Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Why the win at Standing Rock reinforces the need for Indigenous consultation

The concept that governments have an obligation to consult Indigenous peoples takes different forms in national and international scholarship and law. It is expressed in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), which the Obama administration considers not to be legally binding but to carry “both moral and political force.” In Canada, there is already a constitutionally-required duty to consult and accommodate, but Indigenous leaders hope that the Canadian government’s recent embrace of UNDRIP will provide greater protections. The protests at Standing Rock have added new urgency to UNDRIP implementation in the United States and in Canada. If the declaration had been in place earlier, it may have prevented the protests from starting in the first place. UNDRIP requires meaningful consultation with, and consent by, Indigenous peoples. Article 32 of UNDRIP says that states must consult and cooperate in good faith with the Indigenous peoples concerned through their own representative institutions in order to obtain their free and informed consent prior to the approval of any project affecting their lands or territories and other resources, particularly in connection with the development, utilization or exploitation of mineral, water or other resources...more

No comments: