VIDEO: Groundswell Indigenous Mining Summit
Last night, we hosted an absolutely riveting conversation that should motivate anyone with a sense of justice to get behind Gitxaala’s mining challenge. The passionate arguments that presenters brought forward illuminated the genius of pairing the deep wisdom of land-based tradition carriers with the brightest legal strategists in the country.
We’re very grateful to Jessica Clogg (West Coast Environmental Law) Sm’ooygit Nees Hiwaas (Gitxaala), Naxginkw Tara Marsden (Gitanyow Hereditary Chiefs), and Jamie Kneen (Reform BC Mining) for bringing lifetimes of expertise to bear on the opportunity before us: to change B.C.’s Mineral Tenure Act and quit handing speculators unceded, often sacred lands without the knowledge or consent of Indigenous Nations.
In these fraught times it is more important than ever to show up to bear witness, learn and take action in support of Indigenous land protectors.
RAVEN’s relationship with Gitxaala began with the Pull Together campaign in 2014. Seven Nations joined forces to stop a dirty tar sands pipeline from despoiling B.C.’s forests, wetlands, rich salmon estuaries and marine ecosystems.
Inspired by the leadership of hereditary chiefs like Nees Hiwaas, a movement of inspired land and water protectors caught fire. Awakening to the incredible work Indigenous Peoples were doing to protect their territories & future generations, we were also driven by the climate reality that we can’t build more pipelines, or sacrifice precious ecosystems…and, if money was driving the problem, then money was going to help turn it right.
People donated, fundraised, and organised: through pancake breakfasts, drag shows, and benefit concerts, RAVEN’s amazing community raised nearly a million dollars to back Nations in a judicial review that ultimately quashed Enbridge’s Northern Gateway project.
So when Gitxaala reached out with a case that takes on the Mineral Tenure Actand puts B.C’s newly minted DRIPA legislation to the test, we said, “How much do you need?”
Many people have responded to the call. But: times have changed since 2014. There is a tentativeness in the public square. Social media can feel like a dumpster fire, and sometimes the rhetorical commitments to reconciliation obscure the snail’s pace at which real recognition of Indigenous rights is occurring.
But: for one special night, hundreds of people joined us by webinar and in person to raise $10k for Gitxaala. Now: it’s time to dig deep and give big, so we can take the fight into 2023.
No matter how you give: thank you for contributing to a world where we can thrive in relationship to the entire living world: not as master, but as humble, grateful members in a family of life.