As part of its commitment to have at least half of its Trustees be Indigenous Peoples, The Christensen Fund is pleased to announce that it has elected three new Trustees to its Board.: Ikal Angelei, Joan Carling, and Vicky Tauli-Corpuz.

“These three women are incredibly accomplished and expand The Christensen Fund’s Board beyond North America,” says Diane Christensen, Co-Chair of The Christensen Fund’s Board. “It is also extremely important that our Board now includes representatives from partner organizations. The addition of these Trustees enables our Board to better reflect the communities and partners that our organization works with to support the rights of Indigenous Peoples around the world, and is also a tangible demonstration of our commitment to self-determination for Indigenous Peoples.”

Carla Fredericks, CEO of The Christensen Fund, states, “I am thrilled that our Board has made this commitment to Indigenizing its Trustee leadership. These women are all heroes and stand as exemplary, powerful leaders within Indigenous communities and beyond. I look forward to continuing to work closely with our Board to support our partners in safeguarding the inherent rights and dignity of Indigenous peoples around the globe.”

The Christensen Fund’s newest Trustees are:


Ikal Angelei

Ikal is an environmental activist from Kenya. She is co-founder and Director of Friends of Lake Turkana, a grassroots organization that seeks to foster social, economic and environmental justice in the Lake Turkana Basin. Ikal completed a Master’s degree in Public Policy and Political Science at Stony Brook University in New York. In 2012 she was awarded with the Goldman Environmental Prize, particularly for her voicing on behalf of Northern Kenyan indigenous communities about the environmental implications of the Gilgel Gibe III Dam.


Joan Carling

Joan Carling is  an indigenous activist from the Cordillera, Philippines with  more than 20 years of working on  indigenous issues from the grassroots to the international level. Her expertise includes  human rights, sustainable development, the environment, and climate change. She was the General Secretary of the Asia Indigenous People Pact (AIPP) From 2008 to 2016 and was  an  indigenous expert member of the UN   Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues  from 2014-2016. She was awarded the Champions of the Earth- Lifetime Achievement Award by UN Environment in September 2018.  Ms Carling is the co-founder and currently the Executive Director of the Indigenous Peoples Rights International-IPRI. 


Victoria Tauli-Corpuz
Victoria Tauli-Corpuz was appointed as the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples by the Human Rights Council in 2014, and served until April 2020.

She is an indigenous leader and a human rights expert from the Kankana-ey Igorot people of the Cordillera Region in the Philippines. As an indigenous activist, she has worked for over four decades on helping build movements, networks and institutions of  indigenous peoples from the local to the global levels. 

Ms. Tauli-Corpuz is the former Chair of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (2005-2010), and has served as the chairperson-rapporteur of the Voluntary Fund for Indigenous Populations. As an indigenous leader, she was actively engaged in drafting and adoption of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples from 1985 to 2007. She has founded and managed various NGOs involved in social awareness raising, leadership development,  climate change and the advancement of indigenous peoples’ and women’s rights and she was a member of United Nations Development Programme Civil Society Organizations Advisory Committee.

In her capacity as the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, Ms. Tauli-Corpuz provided expert testimony before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights,  and the African Court on human and peoples’ rights and prepared policy advice to the World Bank, the Asia Development Bank, the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), among others.