Environmental Justice, the Tar Sands, and Indigenous Rights

Toronto — 1 February 2015. Tar Sands extraction projects, located primarily in Treaty 6 and 8, have radically damaged and contaminated a huge area of land in so-called Alberta, and poisoned the Athabasca watershed. As a result of the toxic operations, some Indigenous communities are experiencing unusually high rates of rare cancers and other illnesses. … Watch video »

Toronto — 1 February 2015.

Tar Sands extraction projects, located primarily in Treaty 6 and 8, have radically damaged and contaminated a huge area of land in so-called Alberta, and poisoned the Athabasca watershed. As a result of the toxic operations, some Indigenous communities are experiencing unusually high rates of rare cancers and other illnesses. Traditional ways of life are also at risk as hunting, fishing, and collecting medicinal plants is becoming more difficult in polluted waters and lands.
These lands are the traditional territories of a number of Indigenous Nations whose right to hunt, fish, and live are protected by Treaties, which are currently being violated.

Moderated by Greg Albo. Presentations by:

  • Keith Stewart is the coordinator of Greenpeace’s climate and energy campaign which is currently focused on stopping the expansion of the tar sands and promoting an Energy [R]evolution. He has worked as an energy policy analyst and advocate for the last 15 years, including on successful campaigns to phase out coal-fired power plants and enact a Green Energy Act in Ontario.
  • Heather Milton-Lightening founded a national Native youth network that supported Native youth organizing across the U.S. and Canada with the Indigenous Environmental Network. She was a former member of the United Nations Environment Programme’s Youth Advisory and lobbied internationally on Indigenous People’s issues. She is currently the Co-Director of the Indigenous Tar Sands Campaign.
  • Lana Goldberg is an environmental justice and Indigenous solidarity organizer. She works with Aamjiwnaang First Nation community members in their struggle against Chemical Valley and organizes against the Tar Sands and Line 9 with grassroots groups and the No Line 9 Coalition in Toronto. She was highly involved in the Occupy movement and the Peoples’ Social Forum.

The forum was sponsored by: Centre for Social Justice, Greater Toronto Workers’ Assembly and Socialist Project.