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Women battling resource development on Indigenous land to be highlighted at TRU event

October 17, 2017 - 1:20 PM

KAMLOOPS - The public is invited to a free forum on the leadership of Indigenous women in the resource justice movement hosted by staff and students from the Thompson Rivers University School of Law.

The event will be held on Thursday, Oct. 19, from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the Irving K. Barber Centre in TRU's House of Learning.

"The Indigenous Women Water Defenders: Local to Global" will feature presentations by Indigenous women from Tk’emlups, Tsilhqot’in and Peru. Organizer and TRU Law Assistant Professor Charis Kamphuis says the goal of the event is to emphasize the impact of resource projects on communities and the strategies used to respond.

"Just the reality that women are taking leadership roles, that they do have contributions to make in both articulating and also participating in responses to ensure that the interests of their families and communities are protected," she says.

With two speakers coming from Peru, Kamphuis says another goal of the evening will be to show similar issues are happening all around the world.

"A lot of the companies are transnational so Indigenous people everywhere have a role in raising flags or concerns about resource extraction and ensuring that it respects social justice environmental principles."

There will also be several short films highlighting work done in the Peruvian Amazon as well as community responses to the proposed Ajax and Taseko mine projects. The Ajax video will be part of the presentation by two members of the Tk’emlups te Secwepmec and Stk’emlúpsemc te Secwepemc Joint Council.

"They will be beginning the event, we'll start local and move out to the most global," she says. "The common theme here on all the presentations is dealing with not established but rather proposed resource projects and thinking of the limitations, the problems with way that they are being conceived, the law the law regulates these, and then how are communities responding."

Along with Kamphuis, the event has been organized by TRU's Indigenous Law Students Association.

— This story was updated at 1:19 p.m. on Oct. 17, 2017, to correct the event start time to 6 p.m.


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