A Short Interview with Dallas Goldtooth
of the Indigenous Environmental Alliance
Interview by Thomas Davies
Fire This Time: Why specifically did your organization feel it was so important to support this camp as strongly as you have?
Dallas Goldtooth: Well for me, I have family from here. I have family from Standing Rock Sioux Nation. I've been coming here ever since I was a little baby. We played a big part in the fight against the Keystone XL pipeline and supporting our frontline communities here, but also supporting our frontline communities in Northern Alberta fighting the tar sands. So it's no different. This is about families. This is about relatives and relationships.
Our organization was a fiscal sponsor and really helped with the set up of this camp back in April. It was just to support those families here who wanted assistance and wanted to stand up in defence of the water and the land around here.
So that's why I'm here. I'm here because it matters to me because my family is from here.
Fire This Time:This camp has become a focal point for a lot of different struggles here and Canada as well. What's the mood in the camp? How does it feel going forward, and what's it like to know that so many different organizations and struggles are looking to what's going on here right now?
Dallas Goldtooth: It feels awesome! I'm going to tell you, you here the stories of why people come here and it's beautiful. This is just the natural evolution of our fight for climate justice and social justice both in Canada and the United States - where there's a movement for recognition of our rights as indigenous peoples and that the benefits of that recognition are not only for us as native people but also for our non native relatives as well. Through the recognition of our rights as indigenous peoples there is a greater and stronger effort to protect our natural resources, the land, and the sacred integrity of the world around us.
So its beautiful to see, as indigenous communities have always done, and that is leading the frontline fight against climate change and leading the frontline fight for system change and just being an advocate for what is possible for us. That's the greater scope of all of this. I hope this conversation and this fight leads us to that conversation about what 'just transition' looks like for our society, for our community - towards more renewable, sustainable, livable economies for our communities.