The Whanganui River in Aotearoa (New Zealand) is now considered a person after a 140+ year battle to defend it by the Māori people. There has also been the recognition of the rights of two additional natural entities in Aotearoa. Rivers, Rights and Revolution: Learning from the Māori
In 2016, Shannon Biggs and Pennie Opal Plant of Movement Rights, traveled to New Zealand to meet with the Māori people and Crown representatives who worked on these groundbreaking agreements.Movement Rights pictured with Hine Kohu Morgan, our amazing delegation partner.
This spring, Movement Rights is returning with a delegation of Indigenous climate/environmental justice leaders to meet with the Māori to discuss strategy, success, and how this groundbreaking legislation can be used in North America to protect Indigenous communities, the water, air and soil.
It is time that human laws become aligned with the natural laws of Earth.
Please donate to Movement Rights to help bring these nations together.
The funds raised here will help us cover the costs of bringing these critical delegates across New Zealand. (The list of confirmed and invited delegates is at the bottom of this page.)
Hosted by Māori leaders, they will visit three Maori communities, as well as Crown officials, and bring this knowledge back to North America. This information will be shared in a report, video and series of events by Movement Rights.
Your contribution is greatly appreciated.
There are three levels of gifts for contributions which can be seen when you click "Donate Now".
You can make a tax deductible contribution: Click here (14% of tax deductible contributions will go toward fees)
Invited and confirmed delegate list below:
1. Hinewirangi Kohu Morgan is a Māori elder, artist, poet, and activist and a Movement Rights Advisory board member. She will be co-leading the delegation, helping to craft and schedule the events and meetings, and ensuring that delegates' experience is culturally rich and that Maori protocols are observed.
2. Melissa Nelson Ph.D. is a is Anishinaabe/ Métis/Norwegian and an enrolled member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians. She is a cultural ecologist, writer, media-maker and indigenous scholar-activist. She is an associate professor of American Indian Studies at San Francisco State University and president of The Cultural Conservancy, an indigenous rights organization, which she has directed since 1993. Her work is dedicated to indigenous revitalization, environmental restoration, intercultural understanding, and the renewal and celebration of community health and cultural arts.
3. Casey Camp Horinek, Ponca Nation of Oklahoma Tribal Councilwoman, and Movement Rights board member. She is an international leader for the Rights of Nature. Her work with her Nation has led to the first Rights of Nature statute by any tribal nation in the United States. Like her brother, the late Carter Camp, who was a leader in the American Indian Movement, and has been an outspoken activist for her people and Mother Earth.
4. Tom B.K. Goldtooth is Dine' and Dakota. He is the Executive Director of the Bemidji, Minnesota-headquartered Indigenous Environmental Network, has been a social change activist within the Native American community for over 30 years. He has become an internationally renowned environmental and economic justice leader, working with many organizations around the world. Tom co-produced the award-winning documentary, Drumbeat For Mother Earth, which addresses the effects of bio-accumulative chemicals on indigenous people.
5. Linda Sheehan is the Executive Director of Planet Pledge, where she works to collaboratively advance investment and philanthropic solutions to climate change. Prior to Planet Pledge, Ms. Sheehan was Executive Director of Earth Law Center, where she advocated for governance systems that recognize the inherent rights of nature, and ran the California Coastkeeper Alliance and California office of Ocean Conservancy.
6. Neeta Lind is a prominent Navajo (Dine) blogger. She also founded Native American Netroots, an online forum for the discussion of political, social and economic issues affecting the indigenous peoples of the United States, including their lack of political representation, economic deprivation, health care issues, and the on-going struggle for preservation of identity and cultural history.
7. Osprey Orielle Lake is the Founder and Executive Director of the Women's Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN) International. She works nationally and internationally with grassroots and Indigenous leaders, policy-makers and scientists to promote climate justice, resilient communities, and a just transition to a clean energy future. Osprey is Co-chair of International Advocacy for the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature and the visionary behind the International Women's Earth and Climate Summit, which brought together 100 women leaders from around the world to draft and implement a Women's Climate Action Agenda.
8. Tara Houska, Ojibwe, is a tribal-rights attorney and is the national campaigns director for the indigenous-led environmental-justice organization Honor the Earth. She has served as adviser on Native American issues for Bernie Sanders’s campaign and cofounded Not Your Mascots to fight the appropriation of indigenous culture. She was a water protector at the Dakota Access pipeline at the Standing Rock Indian Reservation and continues to be a water protector and land defender.
9. Michael Horse, Yaqui, has been an activist for Indigenous Rights throughout his life and works primarily with Idle No More SF in the Bay Area.
He is a Native American artist, activist and actor. Best known as Deputy Hawk in the David Lynch television phenomenon, Twin Peaks, he is also a gallery artist known for his traditional “ledger art” and jewelry.
10. Shannon Biggs, co-founder and Executive Director of Movement Rights who has been involved in the Rights of Nature work for over 10 years.
11. Pennie Opal Plant, Yaqui and un-documented Choctaw/Cherokee, is co-founder and Indigenous Program Director for Movement Rights. She is also co-founder of Idle No More SF Bay.
12. Cabot Davis, Legal Director for Movement Rights.
- Bridget McCracken
- Zoe Holder
- Amanda Bloom
- Ashley Cline
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