First Peoples Worldwide builds investor understanding regarding the challenges faced by indigenous peoples when investment occurs without first soliciting their free, prior and informed consent (FPIC). First Peoples then builds capacity for investors to meaningfully consider indigenous peoples’ rights and interests in a human-rights based framework, and to operationalize their responsibility to respect the rights of indigenous peoples.
Through our work, we seek to provide the context necessary for all parties to participate as equals in a human rights-based process. For example, our case studies shed light on the history and current application of various issues that indigenous peoples face worldwide. First Peoples also reviews policies and creates tools for investors to operationalize their commitments to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, as well as to the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, among others. Finally, First Peoples works with global standard setting entities to ensure that indigenous people’s rights are strongly affirmed and supported within their frameworks.
The Dakota Access Pipeline Case Study
Many investors know the risks inherent to lacking the social license to operate from indigenous peoples, but lack the ability to quantify their effects on corporate performance. Given this reality, our first case study, Social Cost and Material Loss: The Dakota Access Pipeline, quantifies the losses incurred by companies, banks, and investors as a result of the DAPL controversy, and applies a comprehensive methodology to assess the impacts of social pressure on stock price. The case study adds to the pool of targeted research on market risks and opportunities related to the “S” in ESG. Click here to learn more about ESG Investing.
First Peoples is represented on the Steering Committee of the Investors and Indigenous Peoples Working Group and the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility’s Investor Alliance for Human Rights. Our work with investors covers topics such as the Dakota Access Pipeline, the proposed Back Forty Mine, violence against women linked to extractive industries, and criminalization of indigenous leaders and land defenders.
Human Rights Due Diligence and Global Standard Setting
Where industry-led standard setting bodies are an underutilized alternative to legal or state-led accountability mechanisms for corporations, First Peoples seeks to ensure indigenous peoples’ rights are accounted for within these standards at all stages of investment. For example, First Peoples presented to the Equator Principles Association during their revisions of the Equator Principles, which is an environmental and social risk management framework used by 90 banks worldwide. Banks announced plans to review the Equator Principles in the aftermath of harsh criticism received for financing the Dakota Access Pipeline, and First Peoples is collaborating with diverse stakeholders to ensure that the review aligns with the principles of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples—both on paper and in practice. To learn more about the Equator Principles, click here.