News from the Nest – Summer Edition 2019

Sharing the fruits of summer, Allies

Summer is golden, full of light and the earth’s abundance.  Following our springtime efforts of tending the soil, and planting seeds for growth, we are now in the time of celebration, visiting, and tending our relationships with our families, friends, our work, and with the Earth.

Thanks to your support Allies, we are starting to see where our work is bearing fruit. And always, there is FUN through the warmth of summer! Follow us on Instagram to check out pics from our fabulous Pull Together launch party, held aboard the tall sailing ship Providence. Together with Rueben George, we sailed into the sunset on the Salish Sea to ignite a new round of legal fundraising as Indigenous Nations go to court in what may be our last, best chance to stop the TMX pipeline and tankers project. Hear Rueben’s powerful message to allies inviting us to step up and stand strong. 

At RAVEN, our team has taken some important time to recharge, and re-ignite the energy behind the important campaigns in our dossier.  To take on the coming challenges, we’ve grown in size! You will note on our staff page that we have some wonderful new members of the team in both Development and Communications.  Please welcome Kathryn Juricic as our new Development Coordinator, and Maia Wikler as RAVEN’s Digital Communications Coordinator.  And we also welcome Karissa Chandrikate as our new Social Media Manager!  Check out our Instagram to see inspiring stories from RAVEN.

Unist’ot’en News

We are delighted to share the impact of our latest campaign! Unist’ot’en were in court June 12-14, pushing back against industry occupation of their land. With your help, we were able to support these Wet’suwet’en land protectors through a whirlwind emergency campaign that so far has raised an astonishing $85K!  Unist’ot’en is opposing a permanent injunction application from Coastal Gas Link that would encroach on traditional territory at Wedzin Kwa (Morrice River) in northern BC. Find out more.

It is thanks to ongoing and reliable support from our Circle of Allies that we are able to be bold and take on new opportunities to be of service in ways that would otherwise be beyond the capacity of our small organization. Sne kal yëgh!

Thanks and Farewell to Jessica and Karl

Our Annual General Meeting in June saw more changes for RAVEN governance, as President Jessica Van der Veen, and Treasurer Karl Mech stepped down after many years of dedicated service.  They both brought so much of themselves to this work, and we will miss them. Stepping in as President is Jeff Nicholls, a lawyer and member of the Raven Clan of Tsimshian Nation. The position of treasurer is currently vacant – if you are an accountant or financial whiz with a desire to volunteer on an amazing non-profit, please give us a call!

Miles – Help Us Fly!

If you are taking holidays this summer, perhaps flying to see family or join in a sun-filled holiday with friends, one easy way to celebrate AND donate is through the Beyond Miles program with Air Canada.  RAVEN is an accepted charity in the program, and miles donated are immediately available for use. This has been a substantive, tangible way for RAVEN to support Nations like the Tsilhqot’in when elders needed to attend court, or to pay for hotel rooms for members of Heiltsuk Nation when required to travel to Vancouver or other cities. 

Secwepemc win motion for elders to provide evidence in traditional manner

We congratulate the Secwepemc on setting this important precedent even before the main hearing in their title case! In his decision, Justice Patrice Abrioux of the BC Supreme Court allowed “panel deposition” testimony of four Secwepemc elders. Unlike the usual deposition proceedings in the Canadian court system, where individual evidence is taken, the elders will be allowed to testify as a group, in order to align proceedings with the historical way Indigenous people give their evidence. Learn more about the title case here. 

Heiltsuk Nation hold Kirby sentencing circle in Bella Bella

This month, a unique community sentencing circle was carried out by Heiltsuk Nation. At the same time as Canada levied a fine on the company responsible for the sinking of the Nathan E. Stewart, Kirby representatives were invited to sit and listen as community members, mariners, elders and youth gave heart wrenching testimony about the ongoing impacts of the spill in their lives and to their livelihoods. Chief Marilyn Slett issued an Open Letter to Kirby’s CEO, which was shared by CBC and the Houston Chronicle. Read her powerful words, and sign on to the Open Letter.

And… We’re Pulling !!!

The First Nations that won in court against the TransMountain pipeline are not taking the recent federal approval sitting down! On July 8, Tsleil-Waututh, Squamish, Coldwater and Stk’emlupsemc te Secwepemc filed appeals against the federal approval of TransMountain pipeline. The Pull Together community has pulled another incredible feat of solidarity, raising nearly $70K in only three weeks! We’re being called upon to donate, fundraise and organize in support of Indigenous legal challenges: sign up to start pulling!

We hope you enjoy more sun-soaked days on the territories of Indigenous Peoples whom you are helping to carry on stewardship practices that have kept this land in beauty since time immemorial. Stay tuned through to the fall to hear more from RAVEN, and find out how you can engage with us in the year ahead. Savour the harvest that comes when we work together for justice!

Happy summer from your RAVEN team!

Susan, Ana, Laurie, Andrea, Kathryn, Maia, Leah, Josie and Karissa

P.S. RAVEN’s 2018 Annual Report, with our audited financials, is now online!

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