Dear Friends and Allies,
This week, on Wednesday, is the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. While we may not be able to come together in the streets this year or other organizing activities, that doesn’t mean we can’t take powerful, collective action online for for the health of our communities, climate justice and for Mother Earth.

From April 22 to 24, we will come together for a three-day online event called Earth Day Live. Click here to find out more

Earth Day Live will be a 3-day live stream and online mobilization to engage people across the world in collective action to protect their climate and their communities. The live stream will include training sessions, performances, and appearances to keep people engaged, informed, and inspired, with speakers including celebrities, politicians, scientists, and youth activists.

WECAN will host two discussions during the three day event as well as participate in other online events happening this week. Please see down below for a list of this week's WECAN events and join us in community!

WECAN advocacy, campaigns, and on-the-ground programs carry on as we address interconnected issues and root causes of the dual crises of COVID-19 and climate chaos. In the midst of this global pandemic, (while fully respecting social distancing) we are planting trees, protecting forests from extraction and industrial logging, growing food sovereignty, addressing economic inequalities and new economic structures, supporting rights of nature initiatives, uplifting frontline women leaders and community-led solutions, and advocating for financial institutions to divest from fossil fuels as we challenge corporate power. There is much we can and must do in this time!

In honor of Earth Day, we are contemplating and celebrating the powerful essay by Arundhati Roy, “ The Pandemic is a Portal”, which ends with these deeply insightful words:

"Historically, pandemics have forced humans to break with the past and imagine their world anew. This one is no different. It is a portal, a gateway between one world and the next. 

We can choose to walk through it, dragging the carcasses of our prejudice and hatred, our avarice, our data banks and dead ideas, our dead rivers and smoky skies behind us. Or we can walk through lightly, with little luggage, ready to imagine another world. And ready to fight for it."

We will hold these words in our hearts this week as we take action for our communities and Mother Earth.
Earth Week Events
Thursday, April 23, 4:30 pm PST / 7:30 pm EST
Women on the Frontlines of the Climate and COVID-19 Crises: Struggles and Solutions 
Whether it be COVID-19 or climate chaos, many studies demonstrate that women are at the frontlines of global crises, working to protect their communities and implement just solutions. Due to institutionalized patriarchy, gender inequality, and suppression of rights, women are disproportionately impacted by climate change and environmental degradation, with Indigenous women, women of color, and women from low-income communities bearing an even heavier burden. At the same time, it is internationally recognized that women are critical to implementing just and community-based solutions.

Women have always been on the frontlines of crises, now it is time for them to be recognized at the forefront of climate decision-making, just solutions, and movement building!

Speakers include: Rupa Marya, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine at UCSF; Jacqui Patterson, Director of the NAACP Environmental and Climate Justice Program; Casey Camp-Horinek (Ponca Nation), community leader, long-time Native rights activist, WECAN board member; Monique Verdin (Houma Nation), Director of The Land Memory Bank & Seed Exchange; and Osprey Orielle Lake, Executive Director of the Women's Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN). Session times are subject to change, please stay up to date via our website.

Watch the LIVE broadcast online on the Earth Day Live Website !
Thursday, April 23, 11:30 am PST / 2:30 pm EST
Indigenous Women’s Divestment Delegations
Born from the resistance at Standing Rock in 2016, the Indigenous Women's Divestment Delegations (IWDD) is a program created by Divest Invest Protect and co-directed with the Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN) to put pressure on financial institutions to divest funds from fossil fuel extraction and infrastructure, as well as to systematically change their policies regarding Indigenous and human rights and the climate crisis.

Speakers include the co-directors of the IWDD program, Michelle Cook (Diné), human rights lawyer, Founder of Divest Invest Protect (DIP) and Co-Director of the Indigenous Women’s Divestment Delegations; and Osprey Orielle Lake, Women's Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN) Founder and Executive Director and Co-Director of the Indigenous Women’s Divestment Delegations.
Session times are subject to change, please stay up to date via our website.

The IWDD program provides a platform for Indigenous women leaders to meet directly with representatives of European and U.S. financial institutions, insurance companies, and credit-rating agencies, to expose injustices, and directly share with these entities— and the public, press, and government representatives—exactly how their fossil fuel investments violate human rights and Indigenous rights, while also driving climate disruption. The Delegations have bore critical results in 100’s of millions of dollars of fossil fuel divestments, education, policy changes, and investigations. Website:

Watch the LIVE broadcast online on the Earth Day Live Website!
Thursday, April 23, All Day
Day of Action to Stop The Money Pipeline
Join WECAN and the Stop the Money Pipeline Coalition in a day of action on Thursday, April 23 to demand an end to the financing of fossil fuels and deforestation!

Join us for a day long livestream beginning at 9am ET. You will hear from activists, experts, politicians (maybe even a few celebrities) and learn how we can help turn up the heat on the largest funders of climate chaos. More details are available here:

Follow us on social media to take action on April 23rd!
Friday, April 24, 9:00 am PST / 12:00 pm EST
Resilience and a Just Recovery through a Feminist Green New Deal
The Feminist Green New Deal Coalition is hosting a discussion with coalition leaders to discuss the need for a feminist lens to Just Recovery in light of the interlinking crises of COVID-19 and climate change.

In early 2019, WECAN International along with other organizations, initiated a coalition of women’s rights and climate justice organizations in recognition that feminist analysis must be part of our discourse on a Green New Deal, collaborating with organizations and thought-leaders across the country to create the Feminist Principles for a Green New Deal.

The 10 key principles call for advancing reproductive justice, the creation of regenerative economies centered on feminist analysis and understanding of the care economy, a shift from exploitative and unsustainable production patterns and a rejection of false solutions to the climate crisis, and more. This moment of crisis is a moment of exposing root causes and their inter-connectedness to each other, as well as the need for system-wide transformation. To create a regenerative, care-centered economy, we need to center the principles as we move forward in our response and recovery to both COVID-19 and the climate crisis.

Friday, April 24, 10:30 am PST / 1:30 pm EST
Growing Resilience - Earth Optimism Summit
WECAN Communications Coordinator, Katherine Quaid will be joining a panel of speakers to discuss common themes for making modern food systems resilient, nourishing, and equitable. Katherine is a member of the Confederated Tribes of Umatilla and is inspired to take climate action because of her deep connection to her communities homelands and their traditional first foods. This panel is part of the Smithsonian Earth Optimism Summit, a free online event.

Watch the LIVE broadcast online on  Facebook Live
Twitter Youtube  and on the  Earth Optimism website .
Saturday, April 25, 12:00 pm PST / 3:00 pm EST
Why Nature Needs ½ and Other Visions for a Systems-based Sustainable Future - EarthXWomen
Osprey Orielle Lake, WECAN Executive Director, will participate in a panel discussion reflecting on the lessons and learnings of the dual crises of COVID-19 and climate chaos rooted in the dominant culture's disconnect from and disrespect of Nature and each other. She will be calling for the international adoption of Rights of Nature to uphold an earth-centered approach to a sustainable and a healthy future and centering the leadership of Indigenous peoples.

Indigenous Women on the Frontlines
Webinar Recordings
Last week, WECAN hosted two webinars as part of our ongoing year-long series, “A Just and Healthy World is Possible: WECAN Advocacy and Solutions Series,” lifting up women's leadership to support next steps as we continue to collectively build a powerful movement founded on principles of justice, love, and a fierce dedication to our planet and each other.
The two-part webinar program, "Indigenous Women on the Frontlines", brought together outstanding Indigenous women leaders of North and South America who spoke out against the environmentally and socially destructive activities and policies threatening their homelands, which are also exacerbating COVID-19 outbreaks in their communities. Indigenous women across the Americas continue to work diligently to protect their communities from the novel coronavirus, while also addressing ongoing issues of extraction, colonization, Indigenous rights, pipelines in their territories and violence against women. As vital defenders of the living Earth, and they are standing up to protect human rights, Indigenous sovereignty, healthy communities, cultural knowledge, biodiverse ecosystems, water, forests, and our climate. This is a critical time to stand with courageous Indigenous women leaders, support their calls to action, and to learn from their resistance efforts as well as their essential healing knowledge, and how to make our way through these times and reconnect with Nature.

Over 17,000 people tuned in for these programs via Zoom and Faceboo k— and we want to express our deep gratitude to the speakers for sharing their expertise with all of us! Please find recordings and resources for each webinar down below.
Indigenous Women of North America, Turtle Island on the Frontlines:
COVID-19 and Fossil Fuel Resistance
During the webinar, Indigenous women leaders discussed how COVID-19 is impacting their communities and how oil and gas pipelines are being fast-tracked in their lands— violating Indigenous rights and further putting Indigenous women at risk. Presenters shared calls to action, stories and wisdom, immediate needs of their communities, community-care practices, and the latest updates from various campaigns and resistance movements, focusing on Keystone XL, Line 3 and Coastal GasLink pipelines, and tar sands extraction.

Speakers included Freda Huson (Chief Howihkat), Unist’ot’en – Wet’suwet’en People, Leader and spokesperson for the Unist’ot’en camps resisting the Coastal GasLink Pipeline; Faith Spotted Eagle (Tunkan Inajin Win), Dakota and Nakota Nations within the Oceti Sakowinan, Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines Resistance Leader; Tara Houska, Couchiching First Nation Anishinaabe, Tribal Attorney and Founder of Giniw Collective, Line 3 pipeline Resistance Leader; and Eriel Tchekwie Deranger, Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, Executive Director of Indigenous Climate Action, Tar Sands extraction Resistance Leader. Moderation and comments by Osprey Orielle Lake, Executive Director of the Women's Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN).

Find recordings and resources from the webinar down below via Facebook and Youtube.
Indigenous Women of Brazil and Ecuador on the Frontlines:
COVID-19 and Defending Communities and the Amazon
During this webinar, Indigenous women leaders of the Ecuadorian and Brazilian Amazon discussed how the devastating coronavirus pandemic is impacting their communities, as they face ongoing deforestation, oil extraction, and Indigenous rights violations in their territories. As is the case across Turtle Island, Indigenous peoples of the Global South are at higher risk of contracting COVID-19 due to a lack of resources and health disparities brought on by centuries of colonial policies and environmental racism. Indigenous women leaders shared their stories, analysis, wisdom, and advocacy for Indigenous rights, protection of forests, water, communities, and the global climate. We have much to learn from the women’s calls to action, their immediate needs, and their vision for living in respect and well-being with Mother Earth.

Speakers included Patricia Gualinga, Kichwa leader from Sarayaku, Ecuador, Spokeswoman for Mujeres Amazónicas Defensoras de la Selva (Amazon Women in Defense of the Jungle); Sônia Bone Guajajara, Indigenous leader from Brazil, Executive Coordinator for the Articulation of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil (APIB) with translation by Maria Paula, Founder of the NGO “A Drop in the Ocean; Daiara Tukano, Indigenous activist from Brazil, independent communicator and coordinator of Radio Yandê; and Helena Gualinga, Kichwa youth activist from Sarayaku, Ecuador. Moderation and comments by Osprey Orielle Lake, Executive Director of the Women's Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN).

Find recordings and resources from the webinar down below via Facebook and Youtube.
WECAN Film is selected for "Films for Forest"

The WECAN short video, "Stand with Indigenous Peoples of Brazil, the Amazon and the Climate 2019" is one of 20 films selected for the annual international short film challenge, Films for the Forest (F3) created by Rainforest Partnership!

The short film documents Sônia Bone Guajajara, National Coordinator for the Articulation of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil (APIB) as she travels to New York to denounce Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s attacks on Indigenous Peoples in Brazil and the Amazon and to speak out for the rights of Indigenous Peoples, the climate, and the protection of the Amazon rainforest – the lungs of the planet.
Sônia Bone Guajajara outside the United Nations in New York City during the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues Eighteenth Session in 2019. Photo by Teena Pugliese/WECAN International
Sônia Bone Guajajara was in New York City as part of WECAN's Indigenous Women’s Delegation to the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues Eighteenth Session advocating for Indigenous Rights, the Amazon rainforest, and the global climate. Sônia spoke at a high-level event at the United Nations, had a face-to-face meeting with the UN Ambassador to Brazil and delivered a vital petition from Indigenous peoples of Brazil with a list of their demands, gave many interviews, and participated in various events.

On Wednesday, April 22, watch all 20 films via the online livestream, find more details here.
Thank you for all your support of WECAN during this time. Our team is feeling the impacts of COVID-19 and are working to stay safe while also maintaining our deep commitment to the vision and mission of WECAN to accelerate a global women's movement for the protection and defense of the Earth’s diverse ecosystems and communities.
For the Earth and All Generations,
The Women's Earth and Climate Action Network
(WECAN) International Team