Oil Sands Truth: Shut Down the Tar Sands

First Nations Women to Speak Out in Toronto against Tar Sands

First Nations Women to Speak Out in Toronto against Tar Sands
By Kathleen Airdrie
Published Oct 25, 2010

National First Nations Women's Speakers Tour on Tar Sands will hold an event October 27, 2010 at the University of Toronto.

The women’s tour is sponsored by several organizations concerned with the devastation caused by the massive projects’ degradation of the land.

First Nations Women Speaking Out

Destruction of the extremely important boreal forest, contamination of waterways and the earth, and air pollution are matters of great concern for many people. The First Nations women are determined to inform as many as possible of the massive tar sands projects’ devastating impact upon their culture and their lives. It is important that they be heard as they seek environmental and social justice by providing information on “the most destructive project on earth”.

Eriel Tchekwie Deranger

Eriel, a Dene woman from Northern Alberta’s Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, has travelled extensively. In Britain, she and other women enlightened citizens on their country’s involvement in the tar sands projects through Royal Bank of Scotland investments. Currently employed with the Rainforest Action Network, Eriel is located in Edmonton, Alberta as the Freedom from Oil campaigner for that network. A long-time activist, she is a strong advocate for Indigenous rights in the struggle for environmental justice.

Melina Laboucan-Massimo

A member of the Lubicon Cree of Northern Alberta, Melina has worked for ten years as an Indigenous rights advocate with organizations such as the Indigenous Media Arts Society and Native Media Society, researching and producing documentaries on a variety of topics that include the tar sands projects. She participated in environmental studies at York University while pursuing her Master’s Degree, and is a climate and energy campaigner with Greenpeace in Alberta. Melina also participated in the international tour that presented information on the huge tar sands projects and destruction.

Jasmine Thomas

A member of Saik’uz of the Carrier First Nation, Jasmine practices the ancient traditional medicines, and is completing her degree in Environmental Planning at the University of Northern British Columbia. A strong believer in the power of grassroots-level advocacy, she participated in a gathering in Scotland during the past summer. At issue was the huge investment in the tar sands by Royal Bank of Scotland which is 80%-owned by U. K. Taxpayers. Jasmine is strongly opposed to the Northern Gateway Pipeline that Enbridge wants to develop through British Columbia.


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