Carla F. Fredericks joined The Christensen Fund in January, 2021 as Executive Director. Ms. Fredericks is a seasoned leader in sustainable economic development, human rights, business and finance, Indigenous Peoples law, and federal Indian law.
Ms. Fredericks’ core work has focused on realization of Indigenous Peoples human rights. She has served in several capacities, including providing core support to the UN Special Rapporteur on Rights of Indigenous Peoples for the entirety of her two terms, serving as of counsel to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in bringing their opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline to international for a and financial institutions, assisting the Maya peoples of Southern Belize in implementing the affirmation of their land rights, and developing a model for Indigenous-driven consent processes and remedy.
As a faculty member of the University of Colorado Law School, Ms. Fredericks reconstituted First Peoples Worldwide in 2017, homing the Indigenous rights NGO at CU as an interdisciplinary cross-campus program that engages Indigenous Peoples, investors, companies, financial institutions and policy makers to promote implementation of Indigenous rights consonant with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).
She has deep experience as an expert and innovator in the fields of finance and human rights. With First Peoples Worldwide she created a model for a Private Equity Fund that supports sustainable resource development and entrepreneurship in Indian Country, amplified perspectives of Indigenous Peoples during the UN treaty body sessions and Universal Periodic Reviews, and supported the Gwich’in people in protecting their lifeways from extractive industry development in the Arctic.
Through her long affiliation with the Investors & Indigenous Peoples Working Group, Ms. Fredericks has advocated full integration of human rights into the capital markets and facilitated improvements to environmental and social risk management frameworks, including the Equator Principles. In 2020, she led the organizing of investors representing $630 billion AUM that helped to achieve the Washington Football Team name change.
She has authored and co-authored numerous studies and papers for various law reviews and policy journals including, Operationalizing FPIC; Social Cost and Material Loss: The Dakota Access Pipeline; and Responsible Resource Development and Prevention of Sex Trafficking: Safeguarding Native Women and Children on the Fort Berthold Reservation. Her chapter “Mapping the Sustainable Development Goals onto Indian Nations” appeared in Creating Private Sector Economies in Native America: Sustainable Development through Entrepreneurship (Cambridge University Press, 2019), and her forthcoming piece, The (Indigenous) Case for Shareholder Primacy, will be published by the Harvard Law Review Forum in 2021.
Ms. Fredericks has significant practice experience in litigation and was previously a partner at Milberg LLP in New York, where she also founded Milberg’s Native American practice and directed the firm’s civil/human rights litigation. As Director of the American Indian Law Clinic at Colorado Law, Fredericks led a year-long clinic in which students have the opportunity to represent American Indian tribes, designed to ready students for the complexities of general counsel work.
Ms. Fredericks is a graduate of the University of Colorado and Columbia Law School. She is Chair of the Board of Trustees for the Mashantucket Pequot (Western) Endowment Trust, and is a member of the Indigenous Peoples Advisory Group to the Decolonizing Wealth Project. She is a proud, enrolled citizen of the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation of North Dakota.