Friends Fiduciary Supports Indigenous Peoples’ Right to Free, Prior, and Informed Consent

March 30, 2022

Friends Fiduciary has joined other investors in a statement calling on financiers of clients with oil sands projects to develop policies which eliminate financing for projects or companies that do not protect Indigenous rights, such as the right to give free, prior, and informed consent (“FPIC”). Projects such as the Enbridge Energy Partners’ Line 3 pipeline replacement project and other oil sands projects pose a risk to the rights of Indigenous Peoples, the cultural survival of Indigenous practices, the long-term health of local water systems, and the climate.

There is significant investor concern around the commitments these companies have made to reduce the greenhouse gas (“GHG”) footprint of their lending and investment portfolios, including many commitments to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, and how such commitments are consistent with financing that supports the GHG intensive development and infrastructure of oil sands projects. While the Line 3 project is now complete, the response to the project demonstrates that when governments and corporations fail to take the steps to consult impacted Indigenous Peoples and procure FPIC, there may be significant social risks that ultimately become material to these companies.