Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

September 17, 2017

Indigenous Women's Divestment Delegation to Europe, Autumn 2017


Dear Friends and Allies,

With extreme weather from devastating flooding to raging fires experienced around the world these past weeks - it could not be more clear that the Earth is again sending us an urgent message that we must take immediate action to keep fossil fuels in the ground - and re-vision and re-build a just and sustainable future for all.

With these signs of climate crisis all around us, global people's movements are pursuing diverse efforts in education, advocacy and action to divest financing from fossil fuel and extractive infrastructure projects around the world. 
In the context of the global Fossil Fuel Divestment movement, the Women's Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN) is working to ensure that Indigenous and frontline women have the opportunity to speak for themselves, directly to the institutions, governments and policy makers whose decisions are harming their communities and territories. 

We have found this to be not only an effective strategy for gaining advocacy and policy results, but also a vital and powerful process for women leaders, as they actively seek justice, enact solutions, and speak truth in the face of injustice. 

Upon the initiative and invitation of Indigenous women leaders, WECAN is honored to organize and facilitate opportunities for Indigenous Women's Divestment Delegations as part of this program. 

On September 29th, a second delegation of Indigenous women leaders from the U.S. will travel to Europe to engage with financial institutions, public officials, civil society groups, press and media regarding violations of human rights and Indigenous rights due to fossil fuel investments - putting pressure on entities in Norway, Germany and Switzerland to divest from harmful investments immediately.

The Delegation will participate in a variety of strategic platforms, high-level bank and government meetings, and public events, during which they will share their experiences and calls to action with a focus on further fossil fuel divestment and investment in a clean energy future that respects the web of life, and protects water and the global climate.

The Delegates have been deeply engaged in the Standing Rock resistance effort, actions to stop Line 3 and Keystone XL, and/or as a part of other advocacy and actions to stop fossil fuel extraction, infrastructure developments and threats to Indigenous rights, sovereignty, lands and life-ways in their homelands.
"We stand to protect the water and our Mother Earth. We stand to divest from fossil fuel so our children can live. We stand because we have no other choice. Min Wiconi, Water is Life." - LaDonna Brave Bull Allard (Lakota historian, member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and Founder of Sacred Stone Camp)

WECAN is deeply honored to present the distinguished Autumn delegation members:

LaDonna BraveBull Allard (Lakota historian, member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and founder/landowner of Sacred Stone Camp); Dr. Sara Jumping Eagle (Oglala Lakota and Mdewakantonwan Dakota pediatrician, living and working on the Standing Rock Reservation, North Dakota); Tara Houska (Anishinaabe, tribal attorney, National Campaigns Director of Honor the Earth, and former advisor on Native American affairs to Bernie Sanders); Michelle Cook (Diné/Navajo, human rights lawyer and founding member of the Water Protector Legal Collective at Standing Rock); and Jackie Fielder (Mnicoujou Lakota and Mandan-Hidatsa, Campaign Coordinator of Lakota People's Law Project and organizer with Mazaska Talks), along with Osprey Orielle Lake (WECAN International Executive Director).

Advocacy work such as these delegations and many other divestment efforts are working, and have already resulted in key divestments in European countries. Yet, we have much more work to do, and we need your support for the upcoming delegation and the DIVEST, INVEST, PROTECT campaign! 

For the Earth and All Generations, 

Osprey Orielle Lake
Founder and Executive Director
Women's Earth and Climate Action Network 

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