The 23rd United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

The Christensen Fund at the UNPFII 2024

Twenty-Third Session: April 15-26, 2024

This April, The Christensen Fund’s entire board and staff came together with our partners to participate in the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. Our Board made the decision to gather everyone together with our partners during this year’s Permanent Forum to manifest our deeply-held commitments and values to stand in solidarity with our partners in our shared work. We were also fortunate to harness this unique opportunity to listen, learn, and deepen our connectivity to the organizations and communities we serve.


Established in 2000 by the United Nations following longtime advocacy by Indigenous Peoples, the Permanent Forum carries out its mandate to address Indigenous issues related to economic and social development, culture, the environment, education, health, and human rights. The Permanent Forum is one of the three UN bodies specific to Indigenous Peoples (others are the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the Special Rapporteur on the rights of Indigenous Peoples.) The work of the Permanent Forum is guided by a thematic focus, which in 2024 is “Enhancing Indigenous Peoples’ right to self-determination in the context of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: emphasizing the voices of Indigenous youth.”

The Christensen Fund Board of Trustees at UNPFII

Pictured from L to R: Hassan Roba, Dario Mejia, Andrea Carmen, Yasnaya Elena Aguilar, Tatiana Amor

Through this thematic lens, in the days leading up to the Forum itself, we were honored to convene a series of discussions on our partners' important work and expertise on several critical topics, including: Upholding Indigenous Rights: Navigating the United Nations Framework (with International Indian Treaty Council, Permanent Forum members, and COLMIX Collective); Financing a Future Just Transition: Sustainable Development and Advancing Indigenous Rights in the Green Economy (with AMAN and REPALEAC); and Implementing UNDRIP Worldwide - (with our cohorts of Indigenous Leaders).

The Christensen Fund Partners at UNPFII


CEO Carla Fredericks with NCAI Executive Director, Larry Wright and NCAI Foundation President, Greg Masten

The Permanent Forum is an intense two week programme of work for our partners, and we are grateful to have also hosted a joyful celebration to welcome our partners who traveled from far and wide to New York, including:

Aliansi Masyarakat Adat Nusantara, Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact Foundation, AWE TIBUAME A. C., Charapa, Coalition of Large Tribes, Four Directions, Consultoría Técnica Comunitaria, Cultural Survival, Inc., Federación Indígena Empresarial y Comunidades Locales de México. A.C., First Peoples Worldwide, Forest Peoples Programme, Foro para el Desarrollo Sustentable AC, Grist, If Not Us Then Who, International Funders for Indigenous Peoples, International Indian Treaty Council, International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs, Land Is Life, Native American Rights Fund, National Congress of American Indians, Native Hawaiian Philanthropy, Pastoral Women's Council, re:wild, The Pawanka Fund, The Tenure Facility, Traditional Ecosystems Survival Tanzania, Ujamaa Community Resource Team, Wataniba, and so many more! We were also honored to co-host the Permanent Forum’s annual cultural celebration with longtime partner Land is Life.

The Christensen Fund's UNPFII Floor Statement

The Christensen Fund, in solidarity with our partners and Indigenous Peoples worldwide, also presented a statement on the floor of the

Global Strategy Director, Casey Box, addressing the UNPFII body on the Floor of the UN General Assembly

United Nations during the Permanent Forum to amplify the the concerns of Indigenous Peoples as to donor activities, and the need for donors to respect Indigenous Peoples' rights as a nonnegotiable minimum standard in all pressing matters that affect them.

A video of the statement can be viewed here

We are, once again and as always, awed and humbled by the incredible work of our amazing partners. We are filled with gratitude for the opportunity to share space alongside them at the world’s largest annual gathering of Indigenous Peoples.

Additional News From The Christensen Fund Partners and Leaders:

-The Christensen Fund Publishes its Annual Report - The Christensen Fund's 2023 Annual Report: Supporting Indigenous Rights

-Fawn Sharp Appointed to the Nature Conservancy’s Global Board of Directors

-Oweesta Awarded $156,120,000 through the federal "Solar For All" Program to help continue to bring sustainable energy to Indian Country

-Indigenous Peoples Rights International's Indigenous Peoples and the Just Transition conference in NY was a huge success. Read more about it here.

-The Christensen Fund Makes an Investment in TAHITO 

-The Christensen Fund participated in the Human Rights Funders Network (HRFN) annual convening Funding Futures Festival at Tbilisi, Georgia, April 23-26, where we networked, shared ideas and participated along with our partners FIMI, Fondo Defensores, EDC, and Cultural Survival