Today marks a landmark in RAVEN’s history! It was 5 years ago that a group of individuals came together and decided that something had to be done about the extreme unfairness in the Canadian justice system with regards to protecting First Nations rights.
Here are 5 reasons, one for each year of our existence as to why we feel we are doing important work!
1. We are Effective: From our days of only two programs, we have now expanded to multiple campaign communities including the Tsilhqot’in Nation, Beaver Lake Cree, Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, Gitga’at Nation, Gitxaala Nation, Haisla Nation, Lake Babine First Nation. We have had many successes, most recently with saving Teztan Biny (Fish Lake) a second time with the federal rejection of Taseko Mines Ltd.’s proposed “New Prosperity Mine” was rejected. RAVEN was all in for the first round on that project as well! RAVEN also proudly assisted Beaver Lake Cree Nation to fend off two concerted efforts to have their historic legal action against the expansion of the tar sands from being thrown out of court. The case is now moving to trial. And we were behind a successful judicial review aimed at saving the endangered woodland caribou in northeastern Alberta.
2. We are Supported: We have the support of many including 4,000 likes on Facebook, 1500 Twitter followers (many of them international), and have expanded to 3 staff members! We love collaborating and are currently involved with Creatively United for the Planet, PowerShift, 1% for the Planet, and Beyond AirMiles.
3. We are Unique: RAVEN is the ONLY organization in Canada that exclusively provides legal defence funds for First Nations. We are unique in the Canadian landscape, and we are having a direct impact on the litigation processes of these important cases. Passionate, dedicated and committed to social change describes the attitude of our board members, staff and volunteers. We are a lean, efficient and hard-working organization that will stretch itself to achieve the goals it set towards realizing their vision for a country that embraces the values of the First Nations.
4. We Envision a Brighter Future: We are rooted in an ethic that comes from a belief in fairness. We build partnerships, not empires. We hope for a day when our vision is realized and our services are no longer needed because constitutional democracy is flourishing. But until then, we do our best to level the playing field. Because we also see that what is at stake for First Nations is at stake for everyone – the expectation that we will always have water to drink, land to grow healthy food on, and sustainable ecosystems for all life.
5. We are Grateful: We could not do it without all of the support of our funders: from individual donors to grants, socially responsible corporations and foundations. Thank you so much for all that you do!