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The Politics of Free, Prior and Informed Consent: Indigenous Rights and Resource Governance in Ecuador and Yukon, Canada

In: International Journal on Minority and Group Rights
Author: Roberta Rice1
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What are the institutional arrangements required to implement a genuine process of free, prior and informed consent (fpic)? This article provides a comparative perspective on the politics of consent in the context of relations between Indigenous peoples, states and extractive industries in Canada and Latin America. The case of Ecuador is presented as an emblematic example of a hybrid regime in which Indigenous communities have the right to free, prior and informed consultation, not consent, concerning planned measures affecting them, such as mineral, oil and gas exploitation. In the case of Yukon, Canada, the settlement of a comprehensive land claim with sub-surface mineral rights has provided the institutional basis for the implementation of a genuine fpic process, one that includes participatory decision-making power over natural resource development projects. The article concludes with a discussion on the necessary conditions for moving governments from a consultation to a consent regime.

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