The power of Indigenous law in protecting nature

r1 We’re hiring! And other opportunities to get involved ... r19 August 2023 | Legal e-Brief FacebookTwitter LinkedIn InstagramYouTube WCEL logo Donate today!

Dear Paov,

With deep-rooted connections to the land and holistic worldviews that transcend generations, Indigenous legal traditions often embody a sustainable coexistence with our planet. Amid our escalating ecological crises, we at West Coast continue to be inspired by our Indigenous partners across the province who are revitalizing their laws to create a future where both nature and people can thrive.

Our RELAW (Revitalizing Indigenous Law for Land, Air & Water) program aims to build community power and uplift Indigenous laws to maintain healthy ecosystems – and we are excited to announce our community callout for co-learning participants in 2023-24.

Keep scrolling for details, and to learn about other ways to get involved at West Coast.

New blog series: Indigenous Law in Language We're excited to introduce our new series, Indigenous Law in Language. Indigenous languages provide rich pathways to understanding the rights and responsibilities we have to the environment – grounded in Indigenous legal orders and worldviews.

We begin with an interview with Hereditary Chief, Simogyet Watakhayetsxw, Deborah Good from Gitanyow. Watakhayetsxw sheds light on how concepts related to biodiversity and ecosystem health can be expressed in the Simalgyax language.
Applications open: 2023-24 RELAW Co-learning Program Our RELAW team is welcoming Expressions of Interest from Indigenous individuals nominated by their nation to participate in the upcoming 2023-24 RELAW Co-learning Program.

Learn more about this remarkable opportunity to explore, apply, and enforce Indigenous law to address environmental challenges in your territory. Space is limited. First consideration will be given to applications received by September 27.
Chasing sunsets and cases: 2023 Summer Law Student Reflections Summer flies by as always, and it’s time to say goodbye to our fantastic summer law students and wish them the best of luck in the rest of their legal studies and careers.

Before they go, they share some of their heartfelt reflections on projects they worked on during their time with us at West Coast.
National unity demands a stringent emissions cap Canada has the constitutional power to cap pollution from the oil & gas industry, the country’s largest source of greenhouse gas pollution. The industry's emissions have doubled since 1990 despite promises to reduce them voluntarily. If the federal government chooses not to wield this power, it does so for political reasons.

"National unity demands a stringent emissions cap. As this summer is proving to Canadians, we cannot afford further delay," writes Staff Lawyer Anna Johnston in this Toronto Star op-ed.
Join the team! West Coast is currently hiring for two positions:
  • RELAW Coordinator – to help ensure the smooth functioning of the RELAW program; and
  • People & Culture Manager – an exciting new role to guide human resource functions, policies, and practices at West Coast.
Use your skills to help us transform the legal landscape and strengthen environmental protections for generations to come. View the job postings and apply by September 15.

British Columbia is in need of a holistic approach to protect nature and ecosystem health. West Coast is working toward establishing a new biodiversity law as a key part of the solution. Support our work by making a donation today.

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