What Does It Mean to be Sustainable? Regulating the Relationship between Corporations and Indigenous Peoples
In Beate Sjåfjell and Christopher M. Bruner (eds), Cambridge Handbook of Corporate Law, Corporate Governance and Sustainability (Cambridge University Press, 2019), Chapter 30.
Posted: 8 May 2019 Last revised: 15 Jun 2020
Date Written: May 6, 2019
Historically indigenous people have been mostly acted upon by corporations, but increasingly indigenous people are themselves emerging as corporate actors. With this emergence comes new perspectives on corporate law, corporate governance, and sustainability that reimagine the role of the shareholder, the responsibilities of the board, and the ethics of corporate action. Indigenous people enact their own autochthonous law to govern corporate behavior and enforce these laws in their own legal systems. As indigenous people emerge as corporate actors, they will learn from existing corporate behavior, but their chthonic approaches to corporate law and governance also have much to teach other communities about how to achieve sustainable corporate action. This chapter explores the unique indigenous perspective on corporations and sustainability.
Keywords: autochthonous law, chthonic law, indigenous peoples, self-government, tribe
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