Dear Friends and Allies,
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to plague many of our communities. As people are losing loved ones, jobs, homes, and more, there are corporations and global governments, including the United States and Brazil as primary examples, that are colluding to profit off this moment—through bailouts to industry giants, attempts to silence protesters calling for racial justice, and active destruction of environmental and social policies.

While we deeply hold the collective pain of these times, we are also bearing witness to the decades long resistance to systems of oppression that is coming to the forefront, and the flourishing of frameworks and worldviews founded on anti-racism, matriarchy, deep democracy, mutual aid, community care, and alternative economies. In Ghana, activists are suing the government to stop a proposed mining project in the Atewa Forest. In Nicaragua, Indigenous women from the Kisala community are advancing food sovereignty and building economic independence. In the U.S., the Movement for Black Lives introduced the Breathe Act, a visionary legislative platform divesting federal resources from policing and investing in community restoration; and for the Navajo Nation, the women-led Native Renewables is bringing solar energy and energy democracy to one of the communities hit hardest by COVID-19 in the United States.

We have enormous gratitude for the frontline women who— in the face of interlocking crises of climate, COVID-19, structural racism, institutionalized patriarchy, and economic inequality— are leading communities globally with a fierce and deep commitment to community and Mother Earth, standing firm for liberation and justice. WECAN is working ceaselessly with women in different regions of the world to accelerate the climate justice movement and a just recovery to address this epic moment in human history.

Through the Feminist Green New Deal (FemGND) coalition we are working with our partners to actualize a Green New Deal that centers gender-responsive policies and programs while building a feminist economy. We are also raising funds for Indigenous communities from Turtle Island (North America) to the Amazon, who are experiencing the devastating brunt of COVID-19 and extractivism. You can learn more and donate directly to the communities on our website.

From the Amazon to Alaska, forests continue to be attacked, with assaults on environmental regulations and Indigenous rights protections— further exacerbating the climate crisis and impacts of the novel coronavirus on Indigenous communities. In the U.S., the Environmental Protection Agency is being further dismantled as the administration rolls back important environmental policies and regulations for corporate gain.

In response to the detrimental proposal by the Trump administration to open up the Tongass National Forest in Alaska to extractive industries, a third WECAN Indigenous Women’s Tongass Delegation will meet with legislators in Washington D.C. (this time virtually) to advocate once again for the protection of the Tongass rainforest, Indigenous traditional ways of life, and the climate. WECAN is honored to continue our work to protect forests and uplift the voices of Indigenous women who are protectors of their traditional homelands, communities, and our global climate.
Please read more in this newsletter highlighting the upcoming Tongass Delegation and recent WECAN campaigns and programs. Thank you for joining us as we work in defense of communities, forest, water, air, and for our collective Mother Earth and future generations.
Indigenous Women will Meet with D.C. Legislators to Protect over 9 Million Acres of the Tongass Forest
In the midst of a global health pandemic and climate crisis, Indigenous women will advocate for the protection of their communities and the defense of their homelands. On August 12th, the Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN) Indigenous Women’s Tongass Delegation from Alaska will meet virtually with Washington, D.C. legislators to advocate for the protection of over 9 million acres of Alaska’s rainforest, and the continuation of the Roadless Rule, an important measure to protect Alaska's rainforest.

Currently, The 2001 National Roadless Rule is undergoing a federal process to exempt millions of acres of old-growth forest in Alaska. In 2019, the Trump administration published a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS), proposing the repeal of Roadless Rule protections across the Tongass National Forest, which would open the region to industrial logging and mining interests, enabling further clear-cutting of old-growth forests and threatening the livelihoods of Indigenous and local communities in the traditional territories of the Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian Peoples.
“This is so much more than a timber sale, it's about our community, our Tlingit culture, and our way of life. The Roadless Rule is the biggest success for the state of Alaska in conserving our forests. Impacts from industrial logging operations of the last century by all actors, disproportionately and negatively impacted the land and waters we Tlingit have sustained successfully throughout time. As most Alaskans agree, I want the Roadless Rule to remain.” 

Adrien Nichol Lee, Tlingit, President of the Alaska Native Sisterhood Camp 12 and keeper of cultural Tlingit education
Adrien Lee, WECAN Tongass Delegate questioning U.S. Forest Service representatives during the USDA Forest Service Alaska Roadless Rulemaking Public Meeting in Washington D.C. on November 14, 2019. Photo Credit: WECAN International - Katherine Quaid
Deforestation and industrial scale logging has been linked to zoonotic disease outbreaks, such as the novel coronavirus, and is a driver of carbon emissions, propelling the U.S. efforts to address the climate crisis farther away from the 2016 Paris Climate Agreement targets.

Learn more about the importance of the Tongass and the upcoming delegation in our full press release.
Since 2016, WECAN has been working with Indigenous women living in the Tongass to advocate for the Tongass, and now to ask legislators to endorse the new Roadless Area Conservation Act. The Delegation will meet virtually with Congress and committee staff to address the current attacks on forest protections, their ancestral homelands, and the global climate. Meet the delegation members down below and read their full bios here!
Kashudoha Wanda Loescher Culp, Tlingit, activist, and WECAN Tongass Coordinator 
Rebekah Sawers, Yupik, student and WECAN Tongass Representative 
Adrien Nichol Lee, Tlingit, President of the Alaska Native Sisterhood Camp 12, WECAN Tongass Representative
Kari Ames, Tlingit, Alaska Native Voices Cultural Heritage Guide, WECAN Tongass Representative
Joining the delegation is
Osprey Orielle Lake, Executive Director,
Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network
WECAN Tongass Representatives Advocate
at the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA)
On July 20th, WECAN Tongass representatives met with officials from the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) to discuss how the proposed Roadless Rule exemption in the Tongass rainforest will irreparably harm Indigenous traditional life-ways in Alaska.

Wanda Culp, Tlingit, WECAN Tongass Coordinator, Rebekah Sawers,Yupik, WECAN Tongass Representative and Osprey Orielle Lake, WECAN Executive Director, called for systemic changes to federal subsistence regulations in the U.S. that further protect the forest and Indigenous sovereignty.

For many Indigenous communities, subsistence is synonymous with culture, identity, survival and self-determination. To open up the Tongass forest to further clear-cut logging, would not only be detrimental for the forest, but also decimate salmon populations, negatively affect local economies, destroy important carbon stores, and will mean cultural genocide for the Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian whose life-ways are deeply interwoven with the Tongass.
SAVE THE DATE: August 27
Women for Forests and Future Generations: Defending Communities from Pandemics and Climate Chaos
Global forests are on the brink of ecological catastrophe, and because of this, further driving the climate crisis and environmental degradation. Record setting fire seasons, deforestation, and industrial-scale logging, mining and extraction are destroying irreplaceable ecosystems. In the face of violence against land defenders, the coronavirus, and forest destruction, diverse groups of women are rising.

From the tropical to temperate rainforests, women are organizing to restore damaged forest ecosystems, protect vital old-growth forests, and uphold Indigenous rights while exposing the intertwined root causes of forest destruction: extractive economies, corporate greed, endless consumption, Indigenous rights violations, colonization, and gender injustice.

Together we stand with the trees: Women for Forests!
Register at the button above. Further details and speaker announcements coming soon!
Divestment Updates
Fossil fuel companies and their financiers are feeling the power of the divestment movement! The past few months we have seen important divestment victories, fossil fuel companies are falling behind on loans, pipelines are being cancelled or delayed, and some financial institutions are fully withdrawing from fossil fuel projects (see below).

It is imperative that we continue strong efforts to transition away from fossil fuels, and support communities hard hit by fossil fuel extraction, the climate crisis, and the coronavirus. WECAN is working diligently to ensure a just recovery and a just transition as we make our way forward. Please join us in celebrating some recent wins against the fossil fuel sector, as we look to invest in new economic models that prioritize people and planet, uphold Indigenous and human rights, and support Black, Brown, and frontline communities.
Deutsche Bank Immediately Ends Project-level Financing
for New Tar Sands and Arctic Oil Projects
In July, Deutsche Bank announced a new fossil fuel policy that will immediately end all project-level financing for new oil sands and arctic oil projects. It also announced a process to review all oil and gas companies in its portfolio by the end of year and propose a reduction target, while also reinforcing its commitment to not finance any new coal-fired power plants.

Divest Invest Protect (DIP) and WECAN, who are partners in the Indigenous Women's Divestment Delegations, acknowledge the positive move by Deutsche Bank to stop financing for new tar sands and Arctic oil projects. It is urgent that banks divest from fossil fuels to address immediate human rights issues and meet the climate targets set out in the Paris Climate Agreement in 2016. However, we need much bolder divestment actions by Deutsche Bank and other financial institutions with current project and corporate level financing given the quickly accelerating climate crisis and the harm and rights violations towards Indigenous, Black and frontline communities related to ongoing extraction and pipeline projects.

We will continue to engage with Deutsche Bank and call for further policy changes involving corporate-level financing. On July 16th of this year, WECAN and DIP co-led an Indigenous Women's Divestment Delegation that met virtually with Deutsche Bank to discuss these very issues. We have been engaging with Deutsche Bank since 2017 and will be vigilant in our ongoing campaign with the bank. Financial institutions are accountable for the atrocities of the fossil fuel industry and we are calling for all financial institutions to respect human and Indigenous rights, stop all financing of tar sands projects, and to protect the Arctic, water and climate, now!
“Coup of the 50ft Woman” was designed by Vanessa Bowen with Lee Francis IV of Wordcraft Circle with concept work from Michelle Cook. The image depicts delegation member Casey Camp-Horinek (Ponca Nation) holding a coup stick over Frankfurt city skyline and Deutsche Bank corporate headquarters. Thanks to the Indigenous Human Rights and Corporate Accountability Program for graphic design support!
Zurich Insurance Decides Not to Renew Cover
for the Trans Mountain Pipeline!

Late in July, Zurich Insurance announced that it is ending its coverage of the Canadian government's Trans Mountain pipeline. The decision comes after a decade of powerful resistance and advocacy led by Indigenous leaders and communities, and strong campaign pressure and inside engagement by environmental groups over the past years with Zurich Insurance to end its policy with Trans Mountain Pipeline. Special shout out to all the dedicated, hard work of the Insure Our Future coalition!

Through the Indigenous Women's Divestment Delegation (IWDD) program, co-led by Divest Invest Protect and the Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN), we met with Zurich Insurance in 2017, sharing testimonies from the frontlines of fossil fuel extraction and calling for the company to immediately end insuring all tar sands pipelines, including Trans Mountain.
The Autumn 2017 delegation right after their meeting with Zurich Insurance representatives at its headquarters in Switzerland. Delegates included (left to right): Jackie Fielder (Mnicoujou Lakota and Mandan-Hidatsa, California State Senate Contender); LaDonna Brave Bull Allard (Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Lakota Historian, and founder/landowner of Sacred Stone Camp); Michelle Cook (Diné/Navajo, human rights lawyer, Founder of Divest Invest Protect, Founder and Co-Director of IWDD); and Tara Zhaabowekwe Houska (Anishinaabe, tribal attorney, Founder of Giniw Collective); along with Osprey Orielle Lake (WECAN Executive Director, Co-Director of IWDD). Photo by Teena Pugliese
As the lead insurer for the Trans Mountain Pipeline, we hope Zurich's action sets an example for other companies still insuring the pipeline project— we will continue to organize until we #StopTheMoneyPipeline!

For more information on Divest Invest Protect:
Indigenous Communities in Peru Expel Chilean Oil Company
The Achuar People of the Pastaza and the Wampis Nation secure a victory for climate justice and Indigenous rights by defeating Chilean fossil fuel company GeoPark.

The proposed oil lease held by GeoPark did not have the consent of the Achuar or Wampis people and would have had devastating long-term effects, impacting over 5 million acres of ancestral Indigenous territories. This comes after decades of land defense and forest protection.

Celebrate and learn more about the recent win in the video (right) created by our friends at Amazon Watch.
Indigenous Peoples Call for Suspension of
Major Oil Pipelines in the Ecuadorian Amazon

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, Indigenous peoples have called for an immediate suspension of resource extraction in the Amazon. In Ecuador, two major oil pipelines are on the brink of rupturing for the second time this year, poisoning rivers and Indigenous communities in one of the most biodiverse places on earth. We can’t let this happen. Indigenous communities want an immediate shutdown of the pipelines and an end to oil company impunity. WECAN supports this critical step toward an Amazon-wide moratorium on extraction.

As the pandemic and arson fires sweep across our planet’s greatest tropical forest, we, as a global movement, must stand with Indigenous communities on the frontlines, who are risking everything to protect the Amazon and our climate. Please watch this video to learn more and share on social media.

Take action and join the movement:
WECAN Joins Congressional Leaders & Climate Justice Activists
to Oppose Fossil Fuel Industry Bailouts in the U.S.
Today at 11:00am PT/2:00pm ET USA time, U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Climate Justice Leaders -- including Casey Camp-Horinek (Ponca Nation) Environmental Ambassador and WECAN Board Member; Debbie Berkowitz, current Director of NELP’s worker safety division; Rob Weissman from Public Citizen; and more -- will speak during a virtual rally to stop the next bailout package from giving corporations a “liability shield” and transferring more public money to big polluters in the fossil fuel industry.
In addition to the virtual rally, we are inviting you to join us in driving thousands of calls to Congress demanding our representatives “hold the line” against the liability shield proposal and for a stimulus package that protects people, not polluters. Take action here!

The Trump Administration has used the coronavirus pandemic as cover to give the fossil fuel industry billions in bailouts and destroy environmental and public health protections. Another major handout to the fossil fuel industry is part of this next round of stimulus spending. In addition, this includes a “liability shield” that would allow these same corporations to endanger their workers' lives and could protect them against future lawsuits over pollution and climate damages. Essential workers shouldn’t have to risk their lives for a paycheck.

$748 million of Covid-19 relief money has already gone to fossil fuel debt so far. While support runs out for millions of Americans devastated by Covid-19, the U.S. Federal Reserve has invested millions of public money in paying down debt at fossil fuel companies. WECAN is also calling on the Federal Reserve to stop bailing out fossil fuels and to instead, invest in people, learn more here.

In addition to our work opposing fossil fuel industry bailouts, we also joined over 110 organizations in signing on in support of a Frontlines Climate Justice Executive Action Platform. This platform proposes a set of actions the executive branch can take to equitably address the climate crisis without new legislation, major new appropriations, or other Congressional authority, read more about it here.
Casey Camp-Horinek Joins
the WECAN Board of Directors!
WECAN is very honored to welcome Casey Camp-Horinek (Ponca Nation) to our Board of Directors!

Since WECAN's inception, Casey has been an integral part of our programs and campaigns. She has participated in innumerable delegations, advocating alongside Indigenous communities worldwide for the Rights of Nature, Indigenous Sovereignty and the protection of Mother Earth. Casey will continue to also participate in WECAN's International Advisory Council and US Women's Climate Justice Initiative. Please join us in welcoming her.

Casey Camp-Horinek of the Ponca Nation is a community leader, long-time Native rights activist, Environmental Ambassador, and actress. As traditional Drumkeeper for the Ponca Pa-tha-ta, Woman's Scalp Dance Society, Casey Camp-Horinek helps maintain the cultural identity of the Ponca Nation of Oklahoma for herself, her family and her community. She has been at the forefront of grassroots community efforts to educate and empower both Native and non-Native community members on environmental and civil rights issues. She has raised her voice and taken action in countless forums across the world.
Welcome WECAN's New Social Media Interns
Please also extend a warm welcome to Mitra Kashani (left) and Holly Lush (right), WECAN's new social media interns! Holly and Mitra will be joining the WECAN team for the coming months to support our social media storytelling and programming, learn more about them here. If you are interested in future internship opportunities, please email
For the Earth and All Generations,

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