Indigenous community & First Nations rights
Indigenous people can be among the world’s most at-risk, disadvantaged and marginalised, and are estimated to represent more than 370 million in some 90 countries. Honest, fair and open consultations are essential when companies and other actors lay claim to natural resources located on Indigenous peoples' lands.
The destruction of a 46,000-year-old heritage site in Juukan Gorge in Western Australia in May 2020 was a tragic reminder of the urgent need for investors to understand how companies manage cultural heritage and Indigenous community relations.
In collaboration with the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors (ACSI) and the Church of England Pensions Board a group of 67 international investors wrote to 78 of the largest mining companies to identify and examine company practices, policies and procedures. The analysis of the responses from companies revealed discrepancies between company reporting and site-level community consultation practices and raised concerns over how investors can be assured of best practice commitments being applied by companies at mine sites. In 2021 ACSI published a research report and public policy on company engagement with First Nations people, to guide companies and investors on good practices in managing these risks.
Where sector action is needed
The Commission will issue a series of questions that it will consult on to aid its deliberations.