Nature Canada Reflects on Black Lives Matter, Racism and the Environmental Movement
It has been one year since the murder of George Floyd and the racist threats directed at Black birder Christian Cooper in New York’s Central Park. These events, part of a historic and continued pattern of racists attacks across Canada and the US, sparked renewed mobilization of individuals over this past year asserting that Black Lives Matter and widespread calls for action against systemic racism.
Nature Canada reaffirms our commitment to anti-racism and equity, and reiterates that the work to address racial justice and equity is important in its own right and deeply connected to the work to protect nature and climate. Racism in Canada fuels how Black, Indigenous and all peoples of colour face disproportionate and egregious environmental harms and violence—whether from toxic waste sites, tainted drinking water, polluting industrial projects or climate change. Racialized nature lovers and environmental leaders face systemic barriers to enjoying nature and to contributing to the environmental movement and the solutions that will lead us out of the nature and climate crisis.
A year of the pandemic has revealed both the unequal access of racialized Canadians to parks and nature, their greater vulnerability to the health and economic impacts of COVID-19, and the burden of discrimination and racist attacks they endure, as seen in the rising incidence of anti-Asian hate.
Nature Canada is unequivocal that Black Lives Matter and condemns all forms of racism. We mourn and honour the lives of those that have been lost. We will continue to work for a better future for all where the rights of Black, Indigenous, and all peoples of colour are upheld.
Nature Canada Statement on Equity and Anti-Racism