Mother Earth and Resource Extraction: Women Defending Land and Water

Introduction to Mother Earth and Resource Extraction

Leer la versión en español de este contenido: Introducción a la plataforma MERE.

Mother Earth and Resource Extraction is a living digital resource hub developed for and in consultation with women land and water defenders who are at the forefront in the protection of the environment, in Canada and across the globe. The hub brings together a range of original and existing material to support research, advocacy, information sharing, and movement building around the subject of resource extraction and its gendered implications.

At international gatherings, women land and water defenders have requested an instrument, like Mother Earth and Resource Extraction, to enhance their efforts and digitally extend their networks and partnerships beyond geopolitical borders.

The alarming rise in the reported number of human rights defenders being criminalized, harassed, and physically targeted by law enforcement and private security personnel and actors linked to the extractive sector increases the hub’s need. This is because women human rights defenders, especially Indigenous and Afro-descendant women, experience compounded forms violence for their efforts. As Indigenous women human rights defenders across Turtle Island and Abya Yala and the “The Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls” emphasize, the ongoing tendency to privilege private property over more equitable and reciprocal relations with Mother Earth engenders violence on various forms of bodies—physical, geological, water—through resource extraction.  

Mother Earth and Resource Extraction supports women human rights defenders and recognizes both their achievements and the challenges they face in the protection of land and water. Along these lines, the hub is a component of a community-based research project on resource extraction in Canada being undertaken by KAIROS: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives and Sherry Pictou, Assistant Professor of Law at Dalhousie University, in collaboration with Indigenous women. Mother Earth and Resource Extraction is also part of KAIROS’ programming on the gendered impacts of resource extraction.   

Since 2014, KAIROS’ partnerships with women land and human rights defenders and Indigenous women’s organizations impacted by resource extraction within and beyond Canada have informed the organization’s work on the intersection of gender justice, ecological justice, and Indigenous rights.

KAIROS: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives is Indigenous, settlers and newcomers in Canada working with people of faith or conscience all over the world for ecological justice and human rights.

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