Kelly White, 'The parallel battle for social and environmental justice.'

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Kelly White is Musqueam and originates from Cedar, B.C. just outside Snuuneymuxw, otherwise known as “people of the river”. Kelly grew up in Nanaimo BC and Medicine Hat 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 mother and father were embroiled in a fishing rights court case, lasting from the time of her birth in 1957 until 1963. She fondly remembers her mom and dad’s Coast Salish values being a part of her philosophy growing up and firmly believes in protecting 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 she was 14. Kelly talks about being 16 in 1974 and travelling from Vancouver to Ottawa, Ontario on the Native People’s Caravan, as one of 30 concerned citizens worried about the horrible living conditions and environmental pollution affecting aboriginal communities all across Canada. By the time Kelly was in her early twenties her roots in social and political activism were firmly entrenched in the community. She 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. Kelly discusses her involvement with national and International educational and peacekeeping organizations and how in 1991 she become one of the founding committee members of Vancouver’s Missing and Murdered Women’s Memorial March. Kelly talks about her inspirations and motivations as a teacher and her work in broadcasting for over 35 years. She currently works in Vancouver in television and film, as a producer and director and has won various community awards for her work in film and music.
Disclaimer: All testimonies are the experiences and beliefs of the individuals interviewed.
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