Catholic World News

Pope Francis: indigenous peoples should give informed consent to development projects

February 15, 2017

Pope Francis received participants in an Indigenous Peoples’ Forum convened by the International Fund for Agricultural Development.

“You have come together to identify ways of giving greater economic empowerment to indigenous peoples,” the Pope told the group, which gathered at Paul VI Audience Hall on February 15.

Stating that “the central issue is how to reconcile the right to development, both social and cultural, with the protection of the particular characteristics of indigenous peoples and their territories,” the Pope said that “the right to prior and informed consent should always prevail.”

The Pope added:

A second aspect concerns the development of guidelines and projects which take into account indigenous identity, with particular attention to young people and women; not only considering them, but including them! For governments this means recognizing that indigenous communities are a part of the population to be appreciated and consulted, and whose full participation should be promoted at the local and national level.


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  • Posted by: Bernadette - Feb. 17, 2017 3:29 PM ET USA

    The indigenous can't have it both ways - sacred ground and white man's casinos. My humble opinion. It is past time to be beating our breasts mea culpa over treatment of the indigenous. Past time for them to either integrate or make it on their own. We have crippled them with entitlements. Tough love.