Raven (De)briefs is a podcast for anyone wondering just what we mean when we talk about “LAW” on Turtle Island. Join host and RAVEN founder Susan Smitten for a courageous conversation with Indigenous folks about rights, responsibility, and redress.
S2 E8 Cedar Sisters: Haida lawyer Terri Lynn Williams Davidson
Terri-Lynn Williams Davidson - lawyer, singer, knowledge keeper and weaver of worlds — hails from Haida Gwaii, a wild archipelago off of Canada’s west coast where bears, whales, otters and eagles all dwell in a lush coastal rainforest soaked in rain and salt water. She talks about how she brought the stories and laws which she was raised with into the courtroom when her Nation challenged powerful logging interests in the landmark Haida case at the Supreme Court of Canada. She also shares her perspectives on the defeat of Enbridge and on RAVEN's role in bringing together 8 Indigenous Nations to fight - and beat - the tar sands pipeline and tankers project.
S2 E7 - Restorative Justice with John Reilly
Right now, across Turtle Island, we are experiencing a flowering of anti-racist activism. On the other hand, we still contend with a system where Indigneous Peoples make up 5% of the country’s population but more than 30% of the prison population. As an organization dedicated to seeking justice, RAVEN is joining the conversation about those gross inequalities. Music by Snotty Nose Rez Kids.
S2 E6 Nancy Turner: Cultural Refugia
For the RAVEN (De)Briefs podcast “Indigenous Foodways” series, we spoke with celebrated author, distinguished professor emeritus and outstanding botanist Nancy Turner. She shared her perspectives from the decades of work she’s done travelling around the Canadian west, writing dozens of books and articles and, most importantly, cultivating friendships with Indigenous knowledge keepers.
Turner combines a botanists’ understanding of classification and an ethnographers’ attunement to human culture. Here, she reveals the intricacies of interspecies dynamics that form the basis of Indigenous People’s deep affinity to the lands and waters.
S2 E5 Walking the Path of Respect with Ed Jensen
Part 2 of our series on Indigenous foodways and features Ed Jensen of Secwepemc Nation in south central British Columbia.
Just as his Nation embarks on an historic Title Action to assert Indigenous sovereignty over traditional territories that were never ceded through treaty, Jensen is involved in practicing, teaching and breathing life into Secwepemc hunting traditions. Grounded in Secwepemc laws that were taught to him by his uncles and grandfather, Jensen is bringing those traditions forward by teaching new generations of Indigenous - and non-indigenous - people about stewardship practices grounded in reciprocity and respect.
The type of knowledge that Ed Jensen speaks about as a hunting guide and carrier of Secwepmec traditions is part of the evidence being gathered to form the basis of the Title case: proving that aboriginal ownership of, and jurisdiction over, lands and waters pre-dates colonization relies on oral histories like the ones Jensen is carrying.
Jensen’s work involves not only carrying and passing knowledge, but in creating artistic and functional hunting tools based on the designs of his ancestors. He’s one of the world’s pre-eminent flint-snappers; his studio in Kamloops is full of beautifully wrought spears, arrowheads, and bone-handled knives that are made entirely from natural materials. Another way that Jensen shares his knowledge is through mentorship - just as his own uncles did with him, Ed is bringing up a new generation of Secwepmec hunters, and working to change the culture of hunting from the collection of trophies, which is what it has become in mainstream, colonial society, to a practice that is about deep attunement with the land and deep relationship with the animals themselves.
S2 E4 Heiltsuk Granny's Gardens with Jess Housty
For Part 1 in our series on Indigenous Foodways, we’re talking with Jess Housty, executive director of Q'qs Society, from her kitchen in Bella Bella. Jess shares with us the story of her community’s Granny’s Gardens: an Indigenous food sovereignty project that is rooted within the traditions of Heiltsuk Nation on British Columbia’s central coast.
S2 E3 Indigenous Power with Judith Sayers
Our guest on this episode is pioneering human rights lawyer and trailblazer on the path to Indigenous sovereignty, Dr. Judith Sayers. We spoke with Judith just as her community was reeling from the violent murder of Chantal Moore at the hands of police. Hear from participants in the Indigenous Justice Summit who gathered in the wake of Chantal Moore’s killing.
Sayers also shares her perspectives on Indigenous power generation; as President of Clean Energy BC, she is leading the wave of Indigenous solar, wind and run-of-river producers in the province.
For more on Indigenous justice, visit https://raventrust.com