Indigenous Groups Push Insurers to Abandon Fossil Fuel Projects Reply

By Greta Moran, The Intercept

As oil and gas projects expand across the United States and Canada, often imperiling Indigenous land without ever obtaining consent, land defenders are increasingly pressuring the financiers of fossil fuel infrastructure — banks, insurance companies, and asset managers — to respect their sovereign land right. Amplifying the calls of this grassroots movement, the largest organization representing American Indians and Alaskan Natives passed a historic resolution last month calling on “private insurance companies to end their underwriting of the expansion of tar sands oil, Arctic oil and gas, and LNG export terminals.”

The resolution, put forward by the National Congress of American Indians, or NCAI, also asks insurance companies to adopt policies on “free, prior, and informed consent.” This principle, enshrined in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, is “really just a fancy way of saying that any corporation, any bank, any agency that wants to engage in a project that impacts Indigenous lands and treaty lands must get consent from that particular tribal nation or Indigenous community,” said Matt Remle, who is Lakota and the primary author of the resolution. “And if the community says no, that project doesn’t happen.”

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