RAVEN - Respecting Aboriginal Values and Environmental Needs

Pull Together Grassroots Campaign Smashes $200K; Haida Nation Joins

First, thanks to some hard work and generous allies, the campaign has now raised more than $200,000 to support the legal efforts to stop Enbridge!  Second, a powerful new nation, the Haida, have just joined.

This is incredible growth starting from zero only four months ago. The campaign has been so successful we’ve decided to raise our target to $300,000 by Dec 31. Let’s do this BC…we already are!  You can learn more about how we got here by reading Sierra Club BC’s Caitlyn Vernon’s article here:  http://www.vancouverobserver.com/opinion/pull-together-bc

Below is the press release from all involved.  Thank you so much.

DESPITE FEDERAL APPROVAL, OPPOSITION TO ENBRIDGE’S NORTHERN GATEWAY KEEPS GROWING

Fast-Growing Grassroots Fundraising Campaign Supports BC First Nations Legal Muscle Against Enbridge

VICTORIA, BC – The Pull Together campaign to support First Nations legal challenges against the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline is growing steadily and has raised more than $200,000 in four months.

Today, the Haida Nation announced they have joined Pull Together, the sixth First Nation to do so. Funds raised through the Pull Together campaign help support the legal challenges against Northern Gateway that have been launched by the Haida, Gitxaala, Heiltsuk, Kitasoo/Xai’xais, Nadleh Whut’en and Nak’azdli Nations.

“The Pull Together campaign is driven by people who care and are politically astute,” said kil tlaats ‘gaa Peter Lantin, President of the Haida Nation. “They can see how the future of the country is shaping up and want to be part of it.”

“British Columbians do not want First Nations to stand alone against Enbridge and they’re demonstrating this with passion, creativity and their wallets,” said Sierra Club BC campaigns director Caitlyn Vernon. “It’s incredible to think that Pull Together began in the summer with a community group in Terrace raising $2,000, and now we have raised a hundred times that.”

Started by community groups in northern BC, the campaign has been so successful it is increasing its fundraising goal from $250,000 to $300,000 by December 31.

Pull-Together.ca is managed by Sierra Club BC in partnership with Victoria-based legal defence fund RAVEN Trust to enable residents from across BC and Canada to make donations and hold fundraising events in support of First Nation legal challenges. All monies raised are being matched by an anonymous donor.
So far, volunteers from across BC have organized or planned more than 50 community events. There are more than 30 participating businesses, almost 100 online fundraisers and more than 1,000 individual donors.

Highlights include:

  • Global corporate watchdog SumOfUs.org raised more than $40,000 for the campaign from among their 650,000 Canadian members
  • More than 25 yoga studios are participating in the “Stretch across BC Challenge” in November, led by the Moksha chain who alone have raised more than $8,500 to date
  • Jess Housty, a Heiltsuk councillor, was married on Oct 18 and asked wedding guests to donate to Pull Together instead of giving gifts, raising more than $5,700
  • The community of Pender Island on Sunday raised more than $4,000 with a concert featuring Mae Moore and Daniel Lapp
  • The United Church of Canada is fundraising from its congregations nationwide throughout the month of November

“This is an extensive, costly legal process. The next stage involves gathering all of the evidence required for the Nations to make their cases at Court ,” said Susan Smitten, executive director of RAVEN. “While the Nations are committed to going it alone, standing together and pooling resources with all British Columbians ensures equal access to justice and a successful outcome with much more likelihood of success.”

The pull-together.ca website offers people the option to donate directly, fundraise online among their networks of friends and neighbours, or organize community fundraising events. Sierra Club BC is offering training and support to individuals and community groups interested in hosting fundraising events.

British Columbians and anyone interested in supporting these nations can join the campaign by going to www.pull-together.ca.

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Contact:

Simon Davies, Haida Nation – 250-637-1130
Caitlyn Vernon, Sierra Club BC – 250-896-3500
Emma Pullman, SumOfUs.org – 778-887-6776

Other participating Nations can be reached as follows:

Acting Chief Clarence Innis, Gitxaala Nation – 250-600-4368
Chief Marilyn Slett, Heiltsuk Nation – 250-957-7721
Chief Fred Sam, Nak’azdli Nation – 250-996-7171
Lisa Fong and Julia Hincks, legal counsel representing Kitasoo/Xai’xais and Heiltsuk Nations – 604-331-1155

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