FSC & Indigenous Peoples' Rights
FSC actively supports the rights of Indigenous Peoples and prioritizes these rights in Principle 3 of our guiding Principles and Criteria (FSC P&C).
Principle 3 of FSC Canada’s national forest management standard addresses the need for Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) rooted in equality and mutual respect, and with the goal of yielding tangible benefits to Indigenous Peoples affected by forestry activities within their traditional territories.
FPIC gives the community the right to give or withhold its consent to proposals that may affect the lands it customarily owns, occupies, or otherwise uses - in accordance with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People (UNDRIP), and the International Labour Organization’s Convention 169.
In addition, FSC Canada responded to the recommendations provided by Indigenous members and established a unique fourth “chamber” for Indigenous Peoples in 1993, adding to its existing social, environmental, and economic chambers.
“FSC has brought Indigenous rights and titles to the forefront of forestry practice.”
Valérie Courtois, Director at the Indigenous Leadership Initiative, member of the Innu community of Mashteuiatsh and Registered Forest Professional (RFP)
“I support FSC because their national standard helps forest managers build purposeful, respectful long-term relationships with First Nations.”
Dr M.A. (Peggy) Smith RFP, Miskwaanakwadook—Red Cloud Woman, Professor Emerita, Lakehead University, Faculty of Natural Resources Management
“The national standard represents a full step forward for Indigenous communities because we can't wait decades more for fundamental change.”
David Flood, Wahkohtowin Development, member of the Matachewan First Nation in Ontario.