A Message from the Achuar to Canada
April 11, 2013
"I am very concerned I can't stand alone in defense of my people.
We must stand together in solidarity."
– Peas Peas Auyi
Calgary, Canada – Last night we gave a keynote about the Achuar/Talisman campaign to a packed house as part of Public Interest Alberta's advocacy conference Fighting for our Future: People Power vs Corporate Control. The evening featured a special multimedia message from Achuar leader Peas Peas Auyi, who called up from the Amazon to be sure we recorded and delivered his words of gratitude to allies in Canada:
"Every day, across the globe, society suffers the environmental and social impacts of extractive industries. The history of the extractive industries is filled with negative stories...
"I would like to thank our allies in Canada and Public Interest Alberta for their solidarity in this struggle. Thanks to the many actions taken in defense of our territory we have achieved a great victory: a large and powerful corporation, Talisman, has been forced to leave our ancestral territory and Oil Block 64."
Speakers at the seventh annual advocacy conference came from the United States, Canada and India, including a keynote panel featuring Beaver Lake Cree Nation oil-sands activist Crystal Lameman, award-winning journalist and author Linda McQuaig (The Trouble with Billionaires) and Amazon Watch's Gregor MacLennan.
"I have been taken aback by Calgary, from our first visit with the Achuar to what appeared a cold and foreign land, to see a growing network of allies and friends who have stood with the Achuar to help their voice be heard and force Talisman Energy to leave their territory," said Maclennan. "Theirs is a story of inspiration and hope amongst a growing indigenous movement in the north to call governments and companies to account."