Thank you, Mi’kmaq Grandmothers, for protecting land and water through Indigenous self-determination

Mi’kmaq grandmothers and water protectors celebrate Alton Gas decommissioning

KAIROS welcomes the decommissioning of the Alton Gas Project and honours and thanks the Mi’kmaq Grandmothers for all their efforts in the protection of land and water.  

The Mi’kmaq Grandmothers have been steadfast in their defense of the Shubenacadie River system, treaty rights, and their ancestral homelands for years. Despite intimidation, coercion, and criminalization from the part of various governments, companies, and community members, the Mi’kmaq Grandmothers held strong to Indigenous self-determination and the concept and practice of caring for M’sit No’kmaq (“all-of-my-relations”). Through knowledge and strategy, they have been grassroots leaders for Indigenous and women’s rights and ecological justice.  

As a recent report by the Indigenous Environmental Network concludes, land defense struggles like those of the Mi’kmaq Grandmothers against the Alton Gas project have “stopped or delayed greenhouse gas pollution equivalent to at least one-quarter of annual U.S. and Canadian emissions.” 

KAIROS supports Indigenous land protectors, especially women environmental defenders, and calls for: 

  • the federal government of Canada to implement the Calls for Justice, including but not limited to, the Calls for Extractive and Development Industries and the Calls for Human and Indigenous Rights and Governmental Obligations, of the Final Inquiry Report on MMIWG2S; 
  • all levels of Canadian government to cease criminalizing Indigenous land defenders and their non-violent forms of land defense.  

For more on the Mi’kmaq Grandmothers and their struggle against the Alton Gas project, read “Wolastoqiyik and Mi’kmaq Grandmothers – Land/Water Defenders Sharing and Learning Circle: Generating Knowledge for Action,” a report by Sherry Pictou, PhD (Dalhousie University) and watch their Story of Courage on YouTube

And for more on the gendered impacts of resource extraction, visit Mother Earth and Resource Extraction: Women Defending Land and Water (or MERE Hub), a digital platform created with and for Indigenous women land defenders.  

Mi’kmaq grandmothers and water protectors celebrate Alton Gas decommissioning
Mi’kmaq grandmothers and water protectors celebrate Alton Gas decommissioning.
Photo from press release at

Filed in: Ecological Justice, Indigenous Rights


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