Through extensive consultation between investors and First Nations peoples, companies and community groups, ACSI conducted research to help investors and companies identify good practice in engagement, risk management and disclosure.
The report identifies elements that support good-faith constructive engagement, including:
- Integrating risk assessments and policies across the company that align with the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights;
- Engaging in good faith, and obtaining and maintaining free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) from First Nations groups before commencing operations that will impact them, and on an ongoing basis throughout the life of a project;
- Establishing with First Nations groups agreements that cover all phases of operations (including exploration, contain review clauses and be re-negotiated as necessary);
- Recognising and mitigating power imbalances and ensuring agreements support impacted communities over the long-term through reasonable benefit-sharing provisions;
- Building ongoing engagement into policies and risk management frameworks, including appropriate board oversight of policies and practices, and accountability mechanisms for the board, management and staff;
- Establishing dispute resolution and grievance mechanisms, and remedying any adverse impacts;
- Setting transparent targets and KPIs that reflect international standards, and establishing accountability mechanisms, and incorporating First Nations peoples into the monitoring process.
- Disclosing the company’s risks and approach, how policies are implemented in practice, the nature and scope of agreements, timelines and challenges. Also disclosing any government approval or dispute resolution determinations that do not reflect the position of First Nations groups.