Liz McArthur of Victoria BC is creating a radio documentary on the Unis’tot’en Camp pipeline blockade. She interviewed two fellow volunteers who participated in the summer caravan to the Camp, and a third activist involved with defense of the Sacred Headwaters. The interviews aired on the August 4, 2014 episode of Gorilla Radio.
Will Falk of Deep Green Resistance and Victoria Forest Action Network, on his environmental activism with the Camp and other efforts. He discusses the importance of supporting indigenous struggles, and what members of settler culture need to understand and how they should approach such solidarity work.
Vanessa Gray, a member of the Amjiwnaang nation in the Chemical Valley of Southern Ontario, describing the horrific conditions of living in close proximity to 63 oil and gas facilities, including pipelines, refineries, and loading docks. Gray describes the incredibly high rates of health problems brought on by this policy of environmental racism towards the indigenous. Gray brought youth to the Camp to show them that places still exist with clean water and air, and to inspire them to fight against the dominant culture of monetary profit at the sacrifice of people and land.
John Mowat Stephen briefly talks about activism with the Tahltan First Nation around the Sacred Headwaters in northern BC.
Listen to the interview to learn more about the front line struggles in BC against the fossil fuel industry, and how you can help:
Skills for Solidarity is a free online program to help the non-Indigenous better understand the issues facing Indigenous Peoples of Canada, hopefully leading to more effective campaigns for environmental and social justice activists. This is crucial work for non-Indigenous Peoples and highly recommended. Although oriented towards Canadians, anyone can view the Module videos and download the accompanying workbooks. This crucial educational work is highly recommend for all members of settler culture.
Skills for Solidarity will provide an introductory overview to our nations’ shared history.
Our hope is that those who participate in the program will leave with a better understanding of how they are connected to and responsible for renewing the relationship between Indigenous Peoples and non-Indigenous Peoples, and a toolkit to help us continue exploring effective ways of working together. While we will not walk away knowing everything about our nations’ histories, we will hopefully be better equipped to ask questions about how to engage in solidarity work in a meaningful, authentic and effective way.
“Our land is still under occupation. Most of our people still live in exile. Dakota people are still prevented from practicing basic freedoms (even access to sacred sites). All of the systems and institutions to which we are subject are colonial in nature and they all prevent us from living freely as Dakota people. We hold a fraction of 1% of our original land base in Minisota and our populations would die if we had to subsist on those small parcels of land. Our populations still suffer from high rates of early mortality, suicide, and violence. We suffer tremendously from Western diseases (alcoholism, cancer, diabetes). We live in a society that continues to justify our extermination and non-existence while glorifying perpetrators of genocide and rationalizing land theft. And, we have largely, silently witnessed the destruction of our homeland through extensive mining, logging, manufacturing, energy production, industrial agriculture and animal feedlots.”
Waziyatawin is a Dakota writer, teacher, and activist from the Pezihutazizi Otunwe (Yellow Medicine Village) in southwestern Minnesota. After receiving her Ph.D. in American history from Cornell University in 2000, she earned tenure and an associate professorship in the history department at Arizona State University where she taught for seven years. Waziyatawin currently holds the Indigenous Peoples Research Chair in the Indigenous Governance Program at the University of Victoria in British Columbia.