Casey Camp-Horinek (Ponca Nation), Environmental Ambassador for the Ponca Nation and WECAN Board Member, celebrates the creation of the Ponca Earthen Lodge. Photo Credit: Katherine Quaid/WECAN International

Dear Community,

There are bright lights needed to lift our hearts at a time of immense tragedy and violence in the world. One light we want to share is that this September and October the Ponca Earthen Lodge, a project of the WECAN Food Sovereignty and Food Security Program, was built and birthed into the world in the Ponca Nation in Oklahoma. As many of us grieve for the loss of human lives, it was healing to bear witness to the creation of this project grounded in Indigenous knowledge and lifeways as we collectively work to build a healthy and just future that centers care for people, ecosystems and our global climate. 

With this project and many others globally, we are seeing the ways women in all of their diversity are rising and leading efforts to support one another and their communities through defending people and planet via actions and policy advocacy, generating a plethora of on-the-ground programs, building pathways to peace, and stopping the violation of human and Indigenous rights. 

Please continue on in this newsletter to learn more about our time in Ponca and ways to take action to support Indigenous rights and Mother Earth. 

Celebrating the Ponca Earthen Lodge Project!

The WECAN Team was invited by Casey Camp-Horinek (Environmental Ambassador for the Ponca Nation and WECAN Board Member), and her family to gather in Ponca, Oklahoma to honor the creation of the Ponca Earthen Lodge Project, a part of WECAN’s Food Sovereignty and Food Security program. The Lodge was envisioned by Casey Camp-Horinek with construction led by her daughter Julie Horinek. This was an historic occasion as it is the first time a traditional Ponca Lodge has been built in over 150 years.

We are honored to work in collaboration on this project, which will support community resiliency in the face of extreme fossil fuel extraction and ongoing climate disruption. The Lodge will provide safe harbor in times of climate disaster; offer space for cultural ceremonies and teachings; and create healthy and sustainable food and medicines for current and future generations in a region where the water and soil has been poisoned by Big Oil for decades. 

Oklahoma ranks fourth in the country for crude oil production and extraction of natural gas. The Ponca Tribe lives in a fossil fuel epicenter of fracking, pipelines, petrochemical plants, and refineries, which has led to severe pollution of the air, soil, and waters leading to severe health impacts and death in the community.

Click Here for More Photos of the Earthen Lodge Project

This project will work specifically with women in the Ponca community, as they seek seventh generation survival and beyond for their Nation in the midst of the escalating climate crisis. The food grown will use traditional ecological methods that rely on generational Indigenous knowledge, and address the degradation of soil and land in the region. Drought, heat waves, and climate disasters, like tornadoes, are expected to worsen throughout Oklahoma, and the Earthen Lodge offers an Indigenous solution to worsening climate disruptions. The Lodge will be stewarded and cared for by Casey and the Pa'tha'ta Women's Society. 

Throughout our time in Ponca, we built further relationships with community members, and had ceremony with women from Ponca and the wider region to honor the Earthen Lodge and all it will offer and provide to the community. WECAN is dedicated to this ongoing project in the years to come.

The Pa'tha'ta Women's Society, pictured above, outside the Ponca Earthen Lodge. The Society will steward and care for the Lodge for years to come. Photo Credit: Katherine Quaid / WECAN International

WECAN Prepares for COP28 in Dubai

WECAN is preparing for advocacy at this year's United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of Parties, referred to as COP28.

Within our COP28 efforts, WECAN is steadfast in our commitment to ensuring women’s leadership to advocate for climate justice, gender equality, Indigenous rights, Rights of Nature, and meaningful, bold action on climate change.​

We will also be intervening in various events to highlight the need to stop false solutions and instead invest in real solutions for climate justice. Please see more about our analysis in this recent article, featuring WECAN Executive Director Osprey Orielle Lake.

We are coordinating a frontline and Indigenous women's delegation for COP28 from across North and South America. We are also organizing events, press conferences, actions, report releases and high-level meetings, which we will share soon, being held in-person and shared virtually via livestream.

Please explore our COP28 page here, for ongoing updates and information on the WECAN delegation and events.

Please also consider supporting WECAN and our work at COP28, as we continue to uplift the leadership and solutions of women and feminists worldwide fighting for climate justice and the defense of the planet for current and future generations.


TAKE ACTION: Submit a Comment to Stop the Dakota Access Pipline (DAPL)

Thousands gather at the Oceti Sakowin camp in 2016 to support Indigenous-led efforts to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). Photo Credit: Emily Arasim / WECAN International

The fight to stop the Dakota Access pipeline (DAPL) continues! Right now, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is taking public comments on DAPL’s fatally flawed Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS).

The Standing Rock Sioux and Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe and grassroots Water Protectors have led the resistance against the dirty Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) since the beginning. Now, thanks to continued resistance and leadership, thousands of us have a chance to go on the record with our support and submit official public comments with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers against this dirty oil pipeline.

This is a key opportunity to let the United States government know that we stand with Standing Rock and all the Water Protectors who put their bodies on the line to protect their communities, ecosystems, and our global climate. WECAN was on the ground at Standing Rock, and we will never give up on this fight! We must continue taking action in solidarity with Indigenous leaders to stop this pipeline from causing any further harm. 

Demand that the Corps shut the pipeline down and conduct a proper environmental review, not one prepared by the fossil fuel industry. This is our best chance to end DAPL!

Please see the links below to draft and submit a comment before November 13:

Join the Calls to Defund MVP!

Calls for divestment from Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) are growing, and financial institutions must be held accountable for the violence MVP is bringing to Appalachia!

Originally expected to be completed in 2018, MVP Mainline now runs five years behind schedule and $3 billion over budget, with its expected cost to exceed over $7 billion.

The pipeline is harming frontline communities and contributing to environmental injustices. The racial inequities that would ensue from MVP construction routes were so obvious that the Virginia Air Pollution Control Board denied its first air permit on environmental justice grounds.

Additionally, MVP is and will lead to destruction to vital ecosystems in the region and our global climate. The pipeline route will cut across over 1,000 waterways and harm the ecosystems of multiple species of concern, including six federally endangered or threatened species and an additional four state listed species. 

By financing the Mountain Valley Pipeline, financial institutions are perpetuating the harms towards frontline communities, ecosystems, and our entire planet. 

Please join the calls to defund MVP now! Reshare our posts below to help raise awareness:

Welcome New WECAN Team Members!

This autumn, we are excited to announce the hiring of two new WECAN staff, who are joining our team to advance and grow WECAN's policy agenda. Please see below for more information!


Policy Coordinator

Sarwat grew up in Bangladesh and has worked on climate change, gender, and sustainable development for over 20 years across six continents. She holds a Ph.D. in Environmental Policy from the University of Maryland, College Park, a Sustainability Certificate from UCLA, an MA from Baylor University, and a BA from Berea College. Dr. Chowdhury is an experienced policy advisor, strategic planner, program manager, thought leader, and economist with demonstrated expertise in climate change adaptation and mitigation, climate justice, just transition, and renewable energy. She has published over 25 peer-reviewed articles in academic journals and co-authored multiple reports for UNDP, UNEP, and UNFCCC on these matters. Sarwat participated in and co-organized UNDP side events at the 2012 Rio+20 Conference in Brazil and successive High-Level Political Forums (HLPFs) in NY. As Policy Coordinator, Sarwat will support WECAN's policy strategies and interventions across all campaigns. Sarwat enjoys spending time with her family and volunteering in community activities.


Research and Policy Associate

Mary-Elizabeth (Mary Liz) Estrada (She/Her) is a Latinx woman born and raised in Florida with ancestral roots from Cuba, Ireland, and Hungary. She received her M.A. in Global Sustainability with a concentration in Sustainability Policy from the University of South Florida and holds certificates in Spirituality and Agroecology from Florida International University. Mary Liz has worked for organizations such as the CLEO Institute and Florida Student Power, both of which have been rooted in intersectional climate and environmental justice. As the Research and Policy Associate for WECAN, she focuses on divestment from fossil fuels, eco-feminist policies, Indigenous and new economy principles, the global Just Transition movement, and supporting the work of frontline women and gender diverse leaders. To regenerate, she loves reading solarpunk books, doing yoga, puzzles, and watching live music. 

A special note from WECAN:

WECAN continues our call with global allies for an immediate ceasefire, humanitarian aid, and return of the hostages. The escalation of horrific violence in Palestine and Israel and loss of life must stop! We support calls for peace, justice, and the protection of human rights for all people coming from feminist movements globally. We are uplifting the work of two women’s organizations who are working together: Women of the Sun from Palestine and Women Wage Peace from Israel. There is a powerful history of women-led peace movements globally that is essential at this time. Evidence has shown that women’s participation at the decision-making table improves outcomes before, during, and after conflict. We need women at the table now more than ever. The long cycle of historic trauma and violence must be broken, and there must be justice and accountability for everyone’s actions. The killing must stop and pathways to peace opened immediately.

For more information, please read these articles here:

For the Earth and All Generations,

Women's Earth and Climate Action Network
(WECAN) International Team
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