IBA Annual Conference Sydney 2017

8 Oct - 13 Oct 2017

Room C2.4, Convention Centre, Level 2

Session information

Canadian and Colombian Indigenous peoples, mining companies and collaborative economic development
Room C2.4, Convention Centre, Level 2


Indigenous Peoples Committee (Lead)


In nations around the world, extraction industries have clashed with indigenous peoples. For decades, social activism and human rights groups have attempted to defend the interests of indigenous peoples with limited success. Starting in the 1970s, with the direct involvement of the Canadian court system, indigenous peoples in Canada found ways to work collaboratively with the extraction industry resulting (in economic development and legal parity without sacrificing culture, language or lives) in an economic model where culture, language and territory are the building framework of economic development. Thanks to their economic stability and autonomy, Canadian indigenous peoples have achieved legal parity and developed negotiation skills that empower their communities. Can the success of this model be a reference for other indigenous peoples of the globe, who want economic autonomy and see potential partners in extractive industries? Our session will explore the outcome of our IBA-funded project, which allowed direct discussions between Canadian indigenous leaders and those in Colombia. Instead of taking an approach of 'advocating on behalf' of the affected indigenous peoples, the IBA Indigenous Peoples Committee decided to explore an 'indigenous-to-indigenous' approach where the Canadian experience could be narrated from Canadian indigenous leaders directly to Colombian indigenous leaders. How can normative frameworks adapt to indigenous needs and interests? How can the rule of law advance indigenous interests? Can a collaborative economic approach replace legal and economic competition? Come and watch the compelling documentary showing the indigenous-to-indigenous interaction in Canada's Northwest Territories and decide for yourself. After the film, we will have an opportunity to hear from and ask questions of the leaders involved.

Session / Workshop Chair(s)

Steven Louis Cooper Cooper Regel - MasuchLaw LLP, Other City, Alberta, Canada; Chair, Indigenous Peoples Committee


Tjebbe-Jan Forsyth Donner Ahlstrom Wright Oliver & Cooper LLP, Medellin, Colombia
Lina Lorenzoni Escobar Lorenzoni & Asociados, Medellin, Colombia; Vice Chair, Indigenous Peoples Committee