Around the world, the rights of indigenous peoples are often in tension with the economic interests of extractive companies and governments. Many indigenous communities live in biodiverse and resource-rich regions that also have revenue-generating potential for extracting oil, gas, or other resources.
Resource governance problems are not, of course, unique to indigenous communities; however, abiding legacies of colonization and modern-day exploitation and expropriation have posed distinctive threats to indigenous communities.
On the other hand, growing international and national recognition of indigenous rights can serve as a springboard for future action.
On the occasion of the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples on August 9, we identify several examples of how threats to indigenous peoples’ rights and well-being can manifest in the natural resource space.
We view the problem through the lens of recent work by the Leveraging Transparency to Reduce Corruption (LTRC) project at Brookings to better understand those threats—and suggest ways to support indigenous communities.