This week, we successfully launched the Indigenous Climate Action Preschool (ICAP) Program with the help of our participants, partners, and team at our local Marigold Park! The IOF team wanted to recognize all the people who put forth the good work to make this Program happen and acknowledge the Esquimalt, Songhees, and Wsanec lands that the Program will take place on.
We began the Launch with smiles, hot chocolate and warm greetings as we mingled and familiarized ourselves with one another’s faces and spirits. Board Members, Eli Enns, Monica Shore, and Art Napoleon, welcomed our Partner Rick Hatch from Saanich Parks and Rowen Warrilow, from Life Cycles and Welland Community Orchard, as we gathered in an intimate sharing circle. Within the circle, we introduced ourselves, stated our interests and intentions for ICAP, and listened to Co-Founder Eli Enns share the origins of how the Program came to be.
In the spirit of contributing to the youth climate action movement across the globe, IISAAK OLAM members Noémie Foley, Ian Enns and Christina Croce occupied the outside of Victoria’s Legislative Assembly of BC building in solidarity with the Wet’sewet’en people. This movement has gathered momentum since the first injunction was laid on the Wet’suwet’en people, who were practicing their responsibility to protect the land from a proposed $40 billion LNG Canada liquefied natural gas export pipeline that spans from Dawson Creek to Kitimat. On this particular day, the organizers, who are mainly Indigenous youth, called for more participants to occupy the area as Canada’s Lieutenant-Governor General, Janet Austin would be attending meetings in the legislature as politicians returned to begin their spring session.
Voices were heard all the way down Government Street as chants and songs spread the message across the downtown core of Victoria. For the past month, the youth have not only gathered during the day, but have been staying overnight outside of the Legislature building to mimic the blockade camps the Wet’suwet’en people have maintained even throughout the violent displays of the RCMP.
Participating in the event on the same day as our preschool launch seemed necessary to us as a team. With ICAP, we are promoting trans-generational knowledge sharing that will breed the next generation of these brave activists on the front-lines and across Canada. Although intense and emotional, this movement has never been violent in nature. The Indigenous youth were adamant that participants never touch, block or harm those we are holding accountable. The nature of the movement is simply an expression of the youth’s concern for the health of our future world and support of Indigenous sovereignty and laws. It is incredible to see the momentum building across the nation for support for Indigenous-led conservation movements.
Thank you to everyone who was able to be present and to those that put the good work forward to make the ICAP Launch and Program possible. The IOF team is ready and excited to begin this new and innovative journey towards Ethical Space and place-based knowledge!