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LPIRG in Solidarity // #WetsuwetenStrong
The Lethbridge Public Interest Research Group (LPIRG) stands firmly in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en land defenders, and with friends and allies across Turtle Island taking a stand against state and police violence.
We stand as witnesses to this historic moment when the federal and provincial governments, RCMP, and Coastal GasLink/TC Energy (formerly TransCanada) are openly violating Wet’suwet’en, Canadian, and international law.
LPIRG recognizes that the TransCanada Coastal GasLink pipeline does not have the collective free, prior, and informed consent (FPIC) of the Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs. All the Wet'suwet'en Clans have rejected the Coastal GasLink pipeline.
The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) was passed unanimously in B.C. legislature only months ago. UNDRIP states that Indigenous peoples shall not be forcibly removed from their lands and that no relocation shall take place without the free, prior, and informed consent of the Indigenous peoples concerned. The declaration also states that Indigenous peoples have the right to own, use, develop, and control the lands, territories, and resources that they possess by traditional ownership or other traditional occupation or use.
The call to action from the Unist’ot’en comes from a call to action to find justice. A need to end systemic discrimination and oppression. The need for true justice - justice for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, justice for the unceded territory taken for state purposes, justice for former students of residential schools, justice for the children taken in the Sixties Scoop, justice to end the disproportionate rates of Indigenous children taken from their families and put in care. Justice for ongoing colonization and discrimination. Justice for the Indian Act’s oppressive system of funding to First Nation communities. Communities looking to supply clean drinking water. Communities in need of health care centres. Communities in need of safe housing.
Just as previous actions to secure civil rights for communities under state oppression were not only about a seat on a bus, or in a movie theatre, or marking an X next to a candidate - the actions by land defenders across Canada are about much more than a single resource extraction project.
Reconciliation is an ongoing process - that must centre respect and autonomy. Reconciliation is NOT RCMP raids, or threats of arrest. If the state of Canada is committed to reconciliation, it must first and foremost end the state violence perpetrated against Indigenous peoples by the RCMP and police forces. Despite making up about 5% of the population, more than 30% of incarcerated people in Canadian prisons are Indigenous. This in itself demonstrates the ongoing violence and oppression of Indigenous peoples by state forces.
We call on the federal government of Canada and the provincial government of British Columbia to respect the rights, jurisdiction and laws of the Unist'ot'en/Giltseyu-Dark House on their unceded territories, as upheld by the Supreme Court of Canada. We call on banks, pension plans, and other investors to divest from extractive resource projects that do not honour free, prior and informed consent with all members of the communities extractive resource projects impact.
We call on allies and communities across Turtle Island to call out racism and acts of violence. To hold your local governments accountable to their own responses. Further, we call on every Member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta to vote against Bill 1: the “Critical Infrastructure Defence Act” - an act that demeans the core freedoms of speech and assembly.
New Library Books
Check out our new library books on loan at LPIRG
Calling all artists: LPIRG Sticker Art Contest!
The Lethbridge Public Interest Research Group (LPIRG) is seeking local and emerging artists to design artworks for vinyl stickers that will be produced as a fundraiser for LPIRG. Interested artists are invited to submit a design(s) for consideration for the project. Six designs from those submitted will be selected by the board to be printed as part of a “sticker pack.”
Application deadline: September 4 2020
This competition is open to local artists of all ages, at all levels of their artistic practice.
Artists should consider the following when contemplating their design concept:
The design should, in some way, capture the values of LPIRG, there is no explicit theme specified for the project & we encourage a wide range of design proposals
No explicit depictions of violence will be considered. Please consider when choosing your design idea that the project is for public and wider release and should be a design that appeals to a wide range of audience.
The final design should be ~ 4.25” x 3.66”
Selected artists will receive an artist fee of $50.00 per sticker design, and a complimentary sticker pack!
Interested artists are asked to submit:
Current Artistic C.V. or an outline of artistic interests and activities including email and contact information.
Letter of Interest that explains why you are interested in participating in this project and a brief description of your proposed design. Design concept should include information on how your idea relates to LPIRG’s mission statement and values (directly or indirectly), design content, approach to creating design (style/media) and an indication of colour palette. Maximum one page, 500 words.
Five images of current or past works in PDF format labelled with the following information:
You are welcome to submit more than one design, but we request that all materials be submitted in one email, preferably in one pdf file.
Applications should be emailed to email@example.com. Please include “LPIRG Sticker Project” in the subject heading.