Last night, a group of Pacific Climate Warriors took us on a video tour of the tarsands. Then, mothers, brothers and aunts took to the stage and told stories from their island Nations, where their communities are being pelted by devastating storms, pushed inland by rising seas, and driven to take bold action to protect their homes and way of life from climate emergency. The evening was held together by their poignant rallying cry: “We are not drowning, we are fighting.”
Host Nations from northern Alberta brought the Pacific Climate Warriors to witness the tarsands first-hand. The tarsands are the biggest single contributor to climate change in the world: the visitors’ shock at seeing the open pit mines and the filthy tailings ponds for the first time was enough to move anyone into action. If everyone could see the connection between a 7-fold increase in tanker traffic in Vancouver harbour and the wholesale destruction of coastal Indigenous communities, the silencing of entire generations of migratory birds, the fouling of the sacred waters from the Athabasca River to Burrard Inlet— we would not allow the Kinder Morgan expansion project to happen on our watch.
Like the tiny canoe, bristling with warriors, that confronts a hulking supertanker, we have the power to make an enormous difference in the course of the future not just here in Vancouver but, disproportionately, on a global scale. Because First Nations in Canada have some of the strongest legal rights, anywhere, we are being given an opportunity to become powerful allies and to take strategic action, right now, to join in that rallying cry. “We are not drowning, we are fighting.”
We have the power because of our numbers. But we can’t just sit and be counted. We need to get to work. Now, it’s time for each one of us to reach out and draw in our friends, neighbours, families, and co-workers into the story that the Pacific Climate Warriors and their Indigenous brothers and sisters from Canada told so eloquently. Will we raise our paddles and pull together? Will we drown, or will we fight?
The winning streak in the courts for Indigenous justice is unprecedented. We need just over $200,000 to ensure that the Tsleil Waututh, Goldwater and Squamish First Nations can go to court armed with the kind of legal representation that won the day against Enbridge.
Join us. We’re using the power of the crowd to stop Kinder Morgan. Donate, join a team or set up your own online fundraiser at pull-together.ca.
Watch the trailer of the Pacific Climate Warriors’ journey to Canada. The Pacific Climate Warriors traveled half way across the world to bear witness to one of the dirtiest fossil fuel projects in the world: the Canadian tar sands. They are building solidarity with Indigenous peoples resisting this project and bringing their stories of resilience to the Canadian government and people.
Next up, the Pacific Climate Warriors will join the resistance to Kinder Morgan on the West Coast. Stay tuned, we will release a short documentary that summarizes the entire journey on May 16th.
To learn more about the journey and find out how you can support, visit: https://350.org/raise-a-paddle/.