Heather Milton-Lightening on Reframing Direct Action/89

Emily Arasim

Emily Arasim

This is a beautiful conversation about collective memory, power and strategy regarding the climate change movement. Heather Milton-Lightening has seventeen years of organizing experience from local issues to international campaigns. Heather was a founding member of Native Youth Movement and has supported the national Native youth network that supported Native youth organizing across the US and Canada with the Indigenous Environmental Network From funding board participation on the Funding Exchange Saguaro Fund and Honor the Earth; to helping build the Indigenous People's Power Project through the Ruckus Society that trains on non-violent direct action tools. Heather currently is the Co-Director for the Indigenous Tar Sands Campaign out of the Polaris Institute in Ottawa, ON.

Among other topics, Ayana and Heather discuss truth and reconciliation, true ally-ship, the commonality of Trump and Trudeau and reflections from Standing Rock.

As Canada receives such glowing reviews globally for their relationship to climate agreements, in truth, Canada is run predominantly as a resource extraction economy on 98.2% stolen land. It seems time and time again, oil and gas development are “left out” of plans for Canadian regulations on climate change while Canada continues to receive accolades for liberalism. Canada ongoing police violence and land extraction reek havoc on Indigenous communities covering the entire country.

In fact, often known as the Highway of Tears, a 450-mile stretch of the Trans-Canada Highway through northern British Columbia is emblematic of a phenomenon that has plagued Canada for decades: violence against Indigenous women.

None of us are off the hook in this time. Each community is facing a particular circumstance of injustice for Indigenous communities and land destruction rooted in extractive tendencies. Ally-ship is not one size fits all, it does not come in one form; each community faces a particular situation that asks of each of alleged allies to attune to the way in which we best participate that rewrites the paradigm of service.

Music by Lobo Loco

Ayana YoungComment