Kelly White, 'Indigenous Environmental Activism'

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Scholarly level: 
Undergraduate student
Date created: 
60's scoop
Native People's Caravan
Wounded Knee
South Dakota
Rosebud Sioux Tribe Reservation, South Dakota
Leonard Crow Dog
Frank Fools Crow
International Indian Treaty Council
NGO with Consultation Status
UN Economic and Social Council
Environment Network of Canada
Febuary 14th Women's Memorial March
Spirit Rising School
Spirit Song Theatre
British Columbia Environmental Network
Co-op Radio
Audrey White
Cliff White
Wounded Knee South Dakota
Gord Elliot
Si McLean
Edward Brown
Jake Badger
Gustafsen Lake
Chiapas Mexico ceasefire
Vancouver police
Council of the Cree
Gary Butler
Dino Butler
Kelly White
Indigenous environmental activism

Kelly White's ancestory is Musqueam, but she is originally from Cedar, B.C. just outside Snuuneymuxw-otherwise known as, “people of the river.” Kelly later moved to Nanaimo, British Columbia and then to Medicine Hat, Alberta and remembers “environmental justice and the parallel battle for social justice and human rights, starting at birth.” Born premature, she was held in incubation as her mother and father were embroiled in a very long Aboriginal right and title fishing rights court case, eventually lasting from the time of her birth in 1957, until 1963. Kelly recalls her mom and dad’s Coast Salish cultural and environmental justice values always being a part of her upbringing, inspiring her lifelong belief to always respect and protect air, land and water. Kelly reveals that when she was 5 years old, she and some of her siblings were removed from the family and raised in foster care until Kelly was 14. Kelly talks about being 16 in 1974 and travelling from Vancouver to Ottawa, Ontario with the Native People’s Caravan as one of 30 citizens concerned about the horrible living conditions and environmental pollution affecting Canadian aboriginal communities. By the time Kelly was in her early twenties, she had aligned herself with other young activists concerned for aboriginal fishing, hunting and housing rights, as well as many other people concerned about sacred aboriginal homelands used for uranium mining and military operations in Canada and the United States. Kelly discusses her involvement with national and international educational and peacekeeping organizations and how in 1991, she became one of the founding committee members of Vancouver’s Missing and Murdered Women’s Memorial March, which she was still a part of when this testimonial was received. Kelly talks about her inspirations and motivations as a teacher and her work in broadcasting for over 35 years. She currently lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, working in television and film as a producer and director. Kelly has won various community awards recognizing her work in various film and music projects.


Disclaimer: All testimonies are the experiences and beliefs of the individuals interviewed. 

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