National First Nations Women’s Speakers Tour on Tar Sands in #Toronto

Wednesday, October 27, 7pm – 9pm
Sidney Smith Hall, room 2118
100 St. George Street
University of Toronto, St. George Campus

Featured Speakers:

Eriel Tchekwie Deranger is a Dene from the Athbasca Chipewyan First Nation of Northern Alberta, Canada. Eriel is currently employed with the Rainforest Action Network as the Freedom From Oil Campaigner in Edmonton, Alberta targeting tar sands development and the banks that fund it. Eriel is a long time Indigenous rights activist fighting for environmental justice working along side various organizations such as the Indigenous Environmental Network, Ruckus and IP3.Eriel Tchekwie Deranger is a Dene from the Athbasca Chipewyan First Nation of Northern Alberta, Canada. Eriel is currently employed with the Rainforest Action Network as the Freedom From Oil Campaigner in Edmonton, Alberta targeting tar sands development and the banks that fund it. Eriel is a long time Indigenous rights activist fighting for environmental justice working along side various organizations such as the Indigenous Environmental Network, Ruckus and IP3.

Melina Laboucan-Massimo is Lubicon Cree from Northern Alberta. She has been working as an advocate for Indigenous rights for the past 10 years. She has worked with organizations like Redwire Native Media Society, Indigenous Media Arts Society and has also produced short documentaries, researched, and worked on topics ranging from the tar sands, inherent treaty rights, water issues to cultural appropriation. She has studied and worked in Australia, Brazil, Mexico, and Turtle Island focusing on Indigenous rights and culture, resource extraction, ICTs and international diplomacy. Before joining Greenpeace as a tar sands climate & energy campaigner in Alberta, Melina was pursuing her Masters in Environmental Studies at York University.

Jasmine Thomas is a member of the frog clan from Saik’uz, which is a part of the Carrier Nation. She has inherited the ancient practice of traditional medicines from her late great-grandmother, Sophie Thomas. She is completing her Environmental Planning degree at the University of Northern British Columbia. She also participated in the Bolivia Climate Convergence that took place in Cochabamba to speak on issues related to the destructive tar sand developments and the Enbridge Pipeline Project that proposes to cross her traditional territories. Jasmine believes that the most power lies at the grassroots level and advocates on behalf of the Defenders of the Land and fully supports the efforts on behalf of the Indigenous Environmental Network.


The Indigenous Environmental Network is an alliance of grassroots Indigenous Peoples whose mission is to protect the sacredness of Mother Earth from contamination and exploitation by strengthening, maintaining, and respecting traditional teachings and natural laws.

The tar sands development has completely outstripped the ability of the corporations and provincial and federal governments to provide environmental management and protection. In the perspective of many concerned First Nations and citizens of northern Alberta, the government has given the responsibility of environmental monitoring and enforcement to the corporations.

This fall the government of Alberta and the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers is responding to a sophisticated assault on its tar sands industry internationally and domestically with the “truth” campaign. As part of this campaign the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers is sponsoring invite only discussions across Canada featuring oil sands experts from industry and government agencies to dispel what it views as unfair attacks using biased information against the Tar sands development. The Indigenous Environmental Network is sponsoring First Nations Woman’s Tar Sands Speakers Tour in response to this propaganda. This tour is profiling the voices of First Nations Women from downstream, who’s people and way of life are being impacted by the worlds most destructive development known as Canada’s Tar Sands.

This event sponsored by the Indigenous Environmental Network in partnership with Environmental Justice Toronto, RAN, OPIRG and Defenders of the Land.

Info: www.ienearth.org/tarsands. html

Tell #RBC Shareholders: Stop bankrolling #tar sands!

On March 3rd, the Royal Bank of Canada will hold its annual general meeting of shareholders’ at the Toronto Metro Convention Center. It’s the one time every year that the bank’s top executives, board and other decision makers gather in the same place to hear from shareholders. This year, we want them to hear from you!

Since 2007 RBC has backed more than $16.9 billion (USD) in loans to companies operating in the tar sands—more than any other bank. Expansion of the tar sands is trampling the rights of Indigenous peoples, destroying globally significant ecosystems and significantly increasing Canada’s carbon emissions.
Representatives from several First Nations impacted by tar sands expansion will attend the meeting to demand that RBC recognize the right to Free, Prior and Informed Consent for Indigenous communities and suspend its financial support for tar sands expansion.
Join us for a morning of creative, non-violent direct action culminating in a rally outside the Metro Center at 1 pm to show solidarity with First Nations representatives.

When: morning actions, rally @ 2pm, March 3, 2010
Where: Metro Center, Toronto