Also around climate organizing, people often find that if you’re able to speak to and revive that conservative tradition of stewardship, it’s an opportunity to cross political lines. And even if those conservative farmers don’t even believe climate change is real, they still believe in the principles of protecting the land and protecting the water, and the responsibility to leave the land better than you found it. So if you believe in that, it doesn’t even really matter if you believe in climate change, because you’re not going to frack your land.
LBB: Are there any particular stories you have heard or experienced in your travels that give you hope for us getting out of the current mess?
NK: I think the movement that I have found most inspiring in recent years is… the movement against the Northern Gateway tar sands pipeline in British Columbia. That’s not because it’s more inspirational than other movements, I just found it to be — and still find it to be — one of the most positive and beautiful movements I’ve ever been a part of because it is this amazing combination of resisting something that people don’t want, but also just a total celebration of place.
I really felt so lucky to witness this process where people in that very special part of the world, really fell more deeply in love with their place and created these incredible coalitions to defend it, like the Save the Fraser Declaration, which more than a hundred First Nations signed.
Fighting these extreme extraction projects becomes a real space for historical healing. We use these words and we have these symbolic marches around reconciliation between settler and Indigenous peoples and it’s very empty. But what actually played out in BC is the very concrete realization among non-Indigenous British Columbians that they are tremendously lucky that so much of their province is on unceded Indigenous land.