Free Prior and Informed Consent: A Local and Global Issue with Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

The Office of Aboriginal Initiatives at Lakehead University, in partnership with Wilfrid Laurier University’s Indigenous Rights and Resource Governance Research Program, Lakehead University’s Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Mining and Exploration (CESME) and Matawa First Nations Management brought the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, to Thunder Bay.

The Special Rapporteur's public lecture, Free, Prior and Informed Consent: A Local and Global Issue was held on Thursday, October 27th at 7:30 pm in ATAC 2001 at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay. This public lecture was also available at the Lakehead Orillia Campus via videoconference in OA 1025.

CLICK HERE to download a copy of the UN Special Rapporteur's PowerPoint Presentation.

Victoria Tauli-Corpuz is an Indigenous leader from the Kankanaey Igorot people of the Cordillera Region in the Philippines. She has served as the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples since 2014. She is a social development consultant, Indigenous activist, civic leader, human rights expert, public servant, and an advocate of women’s rights in the Philippines. She was the former Chair of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (2005-2010). As an Indigenous leader she was actively engaged in the drafting and adoption of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in 2007. She helped build the Indigenous peoples’ movement in the Cordillera as a youth activist in the early 1970s. She helped organize Indigenous peoples at the community level to oppose and stop projects such as the Chico River Hydroelectric Dam and establishment of the Cellophil Resources Corporation.

The Special Rapporteur’s public talk is part of a larger Pan-American research project, Resource governance and Indigenous rights: Understanding intercultural frameworks for negotiating free prior and informed consent, funded by a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) grant held by Wilfrid Laurier professor Dr. Terry Mitchell.

The research meeting will bring together over 30 Indigenous leaders and researchers from Peru, Chile, the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and Ontario to discuss Indigenous experiences of, and perspectives on, Free Prior and Informed Consent in the Ring of Fire and across the Americas.

The Special Rapporteur’s visit is an important opportunity for the local Indigenous community, the business community and general public to learn more about the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).

This Declaration sets “the minimum standards for the survival, dignity and well-being of the Indigenous peoples of the world” including the right to Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) which has been defined by the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) as “a process based on good faith negotiation, through which Indigenous Peoples can give or withhold their consent to a project”.

Poster of Free Prior and Informed Consent: A Local and Global Issue with Victoria Tauli-Corpuz