I hope for a future where society genuinely values the voices and knowledge of those who have historically been undervalued and silenced. The current system of greed, supported by privileged people in developed nations and wealthy corporations, has degraded ecosystems in a way that negatively impacts communities made up of BIPOC people. This is called environmental racism and it is clearly unjust.
A way to support this vision of a more just future would be to vote for BIPOC candidates running in municipal, provincial, and federal elections (if they are committed to improving the health of ecosystems and/or people). Another intervention would be to conduct all operations that can have consequential impacts on the environment (e.g., resource extraction projects, energy project, conservation projects) to be made in full partnership with the Indigenous communities whose land would be affected by these projects. Today in Canada, the process of consulting Indigenous people is required for environmental projects, but it is flawed. We should not strive to merely consult these groups of people whose land we have stolen, instead we should be asking them for permission to conduct the economic activities we wish to pursue. We need a societal shift where Indigenous people are given back the rights to their land. Only then can we truly live in line with our "aspirations" of "reconciliation".
Thank you so much for bringing up the topic of environmental racism. I know that in some communities, people don't even believe that this type of racism exists systemically, so I'm glad that you pointed it out. I love your ideas for supporting a more just future. I too believe that to reach true reconciliation, we should not only consult those whose land we have stolen, but humbly ask permission and seek guidance according to their traditional knowledge as to the best ways to pursue/conduct our economic endeavours while still respecting the land that we are on.
Hey Sarah, the idea to vote for BIPOC candidates is such a great suggestion! Who we decide to have in office really does change the course of how we live, they're the ones who decide what laws and initiatives are pushed for and where funding goes. Having BIPOC in office that understand environmental racism and how its affecting underprivileged communities would go a long way (they'd be fighting for the little guy!!)
That is a good idea, Sarah. It is very important to pay more attention to everyone's opinions. Especially the indigenous people. Our school is built on aboriginal land. We need to respect their views to absorb and adopt them.
I like your idea about voting for BIPOC candidates because this is an easy that all Canadians can take part in to help make a difference! I think that voting for these candidates will help show other people in power the issues that need to be adressed.
Hey Sarah, I was just introduced to the term environmental racism. The pollution from coal plants in the US has people to get ill, but because those people living close by are low-income households, so their voice were not heard. I think this is an example of environmental racism.
I always thought it was hypocritical to seek the support of some disadvantaged group, just like the world now, you did something wrong hundreds of years ago, and this result causes you to still be slammed, but you don't think it will cause much harm to you, you even pretend to care about people who have been hurt, and the way you care is to tell them that you want to further use their resources.
Love your opinion!!!
Hi Sarah, thank you for the great post! I think you are definitely right that we should not only consult Indigenous people because it is also difficult to ensure that their advice actually gets transferred into action. I do hope the shift to having them decide and give permission can happen in the future.
Great idea, electing BIPOC individuals gives them a share of voting power compared to just having consultations with marginalized groups. This is probably what capitalist struggles with the most, giving away economic and political power to those who should actually have it. Where is the justice in this society?
I think your perspective is very positive in helping marginalized people fight for their interests, and indeed the BIPOC community is more representative because environmental justice itself is addressing the inequitable harm that poor and marginalized communities suffer as a result of resource extraction, and their views cannot be ignored.
Wow Sarah, that was so beautifully said! I love the shift that you suggested from consulting to asking for the permission of the people whose land was stolen from them. I really hope that our future will look a lot more like the one that you shared.
Thank you for writing a great post! I really enjoyed reading it. I did not know that BIPOC stood for Black, Indigenous and people of colour and was not familiar with the term environmental racism beforehand. I agree with your stance. It's evident that privilege has allowed wealthy corporations to degrade ecosystems and communities. In terms of your solutions, I think that voting for BIPOC candidates that support the health of ecosystems is a great way to support a vision of a just future.
Hi Sarah, I absolutely agree with your sentiments. Changes implicating Indigenous lands should not require only the consultation of its people but their permission as well. Actions speak louder than words, and we still seem to deviate from a path that achieves true and honest reconciliation. The solutions you presented not only seem feasible, but shocking that they aren't in place already.
You made some detailed suggestions for the future and everyone can make a contribution!
Hi Sarah, I agree that the way decisions are made concerning Indigenous people and resource extraction projects is deeply flawed and rooted in racism and a capitalist belief system. I really appreciate that you spelled out just how flawed the process of "consultation" is in regards to these projects. I still think the protocols and legislation around this is (purposely?) vague and confusing. It's time we fully involve Indigenous perspectives and values in these decisions and that we take their "vote" seriously and equally in these matters. Even when these communities are blatantly opposed during consultation, we move forward with project development anyways. This system needs to be uprooted completely.
Great post! I totally agree that projects should be made in full partnership with Indigenous communities and not just end with consulting them.
I really enjoyed reading your post! I have a similar view in bringing indigenous people into elective roles so their voices can be heard. If we want to go in the extreme route, I also don't see a problem if we gave veto power to indigenous party members.
Our current system definitely needs to change in order for marginalized communities to begin to thrive. Placing a greater importance on relational values instead of purely economic ones can help bridge the gap between Western and Indigenous values and lead to more productive conversations.
Hello Sarah! Nice points, thanks for sharing! I totally agree that more BIPOC candidates should be elected to positions making these environmental decisions since it affects these communities the most.