Thursday, August 9

International Day of the World's Indigenous People

Yes folks - today is the International Day of the World's Indigenous People

I choose to celebrate our Indigineous People by acknowledging the amazing honour bestowed upon Sophia Rabliauskas recipient of the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize for 2007 (one prize awarded to each of the six continents)

About Sophia

The traditional territory of the Poplar River First Nation—1,200 members of the Ojibway indigenous people—is located on the eastern side of Lake Winnipeg in Manitoba, and forms a significant part of Canada’s boreal forest. For thousands of years, the Poplar River First Nation has carried out its traditional mandate to protect the region and its resources. However, massive industrial clear-cut logging to the south and hydro-power development on boreal rivers to the north of Poplar River land continue. First Nations territory is legally public land. As such, it is common for provincial and federal agencies to grant long-term leases to industry without consulting the First Nations who live on the land.

A leader of her Poplar River First Nation in the boreal region of Manitoba, Sophia Rabliauskas has for the past eight years worked with her people to secure interim protection of their two million acres of undisturbed forest land (three times the size of Rhode Island). In 2004, Rabliauskas along with several other community members led Poplar River in the development of a comprehensive land protection and management plan for their territory—a precedent-setting accomplishment among First Nations in the boreal. Rabliauskas’s and Poplar River’s current efforts are focused on securing permanent protection of their land from the Manitoba government. With that victory, they will seek a UNESCO World Heritage listing for a larger region of First Nations boreal forest.
Click here to email the Sophia

Goldman Environmental Prize

Grassroots environmental heroes too often go unrecognized. Yet their efforts to protect the world’s natural resources are increasingly critical to the well-being of the planet we all share. Thus, in 1990 San Francisco civic leaders and philanthropists Richard N. Goldman and his late wife, Rhoda H. Goldman (1924-1996) created the Goldman Environmental Prize. The Goldman Prize continues today with its original mission to annually honor grassroots environmental heroes from the six inhabited continental regions: Africa, Asia, Europe, Islands and Island Nations, North America, and South and Central America. The Prize recognizes individuals for sustained and significant efforts to protect and enhance the natural environment, often at great personal risk. Each winner receives an award of $125,000, the largest award in the world for grassroots environmentalists. The Goldman Prize views “grassroots” leaders as those involved in local efforts, where positive change is created through community or citizen participation in the issues that affect them. Through recognizing these individual leaders, the Prize seeks to inspire other ordinary people to take extraordinary actions to protect the natural world.

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