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Organizer
Women's Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN) International
Location
Zoom
Host Contact Details
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1:00 PM
2:00 PM
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Divestment, Indigenous Rights and Women

In light of the intensifying climate crisis and Covid-19 pandemic, it has never been more clear the importance of Indigenous rights and self-determination and women’s leadership as central strategies for justice and protection of Mother Earth. From the frontlines of extraction to the boardrooms of financial institutions to the halls of governments, Indigenous women are leading resistance efforts against the fossil fuel industry. Indigenous women and their allies are building critical strategies for divestment from fossil fuels, calling for justice and accountability from the financial sector, and advocating for action and policies that place people and planet first.

Worldwide, Indigenous communities are disproportionately affected by ongoing extractive industries, which endanger human rights and neglect Indigenous People’s right to Free, Prior, and Informed Consent (FPIC) as outlined in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Fossil fuel extraction and pipelines often run through Indigenous territories where many Indigenous peoples have not given consent for extraction or construction, a clear violation of FPIC that puts Indigenous communities at risk of further environmental and cultural injustice.

Backed by banks, insurance companies, asset managers and other financial institutions, fossil fuel companies continue to push forward projects, further exposing Indigenous communities to environmental pollution and now also COVID-19. Along with extraction and infrastructure, fossil fuel companies also develop ‘man camps’, which house workers from outside the community and have been directly linked with increased rates of drug use, sex trafficking and missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.

Indigenous women and their allies are demanding that financial institutions adhere to the Paris Climate Agreement, protect the climate, respect the rights of nature, and the rights and lives of Indigenous communities experiencing the impacts of fossil fuel development. While much more is still needed, divestment advocacy, direct actions, and campaigning are having a critical impact on the fossil fuel industry regarding moving funds out from the dirty energy sector and generating policy changes to uphold Indigenous and human rights as we face the climate crisis.

This is a critical time to stand with courageous Indigenous women leaders, support their calls to action, and to learn from their resistance efforts as well as their essential healing knowledge. When we stand together, we have the collective power to demand accountability from the institutions financing pipelines and fossil fuel extraction projects, and build an Earth-centered, just transition to regenerative, renewable energy for all. Though presenters are primarily representing a North American context, the struggles and solutions are global.

Speakers include: Casey Camp Horinek, Ponca Nation, long-time Native rights activist, Environmental Ambassador and WECAN Board Member; Monique Verdin, Houma Nation, Director of The Land Memory Bank & Seed Exchange, Organizer with Another Gulf is Possible; Michelle Cook, Diné, Founder of Divest Invest Protect, Founder and Co-Director of the Indigenous Women’s Divestment Delegations; with facilitation and comments by Osprey Orielle Lake, Founder of the Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN), Co-Director of the Indigenous Women’s Divestment Delegations. The event is hosted by the Women's Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN).