Empowering More Indigenous Women in Chile

March 14, 2023

Collaborating with communities and Indigenous Peoples to generate economic benefits, advance reconciliation efforts and improve community well-being is a strategic sustainability priority at Teck. One such initiative is our long-standing partnership with the  UN Women Originarias programme (‘the programme’). In 2022, we extended our partnership with UN Women by investing an additional US$5 million to empower more Indigenous women in northern Chile through the programme.

Indigenous women are central to Indigenous Peoples’ communities and play a crucial role in the preservation and transmission of traditional ancestral knowledge. To commemorate the significance of Indigenous women, the 2022 International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples focused on the theme of the Role of Indigenous Women in the Preservation and Transmission of Traditional Knowledge

UN Women Originarias Programme

Since 2016, UN Women - with the support of Teck - has been implementing the programme for the empowerment of Indigenous women in the North of Chile. The project seeks to contribute to the empowerment and economic and social participation of Indigenous women, and to consolidate the tangible progress made on participation and equitable representation, which leads to a greater autonomy and a better quality of life for target communities. The programme also aims to strengthen community ties as well as highlight the essential role of Indigenous women as transmitters of knowledge and defenders of their culture and economic rights.

Teck’s Partnership with UN Women

Teck began supporting the programme in 2016 with an initial US$1 million investment, followed by a second US$1 million investment in 2018. To date, more than 1,000 Indigenous women from communities throughout the country have received training through the programme.

The investment in 2022 will provide a greater number of Indigenous women in northern Chile with access to tools and training to develop skills, build networks and improve their economic well-being through initiatives implemented by the programme. This investment will also expand training and learning opportunities for Indigenous youth, including skill-building in science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics (STEAM) to support the long-term sustainability of local communities. Funding will also support new partnerships and develop new sources of income for the Originarias Training Centre.

"Supporting and empowering women and Indigenous Peoples in the areas where we operate is central to Teck’s commitment to responsible resource development,” said Don Lindsay, former President and CEO of Teck. “We are especially proud that this investment supports women and families in Northern Chile where Teck is building our QB2 project and is part of our work to support strong communities throughout the Tarapacá Region.”

"UN Women promotes fairer and more resilient economies where women are protagonists of economic recovery and transformative processes. The Originarias Center is fundamental to ensuring that no one is left behind, and Teck’s pledged support contributes to advancing women’s economic participation,” said Maria Noel Vaeza, UN Women Regional Director for the Americas and the Caribbean.

Learn more about Originarias and learn more about our approach to Relationships with Indigenous Peoples.

First Published on March 14, 2023