First Peoples Worldwide (First Peoples) works from a foundation of indigenous values to achieve a sustainable future for all. First Peoples is a partnership between Faculty at the University of Colorado Law School and the Center for Ethics and Social Responsibility at Leeds School of Business and is housed within the Center for Native American and Indigenous Studies. The multi-disciplinary team works to address the unique social and environmental impacts of development in indigenous communities, while preparing current and future leaders to meet the pressing social responsibility challenges facing today's businesses. First Peoples was founded by Cherokee social entrepreneur Rebecca Adamson in 1997. In 2017, Rebecca Adamson retired and asked the University of Colorado to continue the important work of First Peoples Worldwide.
First Peoples Worldwide builds capacity for Indigenous Peoples, civil society, and investors to recognize the material and financial gains that can be made by considering the human rights, social and environmental impacts of development on indigenous communities. First Peoples also seeks to amplify the voices of Indigenous Peoples in financial forums and boardrooms.
Financial Impacts of Standing Rock
One of the First Peoples Worldwide’s research projects examined the financial impact of the Dakota Access Pipeline project (DAPL) controversy on the entities involved with the project. The resulting case study Social Costs, Material Loss: The Dakota Access Pipeline quantifies the numerous costs that companies, financial institutions, and investors faced by failing to account for the human rights of Indigenous Peoples.