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Vancouver

Symposium on Mining, Social Justice and Indigenous Self-determination


12:00pm
Dimanche Mai 15 2011

Venue: World Arts Studio (2nd floor), Goldcorp Centre for the Arts
Address: 149 West Hastings
Cost: Free

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Join the Mining Justice Alliance for an Indigenous welcoming, workshops on open-pit colonialism and mining justice through creative resistance and alternative solutions, and an international resistance and solidarity panel.

 

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Symposium on Mining, Social Justice and
Indigenous Self-determination

 

 

Sunday, May 15, 2011 – Noon-5:00pm / 6:00-8:30pm

World Arts Studio (2nd floor), Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, 149 West Hastings

(Named after Goldcorp as a result of their donation of  $10 million to Simon Fraser University)

 

 

12:00-12:30pm

Indigenous Welcoming and Opening Ceremony

Introduction by Carol Martin from the DTES Women's Centre

 

 

12:30-2:30pm

Workshop 1: Impacts of Canadian Mining Companies from Community Perspectives

Communities across the globe are increasingly speaking out about the impacts of Canadian mining companies including, destruction of indigenous land without community consent, water and air pollution affecting local residents’ health, powerful blasting that damages homes, loss of wildlife and biodiversity, violence and threats against community members who speak out, and lack of accountability of Canadian transnationals operating abroad. This workshop will feature speakers from mining-affected communities in Guatemala, Mexico, and Chile. Community responses to mining through activism and resistance will also be discussed, highlighting the importance of community resistance and international solidarity.

Speakers:

Benito Morales is a Human Rights Coordinator and lawyer for the Rigoberta Menchú Tum Foundation, working on legal cases related to land and indigenous rights issues, such as the right to free, prior and informed consent of indigenous populations. He is also part of the Legal Committee of the Council of Western Peoples. Benito was born in Santa Cruz del Quiché in Guatemala; he is Mayan K’iche’.

Jesus Lara Chivarra of the Wixárika (Huichol) people is an artist and a healer; he is a native of the San Sebastian Teponahuaxtlán and serves as a member of the coordinating board of the Wirikuta Defense Front. Legally recognized by the Mexican government as natural heritage site and a UNESCO World Heritage site, the native land of the Wirikuta is threatened by foreign business interests. First Majestic Mining, based in Vancouver, has laid claims to purchase over 6,000 hectares of Wirikuta land in a plan to extract silver through open pit mining.

Sergio Campusano is the President of the Diaguita Huascoaltina Agricultural Community in Chile, a community that is being threatened by Canadian mining operations, including Barrick Gold and Goldcorp.

Carlos Amador has been active in opposing mining by Goldcorp in Honduras; he is a teacher and member of the Siria Valley Environmental Committee.

Bernardo Belloso is a representative of the National Working Group Against Metallic Mining in El Salvador, a broad coalition of municipal governments, community groups, faith based, research and non-governmental organizations concerned about the potential impact of mining in El Salvador. The National Working Group against mining conducts research and advocacy, public education and coordination of joint actions to stop the development of industrial scale metallic mining in El Salvador. Mr. Belloso is also the Vice-president of CRIPDES (Association for Rural Development in El Salvador), a national umbrella organization representing over 300 rural communities in El Salvador that works in the areas of community organizing, capacity building, and advocacy. Through his involvement with the roundtable against mining and CRIPDES, Mr. Belloso supports public education, legal action and community organizing in regions of El Salvador affected by proposed mining projects. In 2009, the National Working Group was awarded the Letelier-Moffitt Human Rights Award by the Washington-based Institute for Policy Studies and in 2011.

 

2:30-3:00pm BREAK

 

3:00-5:00pm

Workshop 2: Seeking Mining Justice: Creative Resistance and Alternative Solutions to Exploitative Mining

While mining companies are bulldozing land, poisoning water, and threatening local livelihoods, communities across the globe are speaking out, resisting destructive corporate practices, and advocating for responsible mining. This workshop will feature speakers from mining-affected communities as well as legal and community activists from Canada and Latin America who will share their experiences, struggles and strategies in advocating for mining justice through the creative use of the law.

Introduction by Melanie Schambach, a Colombian-Guatemalan-Canadian artist, who has been working with mining-affected communities in Guatemala. She coordinated the collective creation of a 30’ x 6’ foot mural, which expresses communities’ stories of loss, intimidation, sickness, strength, resistance and inspiration.

Speakers:

Adonay Espinoza, FMLN

Chief Francis Laceese,

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Tl’esqox, Tsilhqot'in First Nation, is one of the

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Tsilhqot'in chiefs that lead the fight against the destruction of

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Tetzan Biny (Fish Lake)

Artemio Ruben Herrera Herrera, member of the Departmental Assembly of Huehuetenango, a community based organization that focuses on human rights, indigenous rights and environmental issues in Guatemala.

Amanda Kistler is the Guatemala/Marlin mine campaign organizer with the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL); in this capacity, she coordinates the International Coalition Against Unjust Mining in Guatemala (CAMIGUA). Amanda has worked on issues relating to Latin American politics and social movements, with particular focus on how to use the international community and international solidarity to support and amplify grassroots organizing in Guatemala. In 2008-2009, Amanda worked in Guatemala with the Network in Solidarity with the People of Guatemala as an international human rights observer. In this role, Amanda accompanied survivors of the genocidal scorched-earth campaign as they testified as witnesses to war crimes despite death threats and other forms of intimidation.

5:00-6:00pm BREAK

 

6:00-8:30pm

Closing Ceremony and Prayers

 

Panel Discussion on Mining: International Resistance and Solidarity Against Canadian Mining Companies

While Canadian mining companies often describe themselves as champions of corporate social responsibility, communities in Canada, Latin America and around the globe are increasingly speaking out about the destructive impacts of mining operations on their lands, environments, livelihoods, heath and rights to and self-determination. This panel discussion will provide an overview of the impacts of Canadian mining companies (particularly in Latin America), while highlighting the work of local groups and international coalitions to defend the rights of communities adversely affected by mining operations.

Moderator: Steve Collis, SFU

Speakers:

Benito Morales is a Human Rights Coordinator and lawyer for the Rigoberta Menchú Tum Foundation, working on legal cases related to land and indigenous rights issues, such as the right to free, prior and informed consent of indigenous populations. He is also part of the Legal Committee of the Council of Western Peoples. Benito was born in Santa Cruz del Quiché in Guatemala; he is Mayan K’iche’.

Jesus Lara, of the Wixárika (Huichol) people is an artist and a healer; he is a native of the San Sebastian Teponahuaxtlán and serves as a member of the coordinating board of the Wirikuta Defense Front. Legally recognized by the Mexican government as natural heritage site and a UNESCO World Heritage site, the native land of the Wirikuta is threatened by foreign business interests. First Majestic Mining, based in Vancouver, has laid claims to purchase over 6,000 hectares of Wirikuta land in a plan to extract silver through open pit mining.

Sergio Campusano is the President of the Diaguita Huascoaltina Agricultural Community in Chile, a community that is being threatened by Canadian mining operations, including Barrick Gold and Goldcorp.

Jen Moore is the Latin America Program Coordinator at MiningWatch Canada. Prior to joining MiningWatch, she worked for four years as a freelance print and broadcast journalist based in Ecuador. Her research and reporting included in-depth analysis of conflicts arising from Canadian mining expansion, and has also taken her to Peru, Bolivia and post-coup Honduras.

Organizer:miningjustice@gmail.com

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