Indigenous Activists Lead Months-Long Campaign to Protect Vancouver Island’s Ancient Forests

HeadlineSep 09, 2021

In western Canada, environmental and First Nations activists have been staging a months-long anti-logging resistance in Vancouver Island’s ancient forests. Land defenders with the Fairy Creek blockade are calling on others to join them in Canada’s largest act of civil disobedience to save the remaining trees, which are hundreds of years old.

Land defender: “Not only is it really important to protect these trees currently, but — from industry coming in, invading unceded territories on Pacheedaht and Ditidaht land, where they’re stealing natural resources from Indigenous people, but we also need it for the old growth, because they have the most water intake that they can hold, that actually helps climate change and prevent forest fires. And we need that more than ever right now.” 

Over 800 arrests against the activists have been recorded since April, with police beating and pepper-spraying the land defenders.

Canada has experienced firsthand the ravages of climate change. In June, the town of Lytton in British Columbia was flattened by a devastating wildfire one day after posting a record-shattering high temperature of 121 degrees Fahrenheit. June’s heat wave is blamed for up to 500 deaths in British Columbia.

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