Art in the Movements Against Extraction Industries

Art in the Movements
Against Extraction Industries

Cover Artist: Fanny Aishaa

["The Healing Walk, 2013". Acrylics.
      36"X48". January, 2014 by Fanny Aishaa]

"The Healing Walk, 2013" Original artwork by Fanny Aishaa. 36"X48". Acrylics. (January 2014.) Based on a photo by Mario Jean/"MADOC", from the video, "Bloquons les sables bitumineux / Let's block the tar sands":

On our cover this issue, this original piece (first published by Radical Criminology) is a painting inspired by the annual Healing Walk at Fort McMurray to raise awareness with the movement against the tar sands.

From their website:

The tar sands are growing out of control, destroying the climate for all Canadians and poisoning the water of everyone living downstream.


On July 5 & 6 2013 a different kind of event took place in Northern Alberta in the heart of the destruction. The 4th Annual Healing Walk was an opportunity for people from all walks of life to join First Nations and Metis in a spiritual gathering that will focus on healing the land and the people who are suffering from tar sands expansion.

The Healing Walk is sponsored by the Keepers of the Athabasca. Keepers of the Athabasca is a collection of First Nations, Metis, Inuit, environmental groups, and watershed citizens working together for the protection of water, land and air, and thus for all living things today and tomorrow in the Athabasca River Watershed.

'No Pipelines on Unceded Wet'suwet'en Territory'

Excerpts from:

"The Unist'ot'en Camp is a resistance community whose purpose is to protect sovereign Wet'suwet'en territory from several proposed pipelines from the Tar Sands Gigaproject and shale gas from Hydraulic Fracturing Projects in the Peace River Region.

Wet'suwet'en territory, which extends from Burns Lake to the Coastal Mountains, is sovereign territory which has never been ceded to the colonial Canadian state; the Wet'suwet'en are not under treaty with the Canadian government. Their territory, therefore, is and always will be free, and belongs to the Wet'suwet'en people alone.

Since July of 2010, the Wet'suwet'en have established a camp in the pathway of the Pacific Trails Pipeline. Likhts'amisyu hereditary chief Toghestiy states

Unist'ot'en and Grassroots Wet'suwet'en have consistently stated that they will not allow such a pipeline to pass through their territory. The federal and provincial governments, as well as Indian Act tribal councils or bands, have no right or jurisdiction to approve development on Unist'ot'en lands. By consulting only with elected Indian Act tribal councils and bands, the Canadian government breaks its own laws as outlined in the 1997 Supreme Court of Canada Delgamuukw decision which recognizes Hereditary adjudication processes.

          Pipelines" reproduction of artwork painted on his drum by
          Toghestiy, text added by VicFAN.] [ ◄"No Pipelines" photo/reproduction of artwork, painted on his drum by Toghestiy, text added by VicFan.]

[►"Mintselh", is a nighthawk/watcher,
a crest of the Unist'ot'ten, gifted to them, drawn by Likhts'amisyu
hereditary chief Toghestiy  (2013). He says of this 'supernatural' bird, ["Mintselh", a
        nighthawk/watcher, crest of the Unist'ot'en, by Likhts'amisyu
        hereditary chief Toghestiy (2013)]
"it flies nonstop through their lands and keeps an eye out for
trespassers. It never lands thus it has no legs."]

Freda Huson, spokeswoman for the Unist'ot'en Clan, states:

Pacific Trails Pipeline does not have permission to be on our territory. This is unceded land. Through emails and in meetings, we have repeatedly said NO. Pacific Trail Pipeline's proposed route is through two main salmon spawning channels which provide our staple food supply. We have made the message clear to Pacific Trails, Enbridge, and all of industry: We will not permit any pipelines through our territory.

The Unist'ot'en clan is against all pipelines slated to cross through their territories. This includes Enbridge Northern Gateway, Pacific Trails, Coast Gas Link, Kinder Morgan's northern proposal, and others. Pacific Trails Pipeline is the most pressing and immediate threat to the community. The Enbridge pipeline [as proposed] would be built side by side- with essentially the same right of way as Pacific Trails-thus raising concerns that the Pacific Trails Pipeline might 'blaze a trail' for the Enbridge project.

How to Support : The Unis'tot'en camp stands directly in the path of the proposed pipelines. As long as it stands, no pipelines can be built. By supporting the camp, you are not only helping grassroots Wet'suwet'en assert their sovereign right to live on their unceded traditional territories, you are also helping to put a stop to the eco-cidal expansion of tar sands and shale gas projects through the creation of a so-called "energy corridor."

DONATE: Operating the camp daily requires fuel, materials, food, and resources of all sorts, and for that we need your help. Resistance is a collective effort and calls for the support of the entire community. Please donate to camp, all contributions are greatly appreciated.

VicFAN Unist'ot'en Solidarity Page:

We can also accept email transfers at <> Or cheques can be sent to
Tse Wedi Elth (Rocks Flowing),
620 CN Station Rd, Smithers, BC, V0J 2N1.
["No Enbridge" Drawing by Gord Hill (2011)]

[▲"No Enbridge." Drawing by Gord Hill (2011) ]

Support the Mi'kmaq Land Defenders'
Stand at Elsipogtog

[Portrait of Amanda Polchies, holding an eagle feather.
      Painting by Fanny Aishaa, based on a photo taken October 17, 2013
      at Elsipogtog (New Brunswick) by Ossie Michelin/APTN/twitter:
      @osmich. ]
Portrait of Amanda Polchies, holding an eagle feather. Painting by Fanny Aishaa, based on a photo taken October 17, 2013 at Elsipogtog (New Brunswick) by Ossie Michelin/APTN/twitter: @osmich.

This was during a standoff between advancing Royal Canadian Mounted Police against Mi'kmaq land defenders, who have been engaged in a heated struggle to protect their land and water from hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") by Texas-based gas giant SWN Resources." The photo itself has been widely shared, an iconic symbol of resistance to destructive industrial development-and of women's role in fighting for the water.

Artist Fanny Aishaa says of the painting,

Thanks goes to these guardians of the Earth, voices that need to be listened to... While all the media has been focusing on the [Quebec government's] "Charter of Values" and the importance of female and male equality, it is the first female entity, Mother Earth, the source of all lives, whose needs are forgotten in the pursuit of economic development policies. Care for water, air, the Earth itself, these are the true values for urgent focus. When the territory is in harmony, when health is respected in all its diversity, then humans are also.

["Solidarity with the Mi'kmaq Warriors: Protect Mother
        Earth!" Drawing by ZigZag (Gord Hill) (2013).]

[▲ Drawing by Gord Hill (2013) ]

This image, from went viral along with videos from the front lines of the police aggression against their line on the Highway 134 in October (also shot by the 'Stimulator'):
[, Mi'kmaq
          Warrior Society: "They Call them Criminals, We Call them

In January 2014, Mi'kmaq Warriors began a speaking tour of the West coast, seeking to build support for their movement. You can learn more via several different sites:

Sacred Fire: The People United Against Fracking, #Elsipogtog and Kent County, New Brunswick -
SacredFireNB @

or see

Send donations to support! Cheques can be mailed to
mikmaw warrior society
Po box 7739 eskasoni ns b1w1b8

More Submedia Videos...

Mi'kmaq Blockade (video):

Crisis in Elsipogtog (Photo essay):

It's a great day to be Indigenous (video of a speech by Suzanne Patles:

Showdown at highway 134 (video): stimulator/2013/10/20/showdown-at-highway-134/

Submedia also teamed up with Indigenous organizer Amanda Lickers to produce


Indigenous Resistance to Tar Sands Pipelines

Kahsatstenhsera gah-sad-sdanh-se-ra is a Kanienkeha:ka (Mohawk) word that means Strength in Unity. This short documentary details contemporary Indigenous resistance to tar sands pipeline expansion, in particular the Line 9 and Energy East pipelines, which threaten the health of our territories in the northeast of Turtle Island. It includes the voices and perspectives of Dene, Wolastiqiyik, Mi'kmaq, Anishinaabe, Haudenosaunee and Wet'suwet'en land defenders.

See it and find more background info at:

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This work is licensed under a
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Attribution to include the author or artist's name, date of first publication,
and the name of our journal: Radical Criminology.
ISSN 1929-7904
(Print) | ISSN 1929-7912 (Online)