Solar Citizens acknowledges the long-standing and continuing leadership of First Nations peoples in caring for and protecting country and fighting for a safe climate.
The shift to 100% renewable energy and clean transport must be just and community-led, and must not repeat the injustices of the fossil fuel industry, which have disproportionately affected First Nations peoples through climate impacts, environmental and cultural damage, displacement and violence.
Our commitment to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander solidarity
In solidarity with and support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, Solar Citizens commits to building relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and engaging and working respectfully with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to uphold climate justice.
The following actions are the next steps in our journey towards solidarity. We commit to undertake these actions in good faith, allocating time and resources to progress work towards these outcomes.
Principles for engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
Solar Citizens will
- Apply the principles of Free, Prior and Informed Consent to any campaign planning decision affecting the protection or management of Country or its natural values/ resources.
- Be respectful, act in accordance with and protect the rights of First Peoples outlined in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
- Follow principles of respectful engagement based on the advice of Traditional Custodians from around the country.
- Pay for the advice and engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.
- Support and resource First Nations campaigns and centre First Nations voices.
- Continue to research, educate ourselves and build relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to actively practice and embed solidarity into our work.
Supporting First Nations-led Campaigns
If you would like to learn more about and support First Nations-led initiatives that align with Solar Citizen’s mission of achieving a fair future powered by clean energy for all, here are some suggested organisations you could could check out*:
“As the clean energy industry expands, it is important that we make decisions which determine our future and protect our country and culture. This means being free to decide which projects to pursue, and how best to protect our Country and sacred sites for generations to come.
We will make sure clean energy is done the right way, driven by our communities and developed so it sustains country for generations to come.”
“Seed is Australia’s first Indigenous youth climate network. We are building a movement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people for climate justice with the Australian Youth Climate Coalition.
Our vision is for a just and sustainable future with strong cultures and communities, powered by renewable energy.”
“Our Islands Our Home is a campaign led by Torres Strait Islanders to protect their island homes.
As part of this, eight claimants from Zenadh Kes (Torres Strait Islands) also known as the #TorresStrait8 have brought a human rights complaint against the Australian Federal Government to the Human Rights Committee of the United Nations over the Government’s inaction on climate change.”
Our Islands Our Home is a First Nations-led campaign of 350.org, which is not a First Nations-led organisation.
*Solar Citizens is not affiliated with or endorsed by these organisations.
First Nations Clean Energy Objective
In a positive step forward, in August 2022, Australia's Federal, State and Territory Energy Ministers committed to developing a First Nations Clean Energy Strategy. The purpose of the strategy is to ensure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples share in the benefits and opportunities of renewables, while protecting First Nations communities and heritage, as we transform our energy system. A campaign for the introduction of a First Nations Clean Energy Strategy was led by the First Nations Clean Energy Network – you can read more on their website here.