What happens when electrification and reconciliation collide? (Indigenous Success – December 7, 2022)


New study shows 54 percent of global mining projects are located on Indigenous territories. Finding a collaborative path forward has never been more important.

What happens when the energy transition and Indigenous rights collide? The transition to a low-emissions, electrified future requires vast quantities of minerals, including lithium, copper and iron. However, a new study found that 54 percent of mining projects for these transition minerals are located on or near Indigenous peoples’ lands.

According to The Conversation, 85 percent of the world’s lithium, 75 percent of magnesium, 66 percent of copper and 57 percent of nickel reserves overlap with Indigenous peoples’ lands. As demand for these minerals is projected to grow significantly in the coming years, it is important that Indigenous peoples have a say in where and how they are extracted. Charting a collaborative path forward is critical.

In this context, understanding and applying the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) could not be more important. Indigenous peoples should be included in decisions about mining on their traditional lands, including the opportunity to negotiate conditions such as protecting natural and cultural resources, ensuring jobs for their people and contracts for their businesses and even securing equity ownership in projects.

If electrification is to continue, mining companies must work in partnership with Indigenous communities. This means engaging in consultation and obtaining consent, as well as providing benefits and opportunities to local communities. It also means respecting Indigenous peoples’ rights and cultural heritage, and ensuring that mining is conducted in a responsible manner.

For the rest of this article: https://www.indigenoussuccess.ca/news/electrification-and-reconciliation