizational summary including highlights from the NRSC’s mission. The Guide also features High Level Indigenous contributors including International Chief Wilton Littlechild, Chair, UN Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and Myrna Cunningham, member and former Chairperson of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII). The Guidebook, available electronically in both English and Spanish, was presented at side-event during the 13th session of the UNPFII this past May.
FPW is an Indigenous-led organization dedicated to strengthening Indigenous communities through the restoration of their authority and control over their assets. IITC is an organization of Indigenous Peoples working for the sovereignty and self-determination of Indigenous Peoples and the recognition and protection of Indigenous rights, treaties, traditional cultures and sacred lands. Trillium is an independent investment management firm providing equity, balanced, and fixed income portfolios dedicated solely to sustainable and responsible investing. The inclusion of the NRSC case study in this publication is significant as it provides positive international visibility and endorsement of the Circle’s commitment to Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities.
Review the NRSC case study on pp. 54-56: http://firstpeoples.org/corporate-engagement/fpic-guidebook