Dear Community,
Mother's Day is internationally celebrated throughout the month of May, and at this special time, the Women's Earth and Climate Action Network invites you to join us in honoring, celebrating and standing in solidarity with matriarchs around the world rising for our communities and the sacred Mother Earth!

We also honor our collective home, Mother Earth, this beautiful planet that provides us all with deep love and care. A place to call home. The waters, prairies, deserts, mountain tops, forests that nourish us individually and as a community. We are Nature, and we are committed to working together diligently across movements and continents to build a just, thriving and liberated world.

Please continue on in this newsletter, to learn more about our recent campaigns, events, and actions to support frontline movements and organizing!

For Mother Earth and for each other, we continue to rise.
Indigenous Women Send Letter to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to Stop Line 5 Expansion
On April 27, Indigenous women leaders and over 200 groups nationwide sent a letter calling on the US Army Corps of Engineers to deny the permits for Line 5, conduct a Federal Environmental Impact Statement for the entirety of Line 5 and respect Indigenous rights.

The letter, organized by WECAN with Indigenous women leaders, follows a recent meeting with the Army Corps of Engineers, and delivers key information detailing the impacts the Line 5 tar sands pipeline expansion project would have in the region, and clarifies how it directly undermines Indigenous rights and perpetuates the climate crisis. Read more and find quotes from the original Indigenous women signatories here!

The world is at a tipping point, and to protect communities, water, and our climate we must stop any further fossil fuel expansion. Enbridge’s Line 5 pipeline was originally built in 1953, and continues to operate nearly 20 years past its engineered lifespan, transporting 22 million gallons of crude oil each day through northern Wisconsin, Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, and under the Straits of Mackinac. Currently, Enbridge is proposing to expand the Line 5 pipeline, despite the strong opposition of the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa and other Tribes.
“Our very lifeways and cultures hang in the balance as pipelines like Line 5 get rammed through our territories and water. These are our lifeways– when that water is healthy enough that rice is growing– that not only benefits our communities, but that benefits everybody up and down stream. The Army Corps and Biden Administration must put people over profits. Allowing Line 5 to proceed is cultural genocide.”

Jannan J. Cornstalk, Citizen of Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians
Director of the Water is Life Festival
SAVE THE DATE: June 2
Women Leading Solutions
for a Healthy and Just Planet at Stockholm+50
Stockholm+50 Associated Event
Women Leading Solutions for a Healthy and Just Planet
Thursday, June 2, 2022
1pm Eastern Time USA / 7pm Stockholm Time
Global women are leading movements and projects to build a healthy and just world! During this event, grassroots women leaders and global advocates will discuss environmental degradation, the climate crisis, and present a diverse array of strategies and solutions to secure strong communities and a just planet for current and future generations including: Indigenous rights, Rights of Nature, Women’s Leadership, Forest Protection, Food Sovereignty, and much more. 

Women are disproportionately impacted by environmental degradation, climate change, and social inequities, yet indispensable actors in promoting and building the solutions necessary for achieving a healthy planet and prosperity for all.

This is a Stockholm+50 Associated Event. Stockholm+50 is an international meeting convened by the United Nations General Assembly,.

WECAN will be engaging with Stockholm+50 advocating for women's leadership, just climate action, and the end of fossil fuel production through the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty.

The Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty is an initiative to phase-out fossil fuels and fast-track climate solutions inspired by the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. We are honored that WECAN Executive Director Osprey Orielle Lake sits on the Steering Committee for the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty, and we look forward to continuing to uplift this innovative climate solution. 
WECAN Tongass Indigenous Women Call for Protecting Old Growth Forests with the
Roadless Area Conservation Act
On May 11, Representative Gallego presented the Roadless Area Conservation Act of 2021 (RACA), during the subcommittee hearing on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands. This legislation seeks to preserve roadless areas across 60 million acres of national forest lands in the United States. It will help mitigate climate change impacts, protect biodiverse areas that wildlife species rely upon, and preserve special places that Indigenous communities consider sacred.

Prior to the hearing, WECAN Tongass Indigenous women representatives from the Tongass Forest in Alaska sent a letter to the chair of the subcommittee detailing the cultural and ecological importance of protecting roadless areas in perpetuity.

"We are speaking out in support of RACA to protect the largest national forest in the country, the Tongass Rainforest, which exists within the traditional homelands of the Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian Peoples in Alaska. Our people have been here for over 10,000 years, and we are here to protect and preserve the land so we can be here for 10,000 years more."

The letter also highlights that RACA would be critical in protecting the Tongass National Forest, known as “America’s Climate Forest,” which holds more than 40% of all carbon stored by U.S. national forests. please see more quotes and comments from representatives of WECAN Tongass here.

The introduction of RACA follows the 2021 Biden Administration’s decision to restore full Roadless Rule protections, and end large-scale old growth timber sales across the entire 16 million acres of the Tongass National Forest in Alaska. This is the next step to secure codifying the Roadless Rule into law after decades of advocacy to protect the Tongass. You can watch a recording of the hearing here.
WECAN Hosts Escazú Agreement Workshops For Women Land Defenders & Leaders
During the first week of May, WECAN, with our colleagues at the Vance Center held two internal workshops focusing on the legal implementation and opportunities of the Escazú Agreement.

The Escazú Agreement is a legally binding multilateral treaty expanding to all countries in the Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) region, and is particularly unique in centering the rights and access needs of vulnerable populations and environmental defenders when considering projects that impact the environment.

WECAN has been advocating for the Escazú Agreement since 2018, and over the past year, outlined a project with Vance Center and law firms in six Latin American and Caribbean countries to develop a set of reports that provide legal analysis and support for women land defenders in accessing and protecting their human rights through the Articles of the Escazú Agreement.
These reports are available via WECAN's newly launched online resource, and provide legal analysis, research, and evaluation of how the Escazú Agreement can be best implemented in different countries. Please explore the reports by country here!

During the workshops, women land defenders and policy advocates met with representatives from various law firms to engage in deeper discussions regarding legal implementation and how to use the Escazú Agreement to uplift Indigenous rights, environmental protection, and protect land defenders. We had representatives from Colombia, Brazil, St. Lucia, Antigua and Barbuda, Costa Rica, Bolivia, Peru, and Ecuador join the workshops.
WATCH: April Event Recordings
Over the course of April we held several online events uplifting the expertise, experiences, and knowledge of women, gender-diverse, and feminist leaders globally. Please find links and resources for the events below.

Women Leading Efforts to Uphold Indigenous Rights, Sovereignty, and Due Diligence with Financial Institutions and Corporations - UNPFII Side Event
On April 26, we heard from Indigenous women and allies standing up for communities and climate, and saying no to financial institutions financing fossil fuels, deforestation commodities, and enabling human and Indigenous rights abuses!

Watch the recording on Facebook here.

Watch the recording on YouTube here.

This was a formal Side Event as part of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. During the event, Indigenous women leaders and global advocates discussed how financial institutions and corporations perpetuate human and Indigenous rights violations in relation to extractive and other industries and the necessary steps these institutions must take to stop these egregious activities— and instead, implement FPIC, Indigenous rights and due diligence, while also investing in solutions within a climate justice framework centering Traditional Ecological Knowledge.


Implementing the Escazú Agreement: Opportunities and Implications for Women Land Defenders and Human Rights Advocates - Escazú COP1 Side Event
On April 19, WECAN hosted a formal COP1 Side Event, “Implementing the Escazú Agreement: Opportunities and Implications for Women Land Defenders and Human Rights Advocates,” in support of women land defenders, and to discuss the importance of proper implementation of the Escazú Agreement to ensure rights and access are upheld and protected. Please watch the recording to hear from all the speakers.

Watch the recording on Facebook here.

Watch the recording on YouTube here.





Uplifting the Fossil Fuel Treaty: a Bold Feminist Climate Solution
On April 21, Casey Camp-Horinek (Ponca Nation), WECAN Board Member, and Osprey Orielle Lake, WECAN Executive Director, joined powerful global leaders to expose the roots of the climate crisis and militarism, while elevating new approaches to building a healthy and just future, including the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty.




2022 UNPFII Press Conference: BlackRock and Vanguard must adopt Indigenous rights and deforestation policy
On April 27, Frontline leaders participated in a virtual press conference calling on BlackRock and Vanguard to adopt an Indigenous rights and Deforestation policy. The press conference marks a year since leaders from around the work sent BlackRock a letter asking it to adopt such policy. The press conference was hosted by Amazon Watch, WECAN, RAN, Sunrise Movement, and other partners.

Take Action for Global Climate Justice
Legal Support for Line 3 Water Protectors

Water protectors are currently facing criminal charges in Minnesota for standing in defense of the water, the climate, and the treaty rights of the Anishinaabeg people.

These individuals put their bodies on the line to stop Enbridge's Line 3 pipeline, a massive tar sands project that threatens the state’s lakes, rivers, aquifers and wild rice beds. They are facing trumped up charges, including felonies. In this time of climate catastrophe, governments must listen to water protectors instead of criminalizing and prosecuting them. 

Please support efforts to drop the charges!


Stand with Indigenous Communities in Colombia
During WECAN's event, "Women Leading Efforts to Uphold Indigenous Rights, Sovereignty, and Due Diligent with Financial Institutions and Corporations," we were joined by Maria Violet Medina Quiscue from the Autoridades Indigenas en Bakata in Colombia.

Maria brought attention to the Indigenous community that has been living in Bogotá's central Olaya Herrera National Park since September. The community was displaced from their territories by ongoing armed conflict, and are seeking global support to urge the Colombian government to take action and support Indigenous communities.

In recent years, violence against land defenders in Colombia has increased, and Indigenous leaders are the most frequent targets, with 65 killed in 2020 alone according to data from Global Witness. Please see the links below to learn more about and support the efforts of the Autoridades Indigenas en Bakata in Colombia.

  • Please support the Indigenous camp here.
  • Stay up to date with the Indigenous camp on Facebook here.
  • Take Action to support the work in Colombia here.
  • Send videos with messages of solidarity to autoridadesindigenasenbakata@gmail.com


Take Action for Missing Murdered Indigenous Women
May 5th was the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) in the United States.

Based on a study by the National Institute of Justice, more than four in five American Indian and Alaska Native women (84.3 percent) have experienced violence in their lifetime and the U.S. Department of Justice has stated that Native women are murdered at 10 times the national average. 

This crisis is a human rights issue and must be addressed by governments and corporations. It is well documented that extractive projects, such as pipelines, further exacerbate the MMIWG epidemic. During pipeline projects, fossil fuel companies develop ‘man camps’, which house pipeline workers from outside the community and have been directly linked with increased rates of drug use, sex trafficking and missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.
Graphic by @wild.wooddesigns
MMIWho Is Missing put together an overview of this day and the ongoing epidemic, please take a look and support their efforts here.

Illuminative also put together a list of organizations to follow and support. Find that list here.


Urge President Biden to Stop the Mountain Valley Pipeline
Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) is a 303-mile-long fracked gas pipeline that would be built through Virginia and West Virginia. The pipeline threatens fresh water, land and life in Appalachia.

Earlier this year, a federal court ruled that it is withdrawing two key federal permits for the dangerous 300-mile MVP because agencies did not do a proper review of the project. This means the pipeline will need to reapply for these permits from the Biden administration. The court rulings are the latest evidence of a series of flawed environmental and social justice reviews done by federal agencies under previous administrations.

Leaders across the region are taking action to prevent the MVP’s destruction and emissions. If approved the MVP could be responsible for the disastrous greenhouse gas equivalent of 23 new coal-fired plants’ emissions per year. Our communities, waters, mountains and futures will not be sacrificed for this unnecessary climate and ecological disaster. Please join frontline leaders to demand President Biden take action to stop the Mountain Valley Pipeline here!
Media Round Up
Please find below highlighted media coverage for WECAN campaigns and programming:
Please consider supporting WECAN 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.
For the Earth and All Generations,

Women's Earth and Climate Action Network
(WECAN) International Team
S T A Y C O N N E C T E D