Squamish Nation Councillor and community leader Khelsilem joins Am Johal on this first episode of Below the Radar's Climate Justice & Inequality series. In this episode, they discuss the climate crisis as a result of the colonial project, how climate change hits hardest for those already at a disadvantage, and the spaces where colonialism has existed within climate movements. Khelsilem speaks to his critique of fossil fuel infrastructure, the false narrative of individual responsibility, and the role governments play in worsening the crisis through policy decisions that favour oil and gas. We also hear about innovative affordable housing projects, such as Squamish Nation's Sen̓áḵw Development, and how to build climate-friendly design into new housing models.
Khelsilem is Squamish and Kwakwa̱ka̱'wakw raised in North Vancouver, British Columbia. As the Squamish Nation Councillor, his lifelong work has been focused on governance, Indigenous languages, and dreams of progressive social change. He has served on various committees, including: Governance, Finance & Audit, Human Resources, and Housing Authority Development. He has strived to create good governance practices that enhance transparency, accountability, and ethical governing standards to benefit the Nation's members.Resources:— Sen̓áḵw Development: senakw.com/— Squamish Nation: www.squamish.net/ — Kwi Awt Stelmexw: www.kwiawtstelmexw.com/ — Khelsilem's linktree: linktr.ee/khelsilem — Indigenous Languages Program at SFU: www.sfu.ca/inlp/programs.html