Statement on Black Lives Matter
Manitoba Energy Justice Coalition (MEJC) voices our solidarity with Justice 4 Black Lives Winnipeg–as well as for Black communities in Manitoba and around the world–by demanding no more loss of Black lives at the hands of white supremacy.
We fully support Justice 4 Black Lives Winnipeg’s call to defund and abolish the Winnipeg Police Service.
We also recognize that MEJC must do more to challenge white supremacy and anti-Black racism within climate justice organizing. We have much more work to do to ensure we are honouring Black voices in the climate justice movement. This year and beyond, we commit to rigorous anti-racist education for ourselves and our supporters. We will continue to amplify demands of the Justice 4 Black Lives movement. Please watch our page for more updates as we make changes to our organizing.
We welcome further conversation regarding the work we must do, though we do not expect any further labour from Black people. We recognize that it is our responsibility to critically reflect on and significantly change our organizing.
Please sign the Justice 4 Black Lives petition here: https://www.change.org/p/the-city-of-winnipeg-justice4blackliveswinnipeg-s-demands-to-make-winnipeg-safe-for-all-bipoc?recruiter=1110626132&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=copylink&utm_campaign=share_petition&fbclid=IwAR2sTbCWDNoahuMPeiB8dd2Iwlh2AsJ8tHUESOcg2bkQ2zk-E65P4yuVHO8
Some resources we learn from:
Why Every Environmentalist Should Be Anti-Racist:
The “Father of Environmental Justice” on Why He Isn’t Surprised by COVID-19 Health Disparities:
Robert Bullard: ‘Environmental justice isn’t just slang, it’s real’:
Statement on the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls
MEJC has created a statement of recognition of the reports by the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, with a focus on the components that MEJC primarily works with, such as extraction and energy industries.
This statement is a living document, meaning that we are open and receptive to suggested edits and inclusions. If there is something missing here that you think MEJC should be specifically addressing, please send us your feedback in the box below or email [email protected].
The Manitoba Energy Justice Coalition recognizes and affirms all reports of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, including the Final report and both supplementary reports. This attempt at genocide was enacted through many channels, including residential schools, the 60’s scoop, Canadian law enforcement ignoring and perpetrating of crimes committed against Indigenous people, particularly Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA individuals, and the ongoing denial of Indigenous people’s human rights regarding access to clean food and water, education, security, education, and cultural preservation. The Canadian state has admitted to attempting to commit genocide, and we will listen to the commission and the Elders in our community in our efforts to contribute to the addressing and redressing of this massive crime. We recognize and affirm the Calls for Justice and Recommendations from the Inquiry, and strive to respond to those calls and recommendations in our work.
As a coalition dedicated to energy, climate, and environmental justice, we recognize that Indigenous communities both urban and rural and especially Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA individuals have suffered disproportionate energy, climate, and environmental injustice as part of the ongoing attempt by the Canadian settler state to commit genocide against the Indigenous people of this continent.
Extraction and hydroelectric energy projects have wielded extreme violence towards Indigenous communities and Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA individuals at the behest of both private industry and federal and provincial governments. This violence has been enacted through, among other things, the destruction of land, contamination of water, and deployment of “man camps” and other employee arrangements that have played a major role in the ongoing violence against Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA individuals, and contributed to the ongoing genocide of the Indigenous peoples of this continent. The vast majority of energy projects have not gone through proper consultations with the Indigenous people whose land the projects are built on, nor have they gotten consent to build, causing enormous amounts of damage and feeding into the genocidal processes that remove Indigenous people from their traditional land and force them into insecure and dangerous situations. The report notes that hydroelectric projects of Northern Manitoba have been particularly guilty of sexual violence and racism. Our campaigns against hydro development and extraction industries will not ignore the role that these industries play in genocide, and we will demand justice for the Indigenous people harmed by these projects and their employees. (“Calls For Justice,” Section 13)
We know that climate and environmental movements are often plagued by unchecked racism and colonialism. We will do our best to call that out and remind other climate and environmental activists that the people best qualified to make decisions about the land we live with and how we should live with it are the First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples, and that these are the people who are often most directly targeted and affected by environmental destruction and climate change. Our hope for Treaty 1-5 land is that it is led by the First Nations, Métis, and Inuit people, whose traditional wisdom makes each group the most qualified to determine the future of their traditional territories. This is backed by traditional Indigenous knowledge, basic human decency, and Western-style research.
As an Energy Justice Coalition, it is our job to respect, advocate for, listen to, and support Indigenous communities and in particular, Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA individuals. We apologize for failures to do so in the past and vow to integrate this responsibility into every aspect of our work and every campaign we undertake.
We will also be updating our resources page to provide information about the energy sector and white environmentalism’s role in the continued genocide of Indigenous peoples.
The report, calls to action, and additional documents from the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls can be found HERE.