Using anthropological fieldwork methods, we took various international
standards and guidelines to industry representatives, local administrators,
and nomadic reindeer herders across several sites in the Norwegian and
Russian North. These included: the indigenous peoples’ social responsibility policy of the International Petroleum Industry Environmental Conservation
Association (IPIECA), the Environmental and Social Performance Standards of the International Financial Corporation (IFC), and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UN Guiding Principles, also known as the Ruggie Principles). Across the portfolio of stakeholders that we spoke to, we were particularly concerned to subject these documents to the critique of the indigenous people who are deeply – and potentially negatively – affected by oil, gas, and mining developments. Sites were in the Yamal Nenets Autonomous Okrug (YNAO), Russia’s prime gas province; the Nenets
Autonomous Okrug (NAO), an important oil province in European Russia; the Sakha Republic (Yakutiya), a major resource base in northeastern Russia, and Divtasvuodna/Tysfjord, a mining, mineral-processing and fish-farming municipality in Nordland County, Norway. The field team was led by a European social anthropologist and included an indigenous legal scholar for the locations in Cases 1 and 3, and an indigenous politician in Case 4.