Voices from the Ancestral Forest Frontlines:
Ceremony, speakers, performance, photo installation, info tables, Frontliners’ testimony and evening film screenings.
Where: Provincial Legislature, Victoria, B.C on Lekwungen territory
with gratitude for the blessing and privilege of living and working for a healed world on this beautiful land
When: August 9th, 2021, 3 pm- 10:30 pm
(start with March from Blanshard St. courthouse at 2 pm)
All out for this important day of Indigenous ceremony, prominent speakers, performances, testimony from the ancient forest frontlines and evening film screenings in unity and solidarity with frontline land defenders, forest protectors, the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs and First Nations community members asserting Title and rights to defend their sovereign homelands from the climate and environmental scourge of continued old-growth logging.
This gathering is happening in honour of World Indigenous Peoples’ Day and the 1 year milestone of the Ada’itsx/ Fairy Creek blockades!
The event will begin at 2 pm with a street procession from the Victoria courthouse on Blanshard street and proceed to the Legislature for 3 pm.
The forests are once again burning in the interior of British Columbia after all-time record summer heat that destroyed the town of Lytton and wiped out an estimated billion marine intertidal organisms on the coast in days. At the same time logging approvals to cut down some of the last 2.7% of what is left of the endangered ancient forests in B.C– our best natural defense against runaway climate change– have increased by 42% to capitalize on the demands of a booming foreign log market.
Over 500 brave and tenacious forest protectors using innovative hard block tactics, many representing a young generation literally protecting their future from the grim impacts of a colonial-capitalist economy killing the planet, have been arrested in militarized RCMP enforcement operations, for protecting some the last old-growth forest stands on Pacheedaht territory at the invitation of respected elder Bill Jones.
In a climate and biodiversity crisis, in a country being forced to confront its genocidal history of oppression and forced assimilation of Indigenous people, we gather to support the strong leadership and declarations of the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) calling for an immediate halt to logging of at-risk old-growth forests on unceded territories and the nations including Kwakiutl, Squamish, Nuxalk, Gitx’san and others that have declared logging moratoriums on their ancestral lands and the voices of elders, youth and matriarchs of First Nations communities that are ignored by a government that pays lip service to climate action, Indigenous rights and drags its heels in delivering on its promises to work with First Nations to implement sweeping forestry reforms, while the shocking equivalent of 500 soccer fields of old-growth forests are felled by industry in BC every day!
We say enough is enough! We stand with Indigenous land defenders, activist forest protectors and sovereign Indigenous nations to stop the colonial violence on the lands, waters, salmon and people and protect these globally significant, irreplaceable forests that are in the wise words of Bill Jones ” our last connection to our pre-colonial sensitivity”.
READ THE RECENT UBCIC Declaration
Recent events at the Legislature have sadly provoked a backlash of racism against Indigenous people in the local communities. it is important to remain mindful of how our behaviour can trigger events that potentially bring harm to vulnerable communities. This event is under firm protocols from the local host nations for people who are guests on this territory to conduct ourselves in a peaceful way and to refrain from engaging in actions that can bring harm on BIPOC peoples on this territory. A Safety plan will be in place to confront racist behaviour directed at BIPOC people at this event.
CODE OF CONDUCT
Look after each other. Nonviolent.
Avoid engaging abusive people.
Practice Covid protocols.
Avoid smoking for the health of many of our seniors and disabled people
If you are approached by the media, please ask them to speak first to people who have been on the frontlines, particularly Indigenous people, women and youth.
Please continue the tradition of bringing large colourful banners to share the message of standing with communities who are actively resisting the destruction of life on Earth and holding government responsible for the destructive status quo. Banners are being requested on the frontlines so consider making one that you can leave with us
This will be a long day in what could be more intense sun and heat. Please take good care of yourselves packing a folding chair, blankets, lots of water, food and sun protection. Prepare to picnic. We will be providing port-a-potties and drinking water and during part of the day the RBCM museum washrooms are available as well. We are trying to make arrangements for food trucks on site.
Please help us cover the costs of chair, table and tent and other rentals, sound system, speakers’ honoraria, copying, port-a-potty etc. etransfers can be made to the rainforestflyingsqua[email protected] with a note that the donation is for the Aug9 event!
Rainforest Flying Squad
Social Environmental Alliance
Elders for Ancient Trees
Urban Actions for Ancient Forests
Friends of Carmanah Walbran
Protectors of the Salish Sea
Indigenous Solidarity Working Group
Island Forest Futures
Red Cedar Cafe
Stream of Consciousness