The Saami Council supports appeal from indigenous leaders regarding NorNickel

The Saami Council supports the appeal from indigenous leaders and experts of the Russian Federation to Mr. Elon Musk and Tesla, to refrain from buying nickel from NorNickel until the company implement indigenous peoples’ rights and fulfill its environmental obligations.

A sustainable future requires responsible industry and business, and the development of so-called sustainable solutions cannot happen on the costs of indigenous peoples and the environment. Then it is no longer a sustainable solution. 

The Russian company NorNickel is a global leader in the production of the mineral nickel. Murmansk Oblast and the Taymyr Peninsula has been the homeland for indigenous peoples of the Arctic for generations, and are the principal sites for the company’s activities. The Sámi, Nentsy, Nganasan, Entsy, Dolgan, and Evenki communities have preserved the traditional life, culture, and economy of Northern peoples, including reindeer herding, hunting, fishing, and gathering. Healthy and productive ecosystems, both on land and water, are the basis of indigenous peoples’ culture and identity. Indigenous peoples’ survival and existence must be secured and strengthened through the sustainable management of natural resources. Companies must be held accountable for cleaning up after accidents and pollution, also after ended activity.

Free, prior and informed consent (FPIC ) is a principle enshrined in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP, which establishes a universal framework of minimum standards for the survival, dignity, and well-being of the indigenous peoples of the world, and it elaborates on existing human rights standards and fundamental freedoms as they apply to the specific situation of indigenous peoples. This principle must apply to all industrial activities taking place on indigenous land and FPIC must be included in the code of conduct of any company.