Freeport-McMoRan places a high value on preserving the unique cultures of the Indigenous Peoples who live in and around its PT Freeport Indonesia (PTFI) operations in Papua Province. In addition to improving the quality of life of local communities through its community development programs in education, health, infrastructure and economic development, the company takes a proactive approach to promoting and celebrating the unique Papuan culture nationally and internationally.
Freeport-McMoRan has sponsored research and the publication of a series of books on Papuan indigenous cultures. Since 2008, three books, namely Introducing Papua, Highlands of Papua and South Coast of Papua, have been published and distributed to schools in the Mimika Regency as part of the company’s efforts to provide teaching materials to support the local content requirement of the Indonesian curriculum. The Amungme and Kamoro Community Development Organization (LPMAK), which manages the Freeport Partnership Fund for Community Development established by PTFI in 1996, has also published two books – one on the Amungme and Kamoro folklore, and another on traditional music.
In order to create economic opportunities through the preservation of local culture, PTFI supports a wood-carving program, which provides technical assistance and logistical support to Kamoro carvers who would like to exhibit and market their products in Indonesia and abroad.
Since 2012, PTFI has developed strategic partnerships with the Papua Center of the University of Indonesia and Bentara Budaya, a national culture and art institution, to help promote Papuan culture as part of Indonesia’s cultural diversity. As part of these partnerships, PTFI organized wood-carving exhibitions, sculpture demonstrations, dance performances, presentations of Kamoro culinary traditions and cultural dialogues with anthropologists. Through their own initiatives, PTFI employees created the Iyakoko Patea Choir in 2006 to bring together music enthusiasts within the workforce to perform and promote traditional Papuan music. The choir currently has approximately 50 members. It has participated in a number of competitions nationally and internationally, and has won numerous awards.