As Long As the Rivers Flow: Water Justice & Indigenous Sovereignty

March 24, 2011 - 1:00am

A panel featuring Cree Elder Lillian Shirt, Indigenous rights lawyer Clayton Leonard and Indigenous activist and Greenpeace campaigner Melina Massimo-Laboucan.

Many are surprised to learn that within Canada are people who the Public Health Agency of Canada say live in “third world conditions”; in fact, many Indigenous communities on Turtle Island live without access to one of the most basic needs: clean water.

Come to learn about what made this the reality in Canada, and what is being and can be done in the fight for water justice.

There will be low water-use snacks provided.

About the speakers

Lillian Shirt is a Cree Elder and Activist who will present a historical and over-arching look at water and its importance to Indigenous culture and communities.

Clayton Leonard is a lawyer at MacPherson Leslie & Tyerman and his practice focuses on consultation issues between First Nations, the resource sector and governments. A significant amount of Clayton’s practice relates to water management and allocation, Treaty water rights and other water issues facing First Nations. Clayton also has experience negotiating impact benefit agreements, litigating and negotiating land claims, conducting park co-management negotiations, and with governance, Treaty and Aboriginal rights, and membership issues.

Melina Laboucan-Massimo is Lubicon Cree from Northern Alberta. She has been working as an advocate for Indigenous rights for the past 9 years. She has worked with various NGOs such as Redwire Media Society, the Indigenous Media Arts Group and the Indigenous Environmental Network and has written and produced short documentaries covering topics ranging from the tar sands, inherent treaty rights, water issues to cultural appropriation. She has studied and worked in Australia, Brasil, Mexico, and Canada focusing Indigenous rights and culture, resource extraction and international diplomacy. Before joining Greenpeace as a Tar Sands Climate and Energy Campaigner in Alberta, Melina was pursuing her Masters in Environmental Studies at York University.

Organized by the University of Alberta Council of Canadians and the Sierra Club Prairie.


Engineering Teaching and Learning Complex (ETLC) Room 1-007
University of Alberta (East of 116 St between 91 and 92 Avenues)
Edmonton , AB