Peter A Allard School of Law

Workshop: Grassroots Campaign Strategy for Legal Recognition of Non-Human Relatives With Rights of Nature Pioneer Mari Margil of the Center for Democratic & Environmental Rights

Event Poster

The Centre for Law & the Environment (CLE) at the University of British Columbia, in Vancouver, in collaboration with the UBC Sustainability Initiative and the Center for Democratic and Environmental Rights (CDER), is hosting an in-person training workshop for individuals and organizations from Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities interested in enacting laws that respect and protect non-human beings like rivers, lakes, species and ecosystems. This workshop is the capstone event of a series of webinars in which attendees heard directly from people who have taken part in campaigns to achieve legal recognition of non-human relations in Canada and abroad, about why and how they pursued such recognition, what opportunities and obstacles they encountered and what lessons they learned.

Led by rights of nature pioneer Mari Margil of the Center for Democratic and Environmental Rights, the workshop provides a full day of hands-on training in grassroots campaign strategy for participants who want to take action to advance legal recognition for non-human relations in their own communities. Participants will receive training materials they can take home. They will explore past successes and failures, campaign goals and tactics, legal options for recognizing non-human relations, interactions between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities and other issues. They will also have the opportunity to brainstorm and receive feedback on their own efforts to enact or strengthen laws to respect and protect non-human relations.

Space is limited to 25 participants, first come first served, with priority given to individuals who have attended one or more of the previous webinars in the series. 

PRe-Register Now!

We will review registration requests on a rolling basis. If your registration is accepted, we will send you a link to pay the registration fee. Your fee is payable when your registration is accepted. Your registration is not confirmed until payment is received. 

Free Side Events, May 5

Please join us for these special side events on May 5. Both are free and open to the public but require RSVP.

Re-Storying Our Relations with the Natural World: Mother Trees Forest Walk

Thursday, May 5, 9:30-11:30 am

Meeting point: Pacific Spirit Park Parking Lot (north side of 16th Ave.), https://goo.gl/maps/dZFZ9V4ABomHvEXR9

We often talk about how the heart of the climate crisis is a disrepair of our relationships with each other and our more than human neighbours. How can the forest encourage us to pause, observe, and Invite a new way of being together?

You are invited to join kQwa'st'not (Charlene George), artist, cultural guide with Sierra Club BC and member of the tSouk Nation, as she takes us for a walk in the forest. This is a great opportunity to learn about some of the beings that call the forest home and a bridge to help us see the ‘ecosystem’ with fresh eyes or new glasses.
 
Free and open to the public, but space is limited and RSVP required: usi.office@ubc.ca
  
We will move at a very gentle pace but please be prepared to be outside for about 2 hours. All ages welcome. We will begin with, and proceed with, the protocol of entering another’s home. 

Dress for the weather and bring some water. 

Artist Talk with Holly Schmidt and kQwa’st’not (Charlene George)

Thursday, May 5, 2022, 1:30-2:30 pm

Meeting point: “Fireweed Fields” meadow on the east side of the Belkin Art Gallery, UBC Vancouver campus, https://goo.gl/maps/HKY38LXQ4jmARWYt8

Join kQwa’st’not (Charlene George) – artist and cultural guide with Sierra Club BC – and Holly Schmidt – Outdoor Art artist in residence – in conversation about their work that engages with land, story and planting seeds of change. This informal discussion will take place outside the Belkin in Schmidt’s Fireweed Fields. The event is free and open to the public, but space is limited and RSVP required: belkin.rsvp@ubc.ca.

Fireweed Fields is part of Vegetal Encounters, Holly Schmidt’s durational artist residency in the Outdoor Art program. Vegetal Encounters is one of a number of public art initiatives at the UBC Vancouver campus.

Fireweed Fields transforms the lawns of UBC's Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery into a fireweed meadow, encouraging increased biodiversity through gradual succession as a metaphor for the resurgence of life after a crisis. This installation acknowledges the global climate emergency: by tearing through the fabric of maintained lawns and colonial ideals, it plants the initial seeds for change and catalyzes dialogue, creative experimentation and new biodiversity research and learning opportunities.

These two side events are presented in partnership between UBC Sustainability Hub, Sierra Club BC, Centre for Law and the Environment, and the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery.


  • Centre for Law and the Environment
  • General Audience
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