Two paths. One future.

Two paths. One future. r1 ...

It's Giving Tuesday, PAOV.

Walking along Victoria's inner harbour last week, Cole Gladue of the Beaver Lake Cree Nation shared a vision he holds for his people. It was the magic hour and the last golds of autumn were lit up in the setting sun. Cole talked about his concerns and fears for his community, but, mainly, kept fixed on a horizon of hope that guides him forward. He sees two paths forward: the first, bringing what he's learned from the Indigenous Studies program at U of A together with the teachings he carries from his elders to heal his community. The other? To find allies to support the audacious and essential Tar Sands Trial: arguably the biggest court case in this country's history and one that could be a game-changer for the climate.

Two paths: one future.

Growing up, Cole watched his mother lead wellness programs in the community informed by traditional plant medicines, the revitalization of language, and sharing the power of Cree drumsongs. Cole is committed to carry on that work: but, he says, to grow strong on the land requires that the second pathway — that forged by the Tar Sands Trial — be kept clear.

The Tar Sands Trial aims to force Canada and Alberta to honour their treaty obligations to the Beaver Lake Cree and — by extension — all Nations across the country. That means taking on the toxic tar sands and rampant industrial development that takes up 80% of the territory of Cole's Nation. It means forging a new framework that evaluates new projects according to cumulative impacts on the water, forests, and animals that Indigenous Peoples were promised would be there 'as long as the grass grows and the rivers flow'.

This Giving Tuesday, your donations to the Tar Sands Trial will be matched, dollar for dollar, doubling your impact. No fees, no fuss: just a direct contribution towards justice being done in the boreal forests where Cole and his Nation have lived since time immemorial.

This monumental case could set the most powerful precedent ever in a Canadian court. It stands to change the way environmental assessments are done to look at the overall ecosystem health rather than piecemeal impacts of single projects. Cole put it simply: "I know how I'm going to heal my community. I know the Tar Sands trial is a critical part of that, so there will be somewhere left for us to practice our traditions and pass on our knowledge about stewarding the land. We know where we're going as a Nation: but we can't do this alone."

For the Tar Sands Trial to win, we need everyone. This case offers a clear path forward for everyone who cares about a livable climate. It presents non-Indigenous people with an opportunity to walk a strong path, one that ennobles everyone who steps onto it.

Cole, his mom, and his whole community are pulling with all their might for a future where the water, land and air are healthy. Will you stand with them?

Thank your for your passion, your support and your perseverance. It's our honour to be standing with you to protect future generations, and all our relations.

With love,

The RAVEN Team

p.s. Giving money is not the only way to help: giving your time and lending your voice is just as effective. Our online fundraising platform allows you to tell your story about why you're talking action, and reach out to your friends and family. On average, online fundraisers bring in $700. Set yours up today.
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