A blunt and outspoken advocate, Kwitsel was exiled from her own community in 2000 after demanding the elected Chief and Council be transparent and accountable to the money they receive from the Canadian government; she has been homeless or precariously housed ever since. Kwitsel lives out of a camper van in and around so-called Vancouver.
Read The Globe and Mail’s “After 200 court appearances Stolo woman is free to fish again ”
In 2004 Kwitsel was arrested for fishing salmon on her ancestral territory. After missing one court date, the RCMP issued a Crimestoppers sheet. She has been targeted by the RCMP on multiple occasions, including armed ambushes at her former home with her young children present. Over 200 court dates after asserting her right to fish for her community, Canada lost and Kwitsel won an absolute discharge and was awarded $2,500 as a partial payment for the seized fish. During the process Kwitsel lost all of her hair and nails from the stress.
Kwitsel continues to assert her sovereign and ancestral rights, and works without rest to help her extended community by fighting for clean water on reserve and an end to the TMX pipeline, fighting against the separation of Indigenous children from their mothers, and supporting her elders through health care gaps, all while juggling the rules and regulations of a Federal Court of Canada case to reinstate her entitlements in relation to the Royal Proclamation of 1763.
We ask you to stand with Kwitsel by demanding justice where injustice lies and giving what you can to ensure she has a safe space to live in and work from, and the resources to meet her needs. Ending systemic oppression and Indigenous genocide is the basis of this fundraiser. Your donation will help Kwitsel continue to advocate and fight for fundamental human and environmental rights -- rights that ultimately affect every single one of us. Please give generously.