Gendered Impacts: Indigenous women and resource extraction (August 11, 2016)
One of the innovations of this forum was later afternoon convergence assemblies that were designed to rally organizations around actions. Jennifer Henry, executive director of Kairos, organized and introduced this convergence as focusing on women's stories and plans for action. (no audio)
Alma Brooks (grandmother, Wabanaki Confederacy)
History of treaties and rights. Never surrendered or ceded land and rights.
Term "First Nation" is deceiving. They are just talking about a reserve. Leaves out people, who are left out of decision making. When environment is destroyed, women are deeply effected. Physical and biological connections. Time to make a better world for everyone, and that must include Indigenous peoples. Never forget first mother.
Gloria Chicaiza (Acción Ecológica)
Network of 10 Latin American countries. Ecofeminism--combines ecological with feminist struggles. Mining hurts women and life, ignores that humans are dependent on life. Crisis: of energy, climate, civilization. Women need to take care of nature. Not that women are the best at it, but a sexual division of work has put this responsibility on our shoulders. Women move from private to public life. Change attitude toward production and economic categories, and makes women's roles disappear. If you extract a tooth, you don't say you produced a tooth. Rather, it's gone and won't be replaced.
Beverly Longid: Philippines. Denied visa. Connie from Kairos speaks on her behalf. Indigenous women are food producers. Many minerals are in Indigenous territories. Call for solidarity with communities that are heavily militarized. Many Indigenous women can't come because the are isolated and limited with visa restrictions. Strength North-South and South-South connections.
Viviane Michel (Inuit). French
We belong to the land. We know how to cure ourselves. If the land is effected, we are effected. Identifies women involved in struggle. Threat of violence. Collective & social struggle. International struggle--situation is similar to that in Latin America, Benita Cacéras, etc.
Elaine Nightingale (Pauktuutit, organization for Inuit women of Canada).
Plays advocacy role. overview of mining in Inuit communities, and how it relates to land. Pressure to adopt to wage labor--provides opportunity for mining companies to step in. Provides stable employment, and export earnings for govt. Long history of mining since 1950s: Gold, diamonds, iron, copper, nickel. Agreements give Inuit more control over land. Companies bring full PR into communities. Creates tension and division in communities. Small communities negotiating with teams of lawyers from Toronto. Unequal playing field. Advocate so that women can stand up for their rights. Conduct own research and collect own statistics. Work with UBC. Divided attitudes to benefits and liabilities. Recommendations. Collect body of evidence on their own. With, by, and for Inuit women, so they have control over that evidence and can use it to defend their interests. Have seen positive impacts since they released their research. Important to have ownership over their own research and evidence. Important to increase awareness among Canadians of impact of mining. and to broaden criteria of mining from environmental degradation to include societal and gendered impacts. Once agreements are signed, very little oversight to assure that they are followed through. Promote alternative economic opportunities, because otherwise people will continue to turn to mining.
Govinda Mac (First Nations Women Advocating Responsible Mining
From what is now known as BC. Unceded territories from many Indigenous peoples. Occupied sovereign territories by state & mining communities. 1860s gold rush brought in mining companies. Not a new story. explains organization's name: local people know situation best, and should be engaged. Women are often the ones with leadership skills. Advocate sustainability. Do you still have hope? we have no other choice. Love story why I do this work: community fishing, and learn culture that way. But can't share this with kids. Responsible to be connected to land. Land is medicine.
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