Category: Indigenous Land and Water

Actions in solidarity with Indigenous Land and Water Protectors

Doctrine of Discovery & Terra Nullius Forum Recording

Thank you to everyone who came on Nov 20th to attend our first forum on the topic of the Doctrine of Discovery and Terra Nullius.

Members of the IPA, Environment, Social Justice and Truth and Reconciliation teams joined together to organize and facilitate this forum. They were inspired by Bruce McIvor’s talk, and his book, Standoff: Why Reconciliation Fails Indigenous People and How to Fix It,  to educate themselves about The Doctrine of Discovery and Terra Nullius.

They discovered that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission called on all religious denominations and faith groups to repudiate the Doctrine of Discovery and Terra Nullius, and that the UUA and many Canadian churches had repudiated this doctrine – including the Anglican Church of Canada and the Catholic Bishops.  They planned this forum to start the the important conversation as to whether UCV might want to  join in denouncing this doctrine.

 

Q&A transcript – Nov 20 Forum

Please contact any of these UCV members if you would like to be involved in future discussions: yvonnemarcus@gmail.com, lesliekemp76@gmail.com, emdunn3@gmail.com

Outreach Opportunity Fund is collecting for Wild Bird Trust of BC

Starting March 6 and running until June 2022, our next Outreach Opportunity Fund recipient will be the Wild Bird Trust of BC. WBT manages the Conservation Area at Maplewood Flats in North Vancouver. ​The Trust’s mission is to provide wild birds with sanctuary through ecological protection and restoration, and support communities with education, culture, and reconciliation programs. With 80,000 annual visitors, it features 5km of trails, a spectacular Nature House with year-round public artistic exhibitions, a social enterprise nursery, and wildlife education.

The Trust’s land is situated within the traditional and unceded territory of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation (TWN). Since 2017, WBT has embarked on a redress program to decolonize operations, giving up site governance to TWN and repairing the harm done by increasing cooperation and developing programs for the benefit of the TWN community.

Playlist: Rethinking Reconciliation


A fundamental rethink is needed to save Canada’s reconciliation project from being an on-going massive failure. — Bruce McIvor

UCV Podcasts

Rethinking Reconciliation

Playlist

1 Reconciliation is a Massive Failure with Bruce McIvor, Lawyer and Historian (16:34 mins)
2 Reflections on Reconciliation with Aline Laflamme, Metis Elder, and Bruce McIvor, Lawyer and Historian (23:15 mins)
3 Settler Colonialism, Indigenous People and Unitarianism with Cole Harris, UBC Professor Emeritus (31:21 mins)
4 Arrested! One Settlers Journey To and From Vancouver Unitarians with Nan Gregory, Storyteller and Artist (22:21 mins)
5 Indigenous People and the Law, Stories of Resistance and Hope with Bruce McIvor, Lawyer and Historian (23:44 mins)

Guest Speakers

Bruce McIvor
is a proud Métis from the Red River in Manitoba. He holds a law degree, a doctorate in Aboriginal and environmental history, is a Fulbright Scholar and adjunct professor at the UBC Allard School of Law

Aline LaFlamme
Her name means the light (Aline) and the flame (LaFlamme.) She also carries the name Many Buffalo Running. Aline is a grandmother and Metis from Alberta. Among her many gifts she leads a drumming circle called Daughters of the Drum

Cole Harris
is a Professor Emeritus at the University of British Columbia and an internationally renowned historical geographer. His academic field is colonialism and the native land question in British Columbia, and patterns of early Canadian settlement

Nan Gregory
is a professional storyteller, artist and award-winning author. Born in Boston Massachusetts, she grew up in Victoria British Columbia, and now makes her home in Vancouver. Nan pleaded guilty to criminal contempt for protesting TMX


Above: Nan Gregory gets carted away by the RCMP for protesting the Kinder Morgan Pipeline


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Bruce McIvor
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Aline LaFlamme

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Cole Harris
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Nan Gregory

Wild Salmon Rallies and Street Theatre — Sept 2020

Contact the Enviro Team | Join the Enviro Email Group

wild salmon rally outside the offices of the DFO

Above: Rally and street theatre outside the offices of the DFO in downtown Vancouver calling for an end to fish farms in the Discovery Islands

From the constituency office of MP Terry Beech, to a Wild Salmon Die-in at the DFO, the Wild Salmon Action Team joined one hundred and one BC First Nations calling for the removal of fish farms from the Discovery Islands

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CUC National Voice Statement, February 2020

The recent RCMP raids of Wet’suwet’en land defenders in northwestern British Columbia has provoked widespread rallies, blockades and protests, world-wide media coverage, public statements by First Nations, politicians, industry, labour, and the public.  In view of these developments, we think it timely and important to restate the initial position taken by the Canadian Unitarian Council (CUC) on January 10, 2019:

CUC Pledges Solidarity with ​Wet’suwet’en

The Canadian Unitarian Council has joined thousands of organizations and individuals pledging solidarity with the ​Wet’suwet’en​ Hereditary Chiefs, who are blocking the development of a Coastal GasLink pipeline on their traditional territories in northwestern British Columbia:

  1. WE COMMEND the courage and vision of the Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs and their community of activists.
  2. WE ARE WATCHING across the province, country and internationally.
  3. WE DENOUNCE any attempt by Coastal GasLink Pipeline, the federal government, provincial government or RCMP to interfere in the rights of the Wet’suwet’en to occupy, manage or maintain their lands.
  4. WE URGE that any and all actions taken by the federal and provincial government, industry, and policing agencies must be consistent with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and Anuk Nu’at’en (Wet’suwet’en laws) and collective Title.
  5. WE PLEDGE support to the frontline land defenders and affirm the collective hereditary governance of the Wet’suwet’en who are enforcing Wet’suwet’en laws on their unceded lands.

Obviously, the situation has continued to evolve since last year. We recognise this is a complex matter and many of us bring strong opinions and passionate voices to the conversation—given our Unitarian Universalist principles and history, that is how it should be. We recognise, as well, quoting the Afro-American abolitionist Frederick Douglass, that “if there is no struggle, there is no progress” for “power concedes nothing without a demand.”

While we reaffirm the January 10, 2019 CUC Statement pledging solidarity with Wet’suwet’en, we urge Canadian Unitarian Universalists to reflect on how we live our faith and convictions when interests and constituencies are polarized.  We urge each other to live our principles.  May our actions be guided by respect for each other’s dignity, by compassion and empathy, by the voice of conscience and reason, by a desire for justice and equity, and by a deep respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.

We urge Canadian Unitarian Universalists to read and become familiar with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples—our nation is a signatory to this Declaration; many of its articles clarify and promote the work of reconciliation and de-colonialisation which we dare hope is still alive in Canada today and will be for generations to come.


64 Red Dresses — Art Installation by Doreen Manuel


Above: Red Dresses to honour missing and murdered Indigenous women

Honour the Women Project

At the Stop Trans Mountain Pipeline rally at Creekside Park on June 9, 2019, Doreen Manuel, Secwepemc Nation film maker, and sister of the late Chief Arthur Manuel, announced that she is collecting red dresses (the symbol of missing and murdered Indigenous women) for her “Honour the Women project”. She will hang red dresses along the route of the pipeline in Secwepemc Territory both as an art installation and as a reminder to all who the victims are.

Thank you to all who contributed red dresses and cash! A total of 64 red dresses were collected from UCV members or purchased from thrift stores using donations by UCV members.

These dresses were delivered to the BC Union of Indian Chiefs and will be hung along the Trans Mountain pipeline route in Secwepemc territory.

This red dress collection drive at UCV  was sponsored by the Social Justice Committee and supported by the Environment Team and other individuals.

The recently released report on the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls states that there is a correlation between resource extraction and violence against Indigenous women and girls. Work camps/man camps built for resource extraction projects are implicated in higher rates of violence against Indigenous women at the camps and neighbouring communities.


For more information about this project, please contact Doreen Manuel at: honourthewomen@gmail.com

Bill C-262 rally supported by UCV members

Bill C-262: An Act to ensure that the laws of Canada are in harmony with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

The Canadian Unitarian Council was a co-sponsor of the pass Bill C-262 rally on Saturday, April 6th. Representatives of all 4 Greater Vancouver Unitarian congregations spoke including Leslie Kemp from UCV.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission has called Canada to adopt and implement the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Bill C-262 will ensure that Canada’s laws are in harmony with the Declaration.

Please sign this online petition to urge the Senate to pass this bill without delay.

Get RADICAL With The Environment Team

With breathtaking cinematography, The RADICALS is a documentary film that follows four snowboarders and surfers driven to become social and environmental stewards through their connection with the environments in which they play.

At least 80 people braved our snowy Vancouver weather on Friday, Feb. 15 to come watch the incredible movie “The Radicals” – where environmentalism meets action sports. — The event introduced the audience to members of a new generation of activists in British Columbia.

The filmmaker and some of those involved in the film provided commentary and answered questions. Over $1200 was contributed to the three Indigenous groups featured in the film.

Another successful event from the Environment Team!


UCV Members March in Support of the Unist’ot’en

Many UCV members came to listen to and march with Indigenous supporters of the Wet’suwet’en people who are defending their land by opposing construction of a gas pipeline by TransCanada Coastal GasLink.

The Solidarity Action with Wet’suwet’en took place on Tuesday Jan 8, 11:30 in Vancouver. Similar rallies and marches took place locally, nationally and internationally.

Supporters followed the Indigenous led march from the Provincial Courts Building to Victory Square.

Click on any image below to start slideshow

Three Environmental Events Coming to UCV

Above: Connecting to the environments in which we play. — Image from The Radicals

Whether you are a longtime environmentalist concerned about oil tankers and other issues, a social justice activist supporting First Nations concerns — or if you know nothing about these topics and feel now is a good time to start learning — the Environment Team is hosting three upcoming events for you!


EVENTS

(1) Ravens People Rising
(2) The Radicals — by Beyond Snowboarding
(3) Intergenerational Activists Dinner


RAVEN PEOPLE RISING
Saturday January 19th, 2019
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Location the Sanctuary



This is a film screening, fundraiser and discussion with Heiltsuk Nation members about their court challenge to enshrine governance of their homelands and waters into law.

With the Unist’ot’en conflict in the news every day, hearing about the Heiltsuk case is relevant and important for us to gain an understanding of Indigenous issues in BC and Canada.

Click here for more information.


The RADICALS — by Beyond Boarding
Friday February 15, 2019
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Location the Sanctuary



The RADICALS is a documentary film that follows four snowboarders and surfers driven to become social and environmental stewards through their connection with the environments in which they play.

Follow them as they show the Tahltan fight for the Sacred Headwaters, BC Hydro’s destruction of salmon waters in Xwísten territory, art as resilience on Haida Gwaii, and a coastal uprising against fish farms off the coast of Vancouver Island. Each Indigenous community teaches the athletes to understand what it means to be truly Radical.


Intergenerational Activist Dinner

Friday March 15, 2019

7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Location Hewett Hall

Following the success of the fall 2018 Inter-generational Dinner, we are holding another gathering.

This time the topic: Lessons Learned When Things Went Wrong.

Come join us in Hewett Hall for dinner (courtesy once again of UBC Community Eats). We will follow dinner with stories from some seasoned environmental and social justice activists as they talk of lessons learned from past campaigns. This is a great chance to make new connections, share stories, and learn from their experiences.