Everyone’s Downstream

This important conference is happening all weekend. It’s taking place at ETCL on U of A’s main campus. Cost is by donation and we encourage you to go to as many sessions as you can.

The conference will be live streaming sessions, so you can go to their website and follow the discussion online.

We’ve got the schedule below and for more information, check out their website or facebook.

Friday, November 26

Panel Discussion

Following the money Upstream: Foundation Funding, Environmental NGOs, secret deals, and proposed alternatives

6pm University of Alberta, ETLC 1-007

Panelists will discuss recent exercises in funder-driven policymaking — like the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement, Ontario’s Far North Act, the Great Bear Rainforest Agreement, and the shadowy North American Tar Sands Coalition — and discuss grassroots responses and alternative approaches.

Speakers will include First Nations Policy Analyst Russell Diabo, along with Dru Jay of The Dominion / Media Co-op and Macdonald Stainsby of Oil Sands Truth, both co-authors of Offsetting Resistance: the effects of foundation funding and corporate fronts from the Great Bear Rainforest to the Athabasca River, and Sheila Muxlow of the Sierra Club, Prairie Chapter.

Saturday, November 27

Community Reports

Tar Sands Go Global and Local: Stories of Destruction and Resistance from Trinidad to Fort Chipewyan

Full Day: 9am to 5pm University of Alberta, ETLC 1-003

Speakers from across Turtle Island and beyond discuss how tar sands are or could be affecting their lives, health, cultures, and their relationships to the land. Indigenous communities from Alberta, BC and the rest of Turtle Island, along with other front line communities who live in the path of one or more of the many tar sands pipeline and refinery paths will report back about their communities’ resistance to tar sands developments.

The day will also highlight international solidarity with tar sands resistance such as exists in the United Kingdom, as well as highlighting proposed new tar sands projects that exist in places like Trinidad and Tobago, Madagascar, Jordan, Palestine, Venezuela, and even the state of Utah in the United States.

Alberta’s immediately impacted and downstream communities

9:00-11:30am

Participants:

  • George Poitras, former chief, Mikisew Cree First Nation, Fort Chipewyan (Alberta).
  • Stephanie Poole, member of Lutsel K’e Dene First Nation (Northwest Territories).
  • The duly elected leadership of Little Buffalo, unceded territory of the Lubicon Cree First Nation, including Chief Steve Noskey (Alberta).
  • Toghestiy Wet’suwet’en (Warner Naziel), hereditary chief of Fireweed Clan and Freda Huson, spokesperson for the Unist’ot’en people, Wet’suwet’en Nation (British Columbia).

Co-facilitated by Eriel Deranger, member of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation and Dustin Johnson, Tsimshian Nation.

The Continental Reach of the Tar Sands Gigaproject

12:45-2:15pm

Participants:

  • Thomas Frank, Artist / Urban Planner, East Chicago, Indiana: BP’s Whiting refinery and proposed tar sands capacity expansion.
  • Kim Leduc, member of the Dunham Environment Committee, Dunham, Quebec: Enbridge Trailbreaker Pipeline reversal proposal.
  • Justine Hecht, Tar Sands Free Arizona, Phoenix, Arizona: Arizona Clean Fuels Refinery and the proposed pipeline transport of tar sands bitumen through Mexico.

Is the Tar Sands Gigaproject Becoming a Teraproject? The Global Expansion of Tar Sands Development

2:30-4:45pm

Participants:

  • Ashley Anderson, Peaceful Uprising, Salt Lake City, Utah: Unconstructed tar sands strip mine permit owned by Earth Energy Resources near Moab, Southern Utah.
  • [UNCONFIRMED], Venezuelan Consulate, Montreal: Oil revenue spending on social programs in Venezuela
  • Priya Ganness-Nanton, Rights Action Group, Point Fortin, Trinidad and Tobago: Proposed Western Oil Sands and Petrotrin Tar sands strip mining and in-situ developments.
  • Macdonald Stainsby, OilSandsTruth.org, Edmonton: Quick overviews of tar sands mining in planning stages in Madagascar, Jordan, Palestine and Morocco.
  • Suzanne Dhaliwal, UK Tar Sands Network, London, England: Royal Bank of Scotland financing, BP and Shell tar sands developments, and organizing in solidarity with First Nations in Canada against all three.
Sunday, November 28

Discussion & Panels

Paddling Against the Current: The Outlook for Movements and Building Global Solidarity

Full Day: 9am to 5pm University of Alberta, ETLC 1-003

How can we build networks and institutions that respect the rights of self-determination of Indigenous and other land-based communities? What would it look like for environmentalists to adopt a policy of “free, prior and informed consent”? Join in an in-depth discussion on why building a democratic, transparent environmental movement is needed, and explore the possibilities for establishing a Climate Justice Co-operative. A day of discussion, planning and frameworks for acting in concert.

Participants: TBA

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