This weekend saw a demonstration of solidarity between climate activists and Indigenous land defenders in Ottawa for #ClimateWelcome, four days of sit-ins and ceremony at 24 Sussex. The convergence’s messaging was simple, and actually quite modest: Canada needs a justice-based transition to a clean energy economy and a freeze on tar sands expansion.
Canada has taken part in many international justice movements before. The country has also seen its fair share of indigenous resistance and sovereignty. The union of solidarity between the international climate justice movement and the movement for recognition of indigenous land and treaty rights is, however, unique in Canadian history.
In a demonstration of this convergence, Melina Laboucan-Massimo, a member of the Lubicon Cree First Nation, delivered solar panels from her home territory near the Alberta tar sands to the residence of the prime minister of Canada just weeks before his trip to the climate summit in Paris.