During this interactive webinar, we collectively reflected on the various forms mining resistance can take, how mining resistance functions in both Guatemala and in Canada, and our futures within mining resistance work. This webinar consisted of 4 guest speakers who gave updates on current mining resistance efforts in both Guatemala and Mi’kmaki in order to prepare and motivate attendees with concrete actions to take in solidarity!

This webinar was facilitated by Kristine Johnston, long-time BTS member and supporter. Kristine served as a BTS volunteer in Guatemala (2015-16) and attended the 2016 delegation just before returning home. Inspired by grassroots mining resistance efforts she witnessed through this work, Kristine recently completed her master’s research on the Canadian state’s response to corporate crime and impunity within the extractive industry.

Other Special Guests included:

Lisa Rankin, BTS Director of Guatemala Programs.
Hannah Martin, social justice advocate based in Mi’kmaki.
Karen McKendry, Wilderness Outreach Coordinator at Ecology Action Center.
Emily Dwyer, National Coordinator at the Canadian Network on Corporate Accountability.

Contributor Bios:
Karen McKendry, Wilderness Outreach Coordinator at Ecology Action Center. Since moving to Nova Scotia/Mi’kmaki in 2005, Karen has worked as a conservation biologist and environmental activist. She has tried to influence environmental law and policy at the provincial level, with mixed results! Karen is also no stranger to non-violent actions to catalyze change of archaic systems, and works from both the outside and within existing processes to hinder the advancement of gold mining in Nova Scotia/Mi’kmaki.

Emily Dwyer joined the CNCA as Coordinator in August of 2012. Prior to joining the CNCA, Emily worked as the Program Officer for Latin America for Lawyers Without Borders Canada; as the Coordinator of the Human Rights Accompaniment Program for the Maritimes-Guatemala Breaking the Silence Network (BTS); and as a human rights accompanier/international observer in Guatemala with the Coordination of International Accompaniment in Guatemala. Emily has supported BTS’s mining justice campaigns and Amnesty International’s Business and Human Rights Committee. She has also interned at the Canadian Department of Justice’s War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity Department, the Dalhousie Legal Aid Clinic and the Halifax Refugee Clinic, and focused on related issues in law school. Emily holds a Bachelor of Laws Degree from Dalhousie University and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in International Development and History from Trent University.

Lisa Rankin travelled to Guatemala as part of a StFX Immersion Service Learning delegation in 2008, which inspired her to pursue a career path in human rights. She twice served as a human rights accompanier in Guatemala and was a BTS intern before assuming a staff role with the network. Her dedication to solidarity work, and unique ability to establish and maintain relationships built on mutuality and trust, has inspired many. Lisa holds a bachelor’s in Sociology with honours and a subsidiary in Political Science and a master’s in Adult Education from StFX University.

Hannah Martin (Mi’kmaw) is a basketmaker, harvester and language learner from Taqamaku’jk (Piktuk district) and is a member of We’kopekwitk (Millbrook) First Nation. Over the years Hannah has been a strong advocate for Indigenous rights and believes Indigenous self-determination is tied to the reclamation of our ancient knowledge systems. In 2016, Hannah completed an internship at La Fundacion Nueva Esperenza (New Hope Foundation) with BTS following the annual delegation. This experience broadened Hannah’s scope of advocacy work to include the experiences of Indigenous peoples on an international scale. In 2019, Hannah received her Bachelor of Arts in Indigenous Studies from McMaster University as a Joyce/Crawford Loran Scholar and is a recipient of the Chief Noel Doucette Memorial Achievement Award and the Shirley Case Leadership Award. After returning to Mi’kma’ki following university, Hannah turned her focus to being mentored by her grandmother Jean Sophia Martin, her basketmaking and language teacher, and nurturing her relationship with the land.