North Star Group’s results-driven work covers a wide range of thematic, geographic, and strategic areas. From facilitating dialogues and establishing new platforms for communication to initiating baseline research and developing comprehensive program strategies, the following examples highlight NSG’s versatility and breadth of engagement, carried out in close cooperation with our global partners.
Engagement and Knowledge-Sharing
Collaborative Global Initiatives – Joined with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in its ongoing Mining Regions and Cities initiative to advance recommendations for improving development outcomes for regions engaged in extensive mining and resource extraction. NSG advised on effective ways to engage with Indigenous and rural communities and worked on the fourth Meeting of Mining Regions and Cities, held in 2020.
Facilitating Stakeholder Cooperation – Reinvigorated a long-standing conversation regarding the reintroduction and management of sea otters in Alaska with the Southeast Sea Otter Stakeholder Meeting. NSG developed a comprehensive framing report and established a respectful and constructive environment for identifying collaborative management strategies to mitigate conflict with diverse user groups.
Enhancing Indigenous Community Engagement– Consulted with the Municipality of Anchorage as they developed a government-to-government relations ordinance with the Native Village of Eklutna, one of the first nationwide. NSG works to promote participation of Indigenous groups in decision-making, relationship-building, advocacy, and communication with government entities and the private sector. Other examples of NSG work in this area has included developing divestment strategies for energy companies that benefit rural communities, establishing public affairs and outreach plans, and advising clients on key issues and interests amongst Indigenous stakeholders.
Shaping Industry-Government-Public Dialogue – Designed the Mainstreaming Biodiversity in Arctic Mining initiative between the Arctic Council’s Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF) Working Group and the mining industry to examine the challenges and opportunities for incorporating conservation measures and biodiversity into Arctic mining operations. NSG has taken a leading role from the beginning, and most recently by contributing to the May 2021 Progress Report.
Baseline Research and Reporting
Stakeholder Analysis – Conducted baseline research mapping projects in a variety of thematic areas, compiling and curating exhaustive lists of influential participants and their interests to inform client engagement
strategies. Examples include an overview of international Arctic mining companies, an analysis of Alaska’s climate change influencers, and a database of U.S. Indigenous stakeholders.
Cataloguing Good Practices – Compiled examples of the northern mining industries’ biodiversity efforts and community engagement and environmental protection initiatives. NSG created the first-ever effort to gather information about good practices employed by mining and extractive industries throughout the Arctic.
Whitepapers and Issue Briefs – Prepared reports on current events, issues, and policy developments in response to client interests such as transboundary mining issues, rural economic development strategies, regional social-economic conditions, and indigenous participation in renewable energy industries. NSG also provided input for a Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development whitepaper that explored successful partnerships between indigenous communities and extractive industries.
Strategic Planning and Resource Mobilization
Concept Papers and Program Strategies – Conceived and contributed to numerous concept papers for developing studies, indices, and comprehensive program strategies that address policy development, coalition building, legislative advocacy, and grassroots community engagement. Examples include devising the concept of an annual index measuring Native hiring and contracting practices among corporations and U.S. federal agencies, as well as a study to identify barriers and opportunities for linking U.S. Indigenous communities to regional and rural development opportunities.
Securing Financial Support – Worked with non-profits and other organizations to identify and secure funding for a variety of projects. By providing advocacy plans, strategic outreach, and progress updates for clients, NSG leverages its wide network of contacts to mobilize resources and form sustainable strategic partnerships.
Coalition Building and Advocacy
Northern Network – Curated an in-house, subscription-based service for individuals and organizations looking to build their presence in the North. Services include a Congressional guide for Northern advocates, a glossary of Arctic-related concepts, exclusive reports, other promotional services, and information about relevant conferences and events, as well as global networking opportunities.
Outreach and Lobbying Support – Work with clients to plan delegation visits to DC involving relevant appointments and strategic connections with decision-makers and national entities. Leveraging an extensive network in Washington, D.C., NSG tracks federal issues, prepares advocacy documents, organizes schedules, arranges appointments, and prepares post-trip reports and follow-up materials.
Practice Area Highlight:
Mining Industry Outreach – Over the past dozen years, NSG has provided communities and social consultancy services to Rio Tinto, a global mining company. Work projects involved examining an investment proposal on the proposed Pebble Mine project in Alaska’s Bristol Bay region, advising on the design of a comprehensive conceptual plan for community engagement and outreach, monitoring and attending meetings and debates regarding the Pebble project, planning and implementing a major donation of stock in Northern Dynasty Minerals/Pebble Partnership to the Alaska Community Foundation and the Bristol Bay Native Corporation Education Foundation (which monetized the stock to invest in vocational education programs and to fund scholarships and other educational opportunities), developing a plan for meaningful engagement with Indigenous communities throughout the U.S., recommending a strategy for working with Native American news media outlets, organizing a planning session for mining company executives to develop strategies and practices for engaging with Indigenous Peoples in the U.S., promoting the formation of an Indigenous minerals association to advocate for the common interests of Indigenous people involved in the mining industry in Alaska and throughout North America, recommending candidates for a proposed U.S. Indigenous Peoples (USIP) Advisory Panel, preparing a stakeholder map and communication/outreach plan for the clean-up of an abandoned mine in Alaska’s Prince William Sound, and helping to maintain national relations with Indigenous peoples. One special project was the USIP Stakeholder Map and Report (2015, with periodic updates) to identify tribal leaders, opinion leaders and individuals with recognized influence in Indigenous communities at the local, regional, and national levels to assess potential allies and candidates for engagement. NSG maintained core reference documents including:
An events calendar (listing all notable meetings and events relating to Indigenous Peoples and mining, primarily in North America)
Acronyms reference directory
USIP federal policy updates
USIP 101 – A primer on the Indigenous Peoples of the United States
Rio Tinto Engagement Matrix
Native Library USIP reading list
We look forward to connecting and collaborating with you. For general inquiries, please fill out the form below or email email@example.com. If you are interested in becoming one of our Global Partners, please contact us.