This week, Eriel Tchekwie Deranger joins us in a conversation around the recent developments regarding TransCanada’s LNG Pipeline proposal on Wet’suwet’en Territory. It is our hope that this episode provides some historical context to the actions of corporations and colonizers regarding the 4.7 billion dollar pipeline project. Beyond the headlines, we think it is important to have a broad understanding of what Unist’ot’en Camp represents, the ongoing history of surveillance faced by frontline protectors, how policy is used as a tool of assimilation, and the illegality of the actions taken by Canada’s federal and provincial governments. Unist’ot’en People’s reoccupation of their traditional territories cannot solely be understood in relation to infrastructure development – it must also be understood as a means to decolonize and return to the land, to connect with culture and identity, and revitalize forms of governance that seek to truly govern and lead, not to oppress and exploit.
Eriel Tchekwie Deranger is a Denesuline Indigenous activist, member of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, and the Executive Director and co-founder of Indigenous Climate Action. Eriel has spent over 6 years building-up the highly successful international Indigenous Tar Sands campaign and has become widely known as one of the world’s most effective organizers and coalition builders to defend Indigenous people’s rights locally, nationally and globally.
This episode reminds us that corporate interests and colonial interests have always been deeply intertwined. Eriel articulates how narratives that surround the developments at Unist’ot’en Camp show how colonization has deeply warped our perspective on who get labeled the heroes and villains. While the state continues to prioritize the protection and expansion of infrastructure over people, we must encourage each other to see with clear vision where the true threat lies. Pipelines and policy are threatening biodiversity, both cultural and biological, across our planet. What is happening now on Wet’suwet’en/Gidumt’en territory is not an isolated incident, but rather a magnified example of what is unfolding amongst all Indigenous communities that are exercising their sovereignty, protecting the land, and taking a stand against exacerbating climate crisis and resource extraction.
+ Action Points +
Unist’ot’en Camp is calling for solidarity action to stop any further development of pipelines on Wet’suwet’en territory. Here is a list of actions we can take to let Canadian government officials know that what is transpiring is not only immoral but illegal as well.
+ If you live in so-called Canada, Unist’ot’en Camp is calling for supporters to occupy the offices of Canada’s Members of the Legislative Assembly and Members of Parliament. If you live outside of the country, you can send an email to the provincial government of B.C. and the federal government expressing your outrage. For more information on whom to direct your email to and what to include, visit https://actions.sumofus.org/a/no-pipelines-through-unis-to-ten-lands
+ Call a key government Minister to demand that they rescind the previously approved permits, for guidelines on what to say and to learn who you will be speaking to, visit https://act.leadnow.ca/call-federal-support-wetsuweten/
+ Donate. By donating directly your contributions ensure that supporters on the land have medical and food supplies. You can make a one-time donation, a monthly donation, or donate directly to the Unist’ot’en Camp Legal fund by visiting http://unistoten.camp/support-us/donate/
+ Host a fundraiser to help support the long-term expenses of sustaining Unist’ot’en Camp. For detailed guidelines on how to organize a fundraiser to benefit Unist’ot’en Camp, visit http://unistoten.camp/fundraiserprotocols/
+ Further educate yourself by reading Unist’ot’en Camp’s guidelines and resources on allyship and solidarity as well as their zine “Heal the people, Heal the land” by visiting http://unistoten.camp/no-pipelines/resources/allyship/
+ To find actions and events in solidarity near you, visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/SupportWetsuweten/
+ If you are interested in learning more about Unist’ot’en’s “Call to Action” or physically volunteering at the camp, you can visit the following resources:
What are the limitations of the body you occupy? At what point do you begin to break down physically, emotionally, and psychologically? The Amazon Rainforest, like any other living body, can only handle so much…
Dr. Carlos Nobre has dedicated many years in the pursuit of understanding the Amazon Rainforest’s tipping point in relation to the negative synergies of climate change, deforestation, drought, and rampant fire abuse. We cannot feign ignorance about the crossroads our planetary community is just finally willing to recognize. We know that an increase of just a few degrees Celsius, or mass deforestation above forty percent in Amazonia, will lead to this aforementioned tipping point. We also know that in the last sixty years, the region has already warmed by one degree Celsius and deforestation has reached twenty percent in the Amazon. What does it mean that we could very well be responsible for the savannization of an entire rainforest, the radical dismembering of the Amazon’s body?
Dr. Carlos Nobre is currently Science Director of the Research Project “National Institute of Science and Technology for Climate Change”, chair of the Brazilian Panel on Climate Change, and the creator of Brazil’s National Center for Monitoring and Alerts of Natural Disasters. Dr. Nobre chaired the Large Scale Biosphere-Atmosphere Experiment in Amazonia, an international research initiative designed to create the new knowledge needed to understand the climatic, ecological, biogeochemical, and hydrological functioning of Amazonia, the impact of land use and climate changes on these functions, and the interactions between Amazonia and the Earth system. He has also been a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and was a member of the UN Secretary-General Scientific Advisory Board for Global Sustainability. As a climate and earth systems scientist, his work focuses on the Amazon and its impacts on the Earth system, climate modeling, and global environmental change.
During a time in which environmental crisis has become synonymous with climate change, Dr. Nobre clarifies the complexities surrounding the driving factors of deforestation and savannization. Additionally, Ayana and Dr. Nobre discuss the margins of safety that must be implemented, the simultaneous rise of nationalism and the ramifications of climate change, and the possibility of a third way outside the realms of the preservation/consumption binary when it comes to Amazonia.
Music by Les Halleshttps://halles.bandcamp.com halles.bandcamp.com
Les HallesBOOKING: email@example.com
The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge provides calving grounds to Porcupine Caribou and beluga whales, a place of interlude for hundreds of thousands of migrating birds, denning grounds for polar bears, and sanctuary for over fifteen thousand migrating bowhead whales during the spring and fall. However popular, and political, depictions of the Arctic rarely draw upon the diversity of its vast tundra, wetland, mountain, and forest regions. Instead we are imprinted with a false depiction of these latitudes as one mere stretch of vast, barren, and icy terrain. When we forget the Arctic lives as a birthing ground and a place rich in culture, we allow the hands of petro-capitalism to tighten their grasp around this immense and incredibly biodiverse ecosystem…
In the past thirty years, there have been fifty attempts to open the Refuge to drilling. What does it say about our civilization that we are so devoted to fossil fuels that we are willing to drill in sacred birthing grounds and risk losing an integrator of our planets atmosphere and oceanic climate systems? This week on the podcast, we explore the “Near North” with Subhankar Banerjee and reflect on our ethical and moral imperative to protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
Subhankar Banerjee is an Indian born, American photographer, writer, activist, and environmental humanities scholar. He has been a leading voice on issues of Arctic conservation, Indigenous human rights, resource wars, and climate change. He has done work in the American Southwest that addresses desert ecology and forest deaths from climate change, and recently started a project to address climate change impact and politics of ecology in the coastal temperate rainforests in the Pacific Northwest. His research focuses on the intersection of art, eco-cultural activism and environmental humanities. Subhankar’s photographs, writing, and lectures have reached millions of people around the world.
Join us in conversation as Subhankar calls us to find our connection with the Near North while clarifying many misconceptions about the current status of the Refuge and the history of extraction in Alaska. We must do these sacred grounds justice in our actions and minds.
Use the understanding you gathered from this episode to submit a written comment to The BLM Alaska State Office as they prepare to release an EIS to develop a gas and oil leasing program in the Refuge’s Coastal Plain. This EIS is in accordance with the passing of the Trump Administration’s Dec. 22, 2017 Tax Law. We ask you to join us in the decade long struggle to defeat drilling in the Refuge and speak out against continued extraction in Alaska. The Comment Period closes on February 11, 2019.
You can mail your comments to:
Coastal Plain Oil and Gas Leasing Program EIS
222 West 7th Avenue, Stop #13
Anchorage, Alaska 99513 -7504
Or submit electronically here:
Music by Sun Araw
A price will be paid for carbon emissions regardless of whether or not one believes in the climate crisis. In fact, many are already paying this price in the form of ailing health, polluted communities, and exacerbated natural disasters. However, private industry has gotten off scot-free and turned a blind eye as the Earth and our communities suffer under unsustainable consumption. Shouldn’t the fossil fuel industry, one of the wealthiest industries to ever exist, be held financially accountable for the global pollution, displacement, and loss they have fueled?
We are honored to be able to speak with Camila Thorndike and take an opportunity to contemplate what our lives would look like if we were to use less and be free of this polluting addiction, not only through taxing but through a true paradigm shift. In Camila’s own words: “The cultural change and the political-economic change we need cannot be separate, they are one and the same.”
Camila Thorndike, a lifelong climate campaigner, was born and raised in rural southern Oregon and today lives in Washington, DC. Most recently she worked with Chesapeake Climate Action Network (CCAN) to lead a campaign uniting 100 organizations and businesses to pass fair and effective local climate policy. After graduating from Whitman College, Camila worked for the U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution, led outreach for an Arizonan urban planning campaign, and spearheaded engagement for Firerock, a musical theater project on fossil fuels. In 2009 she worked with DC youth on energy efficiency in low-income households with the Mayor’s Green Summer Jobs Program. She later co-founded Our Climate, a grassroots national nonprofit that empowers the next generation of climate leaders to pass strong, fair carbon pricing laws. Camila is a Fellow of the Center for Diversity and the Environment, Sitka Fellow, Udall Scholar, Mic50 awardee, member of the Young Climate Leaders Network, a Grist 50 "Fixer," and recipient of the 2018 DC Environmental Network award.
Join Ayana this week in conversation with Camila Thorndike as we learn how the tax code can address societal ills, the difference between cap and trade and carbon tax, how policy arrangements reflect our values, and how we can create a price on carbon that is inclusive, progressive, and benefit communities that are often exploited by the so-called green market.
Music by SK Kakraba
For years, many observers of our global forests have been witnessing significant tree mortality, and Earth’s largest living organisms, like giant redwoods, sequoias, and baobabs, are not immune to this phenomenon. If temperatures rise as projected by four degrees Celsius by the end of this century, we may witness the death of these ancient trees whose lifespans far exceed our own. Giant redwoods can live beyond 2,000 years in age, giant sequoias and baobabs reach up to 3,000 years, and large canopy trees found throughout Amazonia range from 400 to 1,400 years old. What possible futures await these ancient ones? What contributions do these massive trees make that we are blind to? And what exactly is the driving force behind the disappearance of old trees?
This week, Ayana speaks with Dr. William Laurance on the driving forces behind the disappearance of ancient trees and the critical ecological roles that they play in distinguishing sustaining a variety of forest types.
Dr. William Laurance is a Research Professor and Australian Laureate at James Cook University. An environmental scientist, he has written eight books and over 600 scientific and popular articles. He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science and the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences and former President of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation. His professional honors include the Heineken Environment Prize, BBVA Frontiers in Conservation Biology Award, Society for Conservation Biology’s Distinguished Service Award, and Royal Zoological Society of London’s Outstanding Conservation Achievement Prize. He is director of JCU’s Centre for Tropical Environmental and Sustainability Science, and founded and directs ALERT—the Alliance of Leading Environmental Researchers Thinkers—a science-advocacy group that reaches 1-2 million readers weekly. He is a four-time winner of Australia’s Best Science Writing Award.
Join Ayana and Dr. Laurance in conversation about the future of old growth forests, the many impacts of climate destabilization and drought, the dangers of positive feedback, and how infrastructure development is both driving and worsening climate chaos.
Music by Grant Earl LaValley
This week on the podcast we begin to traverse into the history of reproductive justice and how colonization, sexism, class, and racism impact all areas of birthing and medical practices. Ayana’s conversation with Roots of Labor Birth Collective extends beyond most reproductive justice discourse. It will stretch you to think about justice, autonomy, and decolonization. Roots of Labor reminds us that we must confront the legacies of violence we have suffered under, both as perpetrators and survivors.
Before globalization and colonization, before the health economy, people were able to take care of their own. This statement isn’t intended to romanticize or philosophize, but to remind us that current regimes seek to disempower us – to create a dependence that necessitates their existence. As Western infrastructures fail, networks of folks deeply committed to liberation, like Roots of Labor Collective, are creating different possibilities.
Roots of Labor Birth Collective (RLBC) is committed to providing support and care for birthing members of our community. RLBC consists of birth doulas of color. We strive to reflect the communities we serve, while uplifting and caring for ourselves under these guiding principles: decolonizing birth, honoring birth, empowering ourselves and each other, and sustaining doula work.
Elena Aurora is the Co-Founder and Education Director of Roots of Labor Birth Collective. It is her honor to organize with the radical and inspirational doulas of the Bay Area, California. She is mixed race, Peruvian and European descent, and has an environmental project called Woke n Wasteless that queers the conversation between the disposability of stuff, and the disposability of people of color.
Juju Angeles is an active doula of RLBC. Currently occupying Ohlone Territory (West Oakland, CA) serving the Bay Area, Juju is a mother, homeschools, works with plants, and supports people through their pregnancy, labor, birth, and postpartum journey. Founder of Babymamahood, an online platform to dismantle, reimagine, and reclaim solo parenting for women and people of color in the hood.
Join us in conversation as For the Wild dedicates this week to exploring ancestral legacies around birthing, how we can invest in reproductive rights outside of the current hetero-patriarchal capitalist white supremacist system, the womb space as a place of creation, and birthing support as a human right.
+ Action Points from Roots of Labor Birth Collective +
+ Credit and listen to Black women, and other people of color who are defining Reproductive Justice. If your reproductive organization or circles do not have multiple people (or women) of color in leadership positions, then do not support them. One at the top does not count.
+ Redirect your resources to organizations that are doing POC centered birth work, and who are led by people of color. You can do this by sponsoring people of color to take the RLBC doula training, or sponsoring a full training so we can offer them for free.
+ Hire a doula for your birth, or your friends birth.
+ Stop buying baby items and doing large registries, consider hosting baby stuff swaps and events to reduce waste in our waste stream.
+ Support homebirth midwives, hire one for your birth or concurrent care. Sponsor a friend to hire one.
+ Use cloth diaper services to divert waste from the landfill. Those dirty diapers will outlive your children.
+ Divest in big oil who are the main causes of climate change and are poisoning our people, and putting POC communities at the front lines of destruction and climate-related disasters. These environmental injustices increase the Black, Brown, and Indigenous infant and maternal mortality rates.
Music by Jason Marsalis, Irvin Mayfield, Climbing PoeTree
How can a queer framework guide us as we move through this liminal time period? How can queer ecology radically change our way of knowing? This week’s episode acknowledges that in order to expand ourselves to our fullest capacity, we must bend beyond the cultural and gender binaries that dominant society projects amongst us, to begin this process we need not look further than what has always been.
Guided by culturally informed queer ancestral realities futurist dreams, Pinar and So Sinopoulos-Lloyd of Queer Nature explore how queering our awareness can dismantle the supremacist, ecocidal, and genocidal existence we find ourselves in today.
Queer Nature is an education and social sculpture project based on Arapaho, Ute, and Cheyenne territories that actively dreams into decolonially-informed queer ‘ancestral futurism’ through mentorship in place-based skills with awareness of post-industrial/globalized/ecocidal contexts. Place-based skills include naturalist studies, handcrafts, “survival skills,” and recognition of colonial and indigenous histories of land, and are framed in a container that emphasizes deep listening and relationship building with living and non-living earth systems. Co-envisioned by Pinar and So Sinopoulos-Lloyd, Queer Nature designs and facilitates nature-based workshops and multi-day immersions intended to be financially, emotionally, and physically accessible to LGBTQI2+ people and QTBIPOCs. Queer Nature carries the story and hope that these spaces create resilient narratives of belonging for folx who have often been made to feel by systems of oppression that they biologically, socially, or culturally don’t belong. Queer Nature has collaborated with Wilderness Awareness School, the University of Colorado Boulder, Naropa University, Women’s Wilderness, and ReWild Portland.
Join Ayana in conversation with So and Pinar as they explore how tracking and trailing answer the call of our ancestral bodies and the land, what deep intimacy with the more than human world looks like, how place-based skills are tools of liberation, and how to heal community, we cannot solely be in reciprocal relationships, we must be in accountable ones as well.
Music by Y La Bamba Elisapie.
+ Action Points from Queer Nature +
+ Check out the website https://native-land.ca (it is also an app), it lets you know what First Nations territories you are on!
+ See if you can find Indigenous dictionaries or language projects that can help inform you of the first names of rivers, mountains, and non-human beings in your bioregion. In our area, we consult the online dictionary at the Arapaho Language Project, which is part of CU Boulder.
+ You can support Queer Nature’s Patreon through https://www.patreon.com/queernature
+ You can donate directly to Queer Nature through the website: www.queernature.org (though we are an LLC and not a non-profit, so donations are not tax deductible).
+ Tax-deductible donations that support a local grant-funded series of workshops that we run collaboratively can be made here: https://www.womenswilderness.org/donations/
(For Women's Wilderness donations, please include a note that it's for Queer Nature programs!)
+ Donate to Right Relationship Boulder - They have been working with the Northern and Southern Arapaho tribes who were displaced from the Boulder Valley by colonization to give land and land use rights back to the Arapaho people:
For The Wild
Four years and one hundred episodes later…Today we celebrate listening, storytelling, loyalty, each other, and the love song that is For The Wild.
We’ve been combing through the archives and crafting this very special episode for the community that has rallied around us these past few years. Today’s episode highlights some of the many conversations we keep present in heart and mind.
Join us this week as we revisit dialogue between Ayana and Peter Wohlleben, Stephen Jenkinson, Chief Caleen Sisk, Ron Finley, Lyla June, Kurt Russo, Jacinda Mack, Terry Tempest Williams, Reverend M. Kalani Souza, brontë velez, Stephen Harrod Buhner, Angelo Baca, Diana Beresford-Kroeger, Dune Lankard, Andrew Harvey, Derrick Jensen, Eriel Deranger, George Monbiot, Paul Watson, Nalini Nadkarni, Janine Benyus, Rue Mapp, Winona LaDuke, Nnimmo Bassey, Jacqui Patterson, Faith Gemmill, and Princess Lucaj. Plus, Ayana shares her own reflections and the personal history that birthed this production into life.
Consider this a Thank You to the community that has supported this work in a myriad of ways, to our guests for sharing and inspiring us, and to the group of tenacious beings that have tended to For The Wild along this journey. Upon reflecting on how we got here, we have been reminded of how important it is to work in collective structures, to find your family and hold them close. Our guests constantly remind us that this work is not possible to be done alone, that each and every one of us has something to contribute. Despite the odds, For The Wild has resisted what this world is trying to strip away from us: creativity, loyalty, joy, and commitment.
I can’t help but think that perhaps many of us arrived here, and stayed here, for the same reasons, that we were feeling alone and wondered if anyone else could hear what we were hearing? Each week this show reminds us that we are not alone, that there are others across this planet that deeply care about the things we care about, who hold immeasurable bodies of knowledge, and who are singing out in resilient song.
We can’t say, and we don’t pretend to know, just what this podcast has done for our listeners – but we promise to keep going, to continue to put alternative narratives and ways of knowing into the minds of whoever may tune in. We are so excited to keep learning and growing organically in conversation, by way of experience, and in close observation.
Ayana put it best, this podcast is an ode to sticking it out – we are devoted to bringing the message and uplifting our co-conspirators in this movement. Consider this an affirmation of deep commitment and life itself.
Music by Lyla June
Theme Music: Like a River by Kate Wolf
As we enter into the twelfth month of the year and reflect on the tumultuous period that was 2018, For The Wild is dedicating December’s podcast episodes to healing community. This week, guest Dallas Goldtooth joins Ayana in a conversation around toxic masculinity, accountability, and dismantling patriarchy as a decolonial approach. So often, conversations around gender wounds quickly deteriorate into oversimplifications of, and accusations towards, one gender or another – failing to realize how we are all hurting under patriarchy. We must honor masculinity and femininity in harmony and give space to recognize our relatives who do not fit within, or feel represented by, today’s gender binary system.
Toxic masculinity, settler colonialism, and white supremacy are impelling us to a point of no return. If you are coming to this conversation as an environmental advocate, understand that in order to shift our relationship from that of domination over “nature” to one of reciprocity and understanding of the ecosystem we are apart of, we must examine our values with one another. What are we trying to build? What parts of ourselves must we heal to get there? How can we hold Men accountable in transformative ways? How can we envision, or for some, remember, healthy and sacred masculinity?
“Dallas Goldtooth is the Keep it in the Ground Campaign Organizer for the Indigenous Environmental Network. He is also the co-founder of the Indigenous comedy group The 1491s. Dallas is Dakota and Dine, a loving husband, dedicated father, comedian, public speaker, recovering exotic dancer, plastic shaman extraordinaire, and body double for that guy who plays Thor in them Thor Movies.”
Music by Lyla June
Donate to and support groups like Wica Agli and Mending the Sacred Hoop:
John Seed Friends
What could our reality look like if we had not grown up in a society so deeply committed to an anthropocentric understanding of cosmos and planet? What would it mean to no longer identify as “the spider in the center, but as a single strand in the spider’s web?” These questions engage our imagination to think beyond what we know and envision a future that is both deeply connected and full of gratitude. Yet mere awareness of this possibility or awareness of the possibility of biological collapse has proven to be insufficient. We know the changes we face, we read the news, we have all the data and statistics to confirm a changing climate or the perils of resource extraction and loss of biodiversity. Yes, we are aware, yet we remain disempowered and continue to engage in the habits causing detriment to what extends beyond our very skin. This week’s guest, John Seed, reminds us that to move forward we cannot simply know, we must honor and engage with our deepest emotions in order to radically change the reality we are living in.
John Seed is the founder and director of the Rainforest Information Centre in Australia, which has engaged in the protection of rainforests worldwide. Since 1979, he has been involved in direct actions, which have resulted in the protection of the Australian rainforests. He has since created numerous projects protecting rainforests throughout South America, Asia, and the Pacific. In addition, he is an accomplished songwriter, filmmaker, and author, writing and lecturing extensively on deep ecology and conducting re-Earthing workshops for the past 25 years. John co-authored “Thinking Like a Mountain – Towards a Council of All Beings” with Joanna Macy, Pat Fleming, and Arne Naess. His most recent project with the Rainforest Information Centre focuses on the protection of Ecuador’s rainforests in the Los Cedros Biological Reserve.
Join us as Ayana and John explore topics of ecological identity, embodied wisdom, moving beyond the individual, the tenets of Deep Ecology, and the Rainforest Information Centre’s recent work in Ecuador with the Los Cedros Biological Reserve.
Now is the time to confront the illusions of separation we have held on to for so long. For those of us who are longing to deeply connect with Earth, we need only to begin by connecting with ourselves.
Music by Y La Bamba
In lieu of a traditional Action Point for this week, we take this moment to reflect on Thich Nhat Hanh’s guidance:
“If we want to continue to enjoy our rivers – to swim in them, walk beside them, even drink their water – we have to adopt the non-dual perspective. We have to meditate on being the river so that we can experience, within ourselves, the fears and hopes of the river. If we cannot feel the rivers, the mountains, the air, the animals, and other people from within their own perspective, the rivers will die and we will lose our chance for peace.” – from Peace is Every Step by Thich Nhat Hanh
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