KAIROS Partner Delegation Participates in the International Gathering Women Resisting Extractivism in Montreal, April 27-30
From April 27 to 30, KAIROS delegates from Canada and the Global South will participate in the International Gathering of Women Resisting Extractivism in Montreal. This gathering will bring together more than 40 land and life defenders from around the world to share their experiences and strategies of resistance, as well as to speak out against the threats they are facing because of their work. The gathering will highlight the impacts of extractivism on Indigenous women and the important steps they are taking to ensure the well-being of their communities and their land. It will also provide a safe space for discussions of experiences, struggles and resistance.
The KAIROS delegation in Montreal will include the following partners from Canada and the Global South. Read biographies.
Gloria Chicaiza, Acción Ecológica, Ecuador
Lema Ijtemaye, Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada
Beverly Longid, Indigenous Peoples Movement of Self-Determination and Liberation, Philippines
Denise Jourdain, Quebec Native Women
Loretta Williams, First Nations Women Advocating for Responsible Mining (FNWARM), BC
Yvonne Sampear, WoMin, African Women Unite Against Destructive Resource Extraction
Yolanda Becerra, Popular Feminist Organization (OFP) and KAIROS partner, Colombia
Kelly Campo, Popular Feminist Organization (OFP) and KAIROS partner, Colombia
Resource extraction heavily impacts Indigenous peoples across the globe. It is increasingly evident that extractive projects have particular impacts on the lives of Indigenous women through environmental contamination, gendered based violence, and increased social inequity, to name a few.
Moreover, Indigenous women are often not consulted in the decision-making or in the assessment of extractive project’s social and environmental impacts. Their voices are not heard and many times they are overlooked, despite their unique perspectives and knowledge, and the important role in their communities.
KAIROS has been working with partners – Indigenous women and organizations – in Canada and in the Global South on the Gendered Impacts of Resource Extraction. This work has included monitoring the social, economic and health impacts of resource extraction on women and developing collective strategies, policy and advocacy positions.
The International Gathering of Women Resisting Resource Extraction will include closed sessions where participants are invited to share experience and strategies with other frontline activists, as well as sessions that are open to the public. KAIROS partners will participate in the entire gathering and KAIROS will be contributing to the public sessions.
The launch of the gathering will include a mass KAIROS Blanket Exercise in French, English and Spanish for all participants and members of the public on Friday April 27, 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. Registration is required.
KAIROS and partners will also host a workshop “From the Ground Up: Feminist strategies of resistance, resilience and resurgence” on Saturday April 28 at 5:30 p.m. Indigenous women leaders from the Philippines, Latin America, Africa and coast to coast to coast in Canada will speak about creative and feminist strategies to defend human rights, land and their communities in the face of large-scale resource extraction.
If you are in the Montreal area, please consider attending these public events. Registration is required and space is limited!
The OFP’s Yolanda Becerra and Kelly Campo will also participate in the Colloquium Memory: Social and theoretical perspectives on Truth, Justice and Reconciliation in the Americas, organized by the University of Quebec in Montreal (UQAM) on April 25-26.
Afterwards, Yolanda and Kelly will travel to Ottawa and Toronto for public meetings and to meet with the Canadian government and the KAIROS network about their work as women human rights defenders and peace activists in the context of the current peace accords in Colombia. Information about these events will be posted on the KAIROS website and Facebook page.
Gloria Chicaiza Aguilar
Gloria Chicaiza Aguilar has a degree in clinical psychology from the Central University of Ecuador. She is a defender of the rights of nature. She is past President of Acción Ecológica, and is currently their Mining Justice Coordinator. She is on the Board of the Observatory of Mining Conflicts of Latin America (OCMAL). She is also a member of the Latin American network of women Defenders of the Social and Environmental Rights.
Gloria was in Canada for the Ecumenical conference on mining in May 2011. In December 2015, she helped coordinate a delegation of 25 Indigenous women from Latin America to the UN COP 20 Dialogue on Climate Change. In July 2015, she travelled to the Philippines to participate and present at the International Peoples Conference on Mining. Gloria participated in the KAIROS Gendered Impact: Indigenous women and resource extraction symposium and GEMM (Global Energy Minerals and Markets ) 2015 Dialogue in Vancouver in October 2015 and the Convergence Assembly on Gendered Impacts of Resource Extraction organized by KAIROS and partner at the World Social Forum in Montreal, August 2016.
Kelly Johanna Campo
Kelly Johanna Campo Becerra was born in Barrancabermeja and has been a leader in the youth movement of the Popular Feminist Organization (OFP) for five years. She was part of the student movement of the University of Santander. Currently, she is working in project coordination within the OFP.
As a human rights defender, particularly a defender of women’s rights, Kelly has worked in community development and social and pyschological accompaniment in the Magdalena Medio and supported the process of collective reparations to the OFP within the current agreement with the Unit for Integral Attention and Reparations to Victim of the Colombian state.
Lema Ijtemaye is the Manager of the Socio-Economic Development department at Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada, the national representative organization for Inuit women in Canada. She oversees the initiation, development, and completion of projects relating to a broad range of social and economic issues concerning Inuit women including political equality, women’s leadership, environmental issues, and resource extraction.
Beverly L. Longid is the coordinator of Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self-Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL) of the Philippines (IPMSDL). She is Igorot belonging to the Bontok-Kankanaeys of Sagada and Alba, Bontoc, Mountain Province, Phillipines. Beverly has a background in law has been a longstanding advocate for youth, and for Indigenous peoples in the Philippines and abroad through her active role in social movements and human rights organizations.
Beverly has also been a member and officer of the Cordillera Peoples’ Alliance (CPA) since 1992, serving as Education Commission staff, deputy secretary-general and chairperson. She is now a member of CPA’s Regional Advisory Council.
Beverly was part of the planning team for the International Peoples Conference on Mining (IPCM) in 2015.
Yvonne Sampear is a community activist from Ogies, in Mpumalanga Province, South Africa. The Founder of the Greater Phola Ogies Women’s Forum, Yvonne works to mobilize women around the effects of mining and extractive projects on their lives and livelihoods. In an area ravaged by coal mining and a large power station, women in the community have no access to energy themselves. Water has been diverted for use by mining concerns and as a result Yvonne and her group have staged a range of actions to highlight the plight of these women.
Yvonne also sits on the Steering Committee of the South African arm of a Regional Campaign on climate and energy justice called Women Building Power, and is a member of WoMin (African Women Unite Against Destructive Resource Extraction).
Yolanda Becerra Vega
Yolanda Becerra Vega is a Colombian human rights defender and peace activist. She has been a member of the Organización Femenina Popular (OFP) since 1980, and is currently its National Director. Yolanda has dedicated her life to struggles for the defense of territory, human dignity, and peace. As a leader in the women’s movement, she inspired the “Social Movement of Women against the War and for Peace”, an expression of the grassroots social and rural movements in the region of Magdalena Medio, which along with other women’s movements in Colombia advocated for the participation of women in the recent peace process and accords.
Yolanda has worked for more than 30 years shoulder-to-shoulder with grassroots women and men in the midst of war and in the presence of armed actors – state, paramililtary and guerrilla – in a region where the disparity between rich and poor is extreme, and serious human rights violations are common. For this work she has been recognized nationally and internationally.
Yolanda also suffered political persecution, gender based discrimination, and sexual violence, during the war. Yet, despite these threats, she was able to lead the OFP in a process of collective reparations as a means to reconstruct the organization’s identity, and the social network and peace in territories and communities. Currently, she is leading initiatives including the construction of a Museum of Memory and Human Rights for Women and the development of a Women’s Agenda for Territory and Peace.
KAIROS has worked in partnership with Yolanda Becerra and with the OFP, which has spent 46 years resisting violence and defending life, for more than 15 years. Together we have built the KAIROS Women of Courage Program which seeks to increase the participation of women in peace and development processes and in defense of human rights. The work the OFP is emblematic of this program.
Yolanda and OFP Youth Delegate, Kelly Johana Campo, will participate in two events in Montreal at the end of April: the International Colloquium of the Responsibility of Memory: Social and theoretical perspectives on Truth, Justice and Reconciliation in the Americas, April 25-26, 2018; and the International Gathering ¨Women’s Struggles for Defense of the Land: Feminist Resistance and Solidarity Against Extractivism¨ April 27-30, 2018. Stay tuned for further information on the OFP visit and these upcoming International events!
Loretta Williams is one of the founding members of First Nations Women Advocating for Responsible Mining and is an elected leader of the Xeni Gwet’in, which is situated in a pristine area in the Interior of British Columbia. Xeni Gwet’in is one of 6 Tsilhqot’in communities. They are the River People and they take their responsibility to protect the water very seriously.
Loretta’s community has been threatened by proposed mining. The Tsilhqot’in have been through two Canadian Environmental Assessments for a proposed open pit gold and copper mine project within the heart of their caretaker area. The projects were rejected twice by the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency.
Loretta is very proud of her community’s efforts in asserting jurisdiction of their territory over the years. It is because of this they find themselves where they are today: the first Aboriginal community in Canada to have Declared Title to a portion of their territory.