It’s been seven years now that RAVEN has been working together with First Nations for equitable access to justice.
In this watershed moment, we are committed to stand with the Nations we support all the way to the Supreme Court. This staying power has led to court victories that have protected sacred lands, upheld Treaty rights, stopped a pipeline, defended land from open-pit mining and set powerful precedents for future generations.
We could not achieve our victories without the support of our donors, from individuals to our monthly Circle of Allies contributors. We also gratefully receive support from grants, socially responsible corporations and charitable foundations. We use cutting edge online fundraising tools: inspired by justice, powered by the crowd.
First Nations challenging the Site C Dam in court
We did it! Thanks to your support, we have met and exceeded our goal of $250,000 for Join the Circle – No Site C! RAVEN donors have raised a total of $306,000 for West Moberly and Prophet River First Nations’ legal challenges to the proposed BC Hydro Site C dam project.
Thanks to your donations and some heavy lifting by LeadNow, the Justice for the Peace Caravan rode an uplifting wave of support all the way from the Peace, across the Prairies, and into the federal appeal courtroom in Montreal. Hundreds of non-native and native supporters met the bus in Montreal, and also stood with Treaty 8 members and their legal team on the steps of Parliament in Ottawa.
Now we wait and watch as Treaty 8 Nations gear up for a title case against Site-C in the fight of a generation.
Supreme Court victory in Peel Watershed case
In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court of Canada upheld the plan to protect the majority of the Peel Watershed in northern Yukon. It’s a massive victory for Yukon First Nations and cause for environmental celebration on a global scale. Now, the pure rivers running free through a land of rugged mountains, boreal forests and tundra — one of the largest unspoiled natural areas left in North America — will be preserved. This exquisite and pristine land will be stewarded by a coalition led by Indigenous Peoples, thanks to the support of RAVEN and our allies.
The People vs. Kinder Morgan
59 First Nations including almost every coastal nation directly impacted by tanker traffic, 21 BC municipalities including Vancouver, North Vancouver, Victoria, and Burnaby, and over 210,000 citizens have signed petitions opposing the pipeline and tanker project.
RAVEN raised an initial $50,000 for the Tsleil-Watuth, Squamish, and Coldwater First Nations to launch court challenges. Since then we’ve raised $620,000 together with online fundraisers and community activists from Seattle to Toronto! We know from experience in stopping the Enbridge pipeline that defending Indigenous rights in court is a strategic choke point for such projects.
Beaver Lake Cree vs. the TarSands
RAVEN proudly assisted Beaver Lake Cree Nation with resources to fend off two concerted attempts by Canada and Alberta to have their legal action to stop the expansion of the tar sands industries thrown out of court.
As a result, the Beaver Lake Cree Nation’s claim against the Crown for breaching Treaty 6 is proceeding to trial. The historic, precedent-setting judgment issued in March 2012 was upheld by the Alberta Court of Appeal. In a judgment issued April 30, 2013, the Court dismissed Alberta and Canada’s appeal of Justice Browne’s decision, stating in its conclusion: “The appeals are therefore dismissed in their entirety. The parties will be well-served by returning to their case management judge for the imposition of a litigation plan to advance this litigation through trial.”
Tsilhqot’in First Nation vs. Taseko New Prosperity Mine
To date, RAVEN has enjoyed significant success mounting a formidable fundraising campaign that enabled the Tsilhqot’in First Nations to achieve success THREE TIMES in defence of Teztan Biny (Fish Lake), sacred homeland, against the repeated advances of the Taseko Mines Ltd. mining company. The outcome of the judicial review and both earlier hearings saw the independent panel issue scathing reports, which the federal government used as the basis of both rejections of the Prosperity and New Prosperity open pit gold-copper mine proposals.
We also used donated air miles to book hotel rooms for Tsilqot’in Elders travelling to attend the Supreme Court of Canada hearings and offset $3000 of their travel costs with the Beyond Air Miles Charitable Pooling Program.
Pull Together Against Enbridge
Together with Sierra Club BC, RAVEN raised over $600,000 for the legal challenges of seven First Nations. This was an unprecedented alliance of Nations along the pipeline route who were united and strengthened by this case. Based on the flawed Joint Review Panel findings, the successful court cases led to the cancelling of the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline and tankers project.
RAVEN Victories are made possible by our dedicated supporters, who fundraise, organize events and donate to give Indigenous People’s access to justice. Our Circle of Allies offer reliable, long term support so we can take on more cases, and so we have the staying power to stick with First Nations through lengthy and costly court processes.
Join RAVEN’s Circle of Allies and put reconciliation into action!