The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) and the National Congress of the American Indian (NCAI) have vowed to work together on a comprehensive plan that puts North America’s indigenous peoples in charge of resource development, the leaders of the two groups announced.
Wrapping up a three-day International Indigenous Summit on Energy and Mining, the heads of the AFN and NCAI issued a joint statement outlining a variety of measures.
“The AFN and the NCAI will work together to foster Indigenous participation in all aspects of energy and mineral development on Indigenous lands that works for us, our nations, the environment, and our economies,” the groups said in a joint statement.
Initiatives include establishing a North American Indigenous Task Force on Energy; upping participation in global leadership forums with an eye toward promoting awareness of strategies that take indigenous peoples into account.
AFN National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo and NCAI President Jefferson Keel also announced the creation of an Indigenous Virtual Institute on Energy and Mining to build expertise, literacy and education on tribal energy and mining development, especially among indigenous nations and peoples; help indigenous nations build and strengthen their business acumen; tap the expertise of industry and federal agencies to help aboriginals improve their own; and give tribes and indigenous nations better access to information on market trends as well as the wherewithal to take advantage of debt financing, carbon markets and other opportunities.
“The AFN and the NCAI commit to work together and with other jurisdictions to build a multi-stakeholder energy initiative,” the joint statement said. “The AFN and the NCAI will design an action plan to set this initiative in motion.”