KRED Enterprises CEO Wayne Bergmann and CEO of the Kimberley Land Council Nolan Hunter are set to jet to New York to speak at the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.
In a joint presentation, they’ll lobby for a set of global best practice principals and benchmarks for Indigenous economic development.
Mr Bergmann told ABC Kimberley (29/04/14) that companies can broker different – and potentially less beneficial – commercial deals and agreements with Indigenous people, depending on which country they’re operating in.
“I’m hoping to reinforce an international alliance on benchmarking where we can really talk best practice … In situations where we can’t stop development, we need to make sure it’s done on the best possible terms.”
Through all commercial negotiations, KRED Enterprises references a triple bottom line of people and culture, country and the economy.
With this as a foundation, KRED’s negotiated some of the strongest impact benefit agreements between mining companies and Indigenous people in Australia. Often these agreements go beyond the statutory agreements of governments and ensure any development is designed to meet the highest environmental and cultural standards.
Mr Bergmann says in Australia, Aboriginal people are regularly put in a difficult position.
“We have a resource rich country with an appalling history of mistreatment of Aboriginal people. This puts Aboriginal people in a difficult position. We have a responsibility to look after country, but it’s also crucial we participate in the modern economy.”
Mr Hunter elaborated, telling ABC Kimberley that engagement with companies often provides an uncomfortable tension for Indigenous people.
“The tension (is) between how you engage with economic development without compromising your cultural integrity.”
Mr Bergmann says the solution lies in creating economic opportunities that affirm Aboriginal cultural and social values.
“We want the choice to be able to practice the culture and values of our ancestors and to walk on Wall Street, as part of the mainstream economy,” Mr Bergmann says.
Mr Bergmann and Mr Hunter leave for New York on the 9th of May.
Keep your eyes on our Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram accounts for updates, as we’ll be sharing selfies, conference snaps and speech excerpts.
For more information on the trip, contact Media and Communications Officer Madelaine Dickie at KRED Enterprises (08) 91928782.