Overview of Module
This panel explores what you can do next. You will explore questions to keep asking yourself as you engage in the work of renewing the relationship and discuss opportunities for making connections with other campaigns and organizations that are doing this work.
Dr. Lynn Gehl
Lynn is an Algonquin Anishinaabe-kwe from the Ottawa River Valley, Ontario, Canada. She describes herself as a learner-researcher, thinker, writer, Black Face blogger, and she has been an Indigenous human rights advocate for over 25 years. Lynn works to eliminate the continued sex discrimination in the Indian Act, and she is also an outspoken critic of the contemporary land claims and self-government process. She has a doctorate in Indigenous Studies, a Master of Arts in Canadian and Native Studies, and an undergraduate degree in Anthropology. She also has a diploma in Chemical Technology and worked in the field of environmental science for 12 years in the area of toxic organic analysis of Ontario’s waterways. While advocating for change is currently part of what she does, she is also interested in traditional knowledge systems that guide the Anishinaabeg forward to a good life.
Along with over 75 journal, community, and video publications, she has three books:
- Anishinaabeg Stories: Featuring Petroglyphs, Petrographs, and Wampum Belts
- The Truth that Wampum Tells: My Debwewin on the Algonquin Land Claims Process
- Mkadengwe: Sharing Canada’s Colonial Process through Black Face Methodology
(Mkadengwe is a fundraiser book for the work she does on Unknown and Unstated Paternity)
You can see her work and contact her through her personal website: www.lynngehl.com
Jessica Bolduc holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree from Carleton University in Economics and has been working in community economic development in Northern Ontario for the last five years. She has worked directly on projects relating to local food, economic development, and capacity building for First Nation communities. She is also a Board Member and the National Youth Representative for the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples; a National Aboriginal Organization that advocates for urban, off-reserve Aboriginal peoples in Canada.
Currently Jessica is working in the capacity of Project Coordinator for the 4Rs Youth Movement. The 4Rs Youth Movement was conceived as a collaboration of five national youth-serving organizations, six national Aboriginal organizations and three national charitable foundations in Canada. These Fourteen organizations are working with youth to rebuild Canada by creating opportunity for Indigenous and non-Indigenous young people to come together and through dialogue and learning, change the outcomes (social, economic and otherwise) for the next seven generations.
In her community of Sault Ste. Marie, ON, Jessica is part of the Youth Social Infrastructure (YSI) Algoma core team, and is working to co-create space for young people to make change in their communities. Jessica is also the co-lead and community liaison for Ears and Eyes, a youth-led blog and music promotions organization made up of a collective of artists, musicians, activists and change-makers. Ears and Eyes is becoming a platform from which young people can be exposed to arts, culture, collaboration and social justice in her community.
Crystal feels it is her obligation as a mother to protect her land, water and culture for her children and future generations. Currently, Crystal is the Climate and Energy Campaigner for Sierra Club Canada and is a fellow of the Indigenous Environmental Network. She utilizes her formal academia – Two University Degrees, but above all her Indigenous ways of knowing and being, to articulate the impacts of the direct exploitation of the tar sands whilst addressing the environmental racism the Government of Canada imposes on First Nations people in the name of resource extraction.
“We have come to a point where we have no choice left but to lift up our inherent treaty rights – our birthrights. The Crown and this Government do not get to pick the pieces of their law it likes and which one’s it does not, they made their laws thus they have to abide by them. As First Nations people, we abide by natural law, and there is nothing natural about a people dying from cancer and suffering from respiratory illnesses” she exclaims.
Although the Beaver Lake Cree’s rights to hunt and fish for all time are enshrined in Treaty 6, their land is being usurped by the tar sands industry, which destroys the very habitat of the animals and fish they depend on and when those ecosystems are being affected, the inherent right to sustain themselves is affected, which means their Constitutionally protected rights are violated, giving Treaty title holders grounds to sue, which the Beaver Lake Cree did in 2008. Alberta and Canada have far exceeded the land’s capacity for development. They have recklessly authorized tar sands projects, military facilities and other development without any real regard for the rights of Beaver Lake and other Treaty Nations. While any one of these projects by themselves might be tolerable, taken together they threaten to destroy the First Nations people’s way of life and the land that has sustained them for centuries. The case is currently being carried forward by the Beaver Lake Cree’s current leadership and Crystal uses this as one example of how First Nations people can assert their rights whilst offering a solution.
Clayton Thomas-Muller is a member of the Treaty #6 based Mathias Colomb Cree Nation also known as Pukatawagan located in in Northern Manitoba, Canada. Based in the Canadian capital city of Ottawa, Clayton is an organizer with 350.org, the Co-Director of the Indigenous Tar Sands Campaign of the Polaris Institute and a founder and organizer with Defenders of the Land. Clayton is involved in many initiatives to support the building of an inclusive movement globally for energy and climate justice. He serves on the boards of Black Mesa Water Coalition, the Global Justice Ecology Project and the Bioneers. He is also a steering committee member of the Tar Sands Solutions Network.
Clayton has been recognized by Utne Magazine as one of the top 30 under 30 activists in the United States and as a “Climate Hero 2009” by Yes Magazine. For the last twelve years he has campaigned across Canada, Alaska and the lower 48 states organizing in hundreds of First Nations, Alaska Native and Native American communities in support of grassroots Indigenous Peoples to defend against the encroachment of the fossil fuel industry. This has included a special focus on the sprawling infrastructure of pipelines, refineries and extraction associated with the Canadian tar sands. Clayton is an organizer, facilitator, public speaker and writer on environmental and economic justice.