The Securing Indigenous Peoples’ Rights in the Green Economy (SIRGE) Coalition stands with the Apache Stronghold in demanding that Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) – Indigenous Peoples’ right to give or withhold consent on projects that impact or potentially impact them – is honored. FPIC flows from Indigenous self-determination as articulated in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and should be honored as such.
Oak Flat, or Chi’chil Bildagoteel in Apache, is sacred. The area, which lies within the Tonto National Forest in Eastern Arizona, has been a place for ceremony and gathering medicines since time immemorial. The Apache Stronghold, a group of traditional Apache and other Native and non-Native allies, along with many other Tribal groups and Nations, oppose the Resolution Copper project led by BHP and Rio Tinto, and Tribal leadership has never consented to the project in its decades-long history.
The New York Times’ recent story about the Resolution Copper mining project in Arizona perpetuates a false “either/or” dichotomy between upholding Indigenous Peoples’ rights and the need to transition from oil and gas to renewable technology.
There is no “green transition” without Indigenous sovereignty at the forefront.
About the SIRGE Coalition
The Securing Indigenous Peoples’ Rights in the Green Economy (SIRGE) Coalition is a coalition of Indigenous Peoples and leaders, who, along with our allies, champion a just transition to a low-carbon economy. The SIRGE Coalition launched on August 9, 2022, the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. Members of the Coalition include Cultural Survival, First Peoples Worldwide, Batani Foundation, Earthworks, and the Society for Threatened Peoples.
The SIRGE Coalition’s primary goal is to elevate Indigenous leadership through the creation of a broad coalition and the promotion of constructive dialogue. In accordance with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), the coalition will uphold all rights of Indigenous Peoples, including their cultures, spiritual traditions, histories, and especially their rights to determine their own priorities as to their lands, territories, and resources. Indigenous leadership is essential as Indigenous Peoples conserve about 80 percent of the planet's remaining biodiversity.
The SIRGE Coalition is staffed by an Executive Committee made up of representatives from each organization and is governed by an Indigenous Steering Committee made up of two representatives of Indigenous Peoples from each of the seven socio-cultural regions across the globe along with a global chairperson and the chairperson of the Executive Committee, chosen from Indigenous members.
SIRGE Coalition is calling for full implementation of the UNDRIP, including the right to Free, Prior and Informed Consent, in all endeavors related to the extraction, mining, production, consumption, sale, and recycling of transition and rare earth minerals around the world.