As a member of one of the Nations taking this issue to court…and as a passionate organizer with deep community roots, let me say this: Pull Together is making a difference. We know what we have to do; you are helping us to do it. We know how big this task is; you are giving us hope.
RAVEN occupies a unique niche in the NGO community in Canada by creating legal defense funds for First Nations who must continuously defend their lands and livelihood from the onslaught of rampant industrial development. This small group is incredibly successful given their lean resources and organizational structure.
Groups like RAVEN are essential in the framework of the NGO world. I look at what they have accomplished already – like keeping the Beaver Lake Cree’s legal action against both Canada and Alberta at play for more than four years in an effort to stop the expansion of the tar sands. They’re doing some major heroic work on a shoestring.
This small group is incredibly successful, given their lean resources and organizational structure. We want to see them expand because it seems clear that litigation is going to be one of the key ways that we protect our planet.
The Cooperative Bank supported the Beaver Lake Cree’s legal action to protect the ecological integrity of their traditional territories via RAVEN, because we view this legal action as perhaps the best chance we have to stop tar sands expansion. And we see RAVEN as the NGO best-placed to assist this First Nation because of its mandate to support First Nations by levelling the playing field when it comes to going head to head with government-assisted industrial expansion.