Across mineral rich and developing regions of the world, substantial natural resource wealth rests with Indigenous and Tribal communities. And yet, throughout the world, Indigenous Peoples have historically suffered disproportionately from negative impacts of extractive activities in their territories.

The global transparency movement has the potential to play a part in changing that past for the better by supporting Indigenous Peoples’ greater participation in resource decision-making on their territories and in their countries.

To better understand how increasing transparency globally might affect Indigenous Peoples, we undertook a preliminary research project. We wanted to learn more about the challenges and successes for Indigenous Peoples seeking good governance of natural resources through engaging with EITI, the Extractives Industries Transparency Initiative. This initial and preliminary inquiry was meant to provide a snapshot of what growing natural resource transparency means for Indigenous Peoples in three distinct regions: Philippines, Guatemala and the USA.

In conclusion, in spite of legal, cultural and historical differences in our three study countries, we identified five key commonalities.

  1. Legal contexts shape how Indigenous Peoples (IP) can utilize EITI
  2. Support is needed for Multi-Stakeholder Groups to target outreach strategies to Indigenous Peoples
  3. There is a need for consistent and ‘legitimate’ IP representation in EITI Multi-Stakeholder Groups
  4. There is a case for building an Indigenous Peoples’ EITI Network and Caucus
  5. There is potential power of subnational EITI IP Multi-Stakeholder Groups