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Principles for Global Corporate Responsibility:
Bench Marks for Measuring Business Performance


Section 1.4 - Indigenous Communities

Where, in a specific national context, there exists constitutional legislation, or where recognized agreements exist, determining policies of reconciliation with indigenous peoples, nations or communities, the company seeks to develop its policies in accordance with that legislation or agreement.

The company where it operates in post-conflict and/or oppressive situations seeks to implement existing policies of reconciliation where they are in place.

The company respects the cultural, religious and social customs and traditional knowledge of members of indigenous communities.

The company strives to contribute to the long-term environmental, social, cultural, and economic sustainability of the indigenous peoples, nations or communities in which it operates.

The company respects the bio-cultural integrity of indigenous peoples and their lands and traditions.

The company only pursues economic development upon prior resolution and completion of the settlement of land claims between the indigenous people (or First Nation) and the appropriate government(s).

The development of joint working agreements between indigenous communities and companies is a prerequisite to building business relationships and commitments.

Indigenous peoples, by virtue of their inherent rights, are entitled to full participation in the business decisions which pertain to their ancestral lands and their way of life.

The company is committed to respecting fully the rights of indigenous peoples as they are recognized by the appropriate jurisdictions and laws.

The company respects indigenous medicines and medical practices.

The company seeks to develop long-term business relationships in indigenous communities and does not terminate its operations without assessing the long-term environmental, social, cultural and economic sustainability impacts on the indigenous community.

The company communicates its business plans in a way that the local indigenous community can understand and seeks to be actively involved in the development of indigenous businesses.

The company seeks and receives approval from the legitimate local indigenous leadership prior to beginning any business activities.

The company, with the co-operation of the indigenous peoples concerned, performs a holistic comprehensive study of its potential environmental, physical, social, economic, cultural and spiritual impact on the community and modifies its business plan to ameliorate potential harm.

The company negotiates a just and equitable economic settlement with the indigenous community(ies) involved, including adequate compensation where applicable.

The company's employment policies and practices fully accommodate the cultural, spiritual and social needs of employees who are members of indigenous communities.

The company develops a transparent process for the inclusion of indigenous peoples as full participants in business decisions.

The company provides employment and training opportunities for, and actively recruits from, indigenous communities for all levels of employment.

The company provides opportunities for all its employees to obtain an understanding of indigenous culture, treaties, history and current issues.

Bench Marks
The company, through its programmes, policies, practices, and communications implements the principles expressed in the International Conventions on Human Rights, Agenda 21 and the International Labour Organisation Convention Concerning Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in Independent Countries, Convention 169.

The company adheres to the International Convention on Bio-Diversity and ensures the protection of bio-cultural integrity and intellectual property rights of the indigenous community(ies).

The company, as a matter of policy, refrains from litigation that obstructs the implementation of the recognized rights of indigenous peoples and respect of local customs and traditions.

The company, as a matter of policy, refrains from using any imagery, which is offensive to the indigenous community in product marketing, advertising, endorsements, sponsorships and promotions.

The company's business plans, and its employment policies and practices are communicated clearly and are available in indigenous languages in both written and oral form.

The company, together with the legitimate representatives of the indigenous community jointly establishes clear decision-making processes and structures with a recognized programme that monitors their implementation.