Women's Earth & Climate Action Network, International
The Women's Earth & Climate Action Network is a solutions-based, multi-faceted effort established to engage women worldwide to take action as powerful stakeholders in climate change and sustainability solutions. For Our Earth and Future Generations A project of Women's Earth and Climate Caucus and its partner eraGlobal Alliance

News from 2018

PRESS RELEASE - Indigenous Women’s Delegation To Europe Continues Push For Fossil Fuel Divestment By Major Banks

April 16, 2018




April 16th, 2018



Emily Arasim (general inquiries) – emily@wecaninternational.org, +1(505)920-0153

Michelle Cook (general inquiries) - divestinvestprotect@gmail.com

Osprey Orielle Lake (urgent inquiries in Europe) – osprey@wecaninternational.org, +1(415)722-2104


Indigenous Women’s Delegation To Europe

Continues Push For Fossil Fuel Divestment By Major Banks

SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA, California (April 16, 2018) – Infused with the spirit of their ancestors and unwavering determination to seek accountability and justice, an Indigenous Women’s Divestment Delegation will travel to Switzerland and Germany from April 20th to 28th, 2018.

Despite rights violations and dangers to the health of the global climate, some of Europe’s most powerful banks and financial institutions continue unethical financing of fossil fuel projects. The Indigenous Women’s Divestment Delegation is highlighting human rights and Indigenous rights violations, requesting divestment and accountability from companies responsible for these harms.  

The Delegation of Indigenous women leaders from across North America and allies will engage with political leaders, representatives of financial and insurance institutions, civil society groups, and members of the media to share stories, data, and calls to action for immediate movement towards fossil fuel divestment, and a transition to a just, clean energy future.

While obstacles are many, previous delegations have illuminated the power and potential for successful results, as Indigenous women leaders meet eye-to-eye with representatives of the entities responsible for immense cultural and ecological devastation in their home regions.

Spotlighting destructive projects such as Energy Transfer Partners’ Dakota Access and Bayou Bridge Pipelines, Kinder Morgan’s TransMountain Pipeline, and Enbridge’s Line 3 Pipeline, advocacy efforts are aimed at accountability and divestments by Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank and other companies that are endangering rights and neglecting Indigenous People’s right to Free, Prior, and Informed Consent (FPIC) as outlined in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.   

There will be a special event in Zurich, during which Swiss elder women activists will formally welcome the Delegation to Switzerland, strengthening alliances and solidarity between women’s networks, and between nations to bring well-being to the world.  

Spring 2018 Indigenous Women’s Divestment Delegates comprise both frontline community leaders, and tribal officials who serve or have served in official capacities for their Tribal Nations, including - Charlene Aleck (Elected councillor for Tsleil Waututh Nation, Sacred Trust Initiative, Canada); Dr. Sara Jumping Eagle (Oglala Lakota and Mdewakantonwan Dakota pediatrician, living and working on the Standing Rock Reservation, North Dakota); Michelle Cook (Diné/Navajo, human rights lawyer); Wasté Win Yellowlodge Young (Ihunktowanna/Hunkpapa of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Former Tribal Historic Preservation Officer); and Monique Verdin (Member of south Louisiana’s United Houma Nation Tribal Council and the Another Gulf Is Possible Collaborative) - with Osprey Orielle Lake (WECAN International Executive Director and Delegation organizer). [Full speaker biographies are available here].

Efforts are centered in Switzerland and Germany, two countries which house several of the world's largest financial institutions supporting dangerous extraction projects across Indigenous territories in the U.S. and globally - despite purportedly high ethical and human rights standards.

The Indigenous Women’s Divestment Delegation is facilitated by the Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN) International in partnership with Indigenous women leaders and their directives, as part of a growing movement pursuing institutional divestment as an effective strategy to hold banks and fossil fuel related companies accountable to Indigenous rights and protection of land, climate and water. Coverage of previous delegation efforts is available via Cultural Survival, Yes! Magazine and top news outlets in Norway and Germany.

Members of the media are encouraged to reach out for in-person, phone, and email interview requests. A public event will be held in Zurich on April 26th with short films and panel discussion.

"Kinder Morgan investors need to know there is great uncertainty in the TransMountain pipeline expansion project. I am traveling with the Delegation to share the immense risks we are asked to bare and how committed we are to oppose this project.” explains Charlene Aleck (Elected councillor for Tsleil Waututh Nation, Sacred Trust Initiative, Canada)

“Everyday we live wondering when the day will come that our people will not have access to drinking water -- pipelines leak.  We are trying to plan for that day. In the midst of poverty and a legacy of oppression, we fight to live, to love, and to ensure our sovereignty.  When the businesses and banks you invest in, are funding the poisonous Dakota Access pipeline flowing under the Missouri River, so are you. Know where your money is going.” explains Dr. Sara Jumping Eagle (Oglala Lakota and Mdewakantonwan Dakota pediatrician, living and working on the Standing Rock Reservation, North Dakota)

“States in the U.S. are imposing laws and severe punishments to criminalize those who protest harmful resource extraction. Despite, the abuses which occurred at Standing Rock, many of these banks continue to sign on and renew their financial commitments to the companies involved . Our goal is clear, there must be justice and accountability for banks and corporations. Due to legacy of colonial laws in the United States which fail to recognize and adequately protect indigenous rights we must humbly appeal to the international community for their intercessions. Indigenous peoples are in danger, we need Europeans to act, to divest, to organize within their respective nations to make their banks accountable for indigenous human rights abroad. We  need Europe to stand and fight alongside us. Together in unity, acting as one,  in the spirit of mutual aid and defense, we will achieve peace and security for our climate and collective future.” explains Michelle Cook (Diné/Navajo, human rights lawyer)

“Our Delegation's presence puts a face to the indigenous communities and lives who have been displaced, abused, and adversely affected by extractive industries throughout the world. We are here to call for accountability for the destruction of our way of life and rights violations that at occurred with the Dakota Access Pipeline and other ongoing pipeline projects funded by European financial institutions such as Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank." explains Wasté Win Yellowlodge Young (Ihunktowanna/Hunkpapa of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Former Tribal Historic Preservation Officer)

"I come from a place just south of "Cancer Alley", just north of the "Dead Zone.” This is in Louisiana and it used to be known as Balbancha in our language. My Houma ancestors have inhabited the Yakne Chitto (Big Country) for thousands of years. We are surrounded by a web fossil fuel pipelines, a culprit responsible for contributing to some of the most rapid land loss in the world, in an area with a unique and high level of biodiversity. Yet,  the risks and vulnerabilities have not deterred Energy Transfer Partners or Phillips 66 in their ultimate pursuits to push dirty crude through precious territories. It is with a heavy heart but also hope, that I am journeying with the delegation across the sea to remind and re-warn the European banks funding and facilitating the pipelines about the devastating damage, bad practices and false promises of these companies. They are gambling with the sacred waters and life source for the Houma Nation, indigenous communities, and everyone tied to the Mississippi River Watershed , from North Dakota to the Gulf of Mexico, and they must be held accountable." explains Monique Verdin (Member of south Louisiana’s United Houma Nation Tribal Council and the Another Gulf Is Possible Collaborative)

“Divestment from dirty fossil fuel extraction and infrastructure demonstrates a commitment to our collective future and the web of life. What is needed from financial institutions now is a show of leadership and dedication to ecological sustainability, and human and Indigenous rights, as we face the unprecedented challenges of a world plunging into climate chaos. Indigenous women have long bore the brunt of extractive industries, and despite this, shine powerfully with solutions to the harms that come from these destructive practices. Banks need to listen to Indigenous women and adhere to their demands, which are founded on requests for basic respect for obtaining free, prior and informed consent of Indigenous communities, as required under international law. WECAN International stands with the representatives of the Indigenous Women’s Divestment Delegation and is calling for justice and accountability from financial and insurance institutions engaged in fossil fuel extraction. Business as usual cannot continue. Now is the time to move forward towards a clean and healthy future for all.” explains Osprey Orielle Lake, Executive Director of the Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN) International


About The Women's Earth & Climate Action Network (WECAN) International

www.wecaninternational.org @WECAN_INTL

The Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN International) is a solutions-based, multi-faceted organization established to engage women worldwide as powerful stakeholders in climate change, climate justice, and sustainability solutions. WECAN International was founded in 2013 as a project of the 501(c)3 Women’s Earth and Climate Caucus (WECC) organization.

JOIN OUR TEAM: WECAN Seeking Programs Coordinator

March 01, 2018

The Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN) International is seeking a part-time Programs Coordinator to join a dynamic team of global women working for climate justice, systemic change and women’s leadership in climate change solutions.  The Programs Coordinator will work remotely, under the guidance of WECAN International’s Executive Director, to contribute to event, campaign and program management; volunteer coordination; and varied support of WECAN Internationals global projects and efforts to support women for climate justice through media and storytelling, international policy forums, on-the-ground projects, advocacy campaigns, direct action, and much more.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Research, planning, management and administrative support for varied WECAN programs, campaigns, and projects.

  • Coordination of the Women Speak research database, including:

    • Managing the global volunteer research/writing team

    • Overseeing and contributing to the final content writing, editing and data management process

    • Outreach to introduce Women Speak to global organizations, universities and other institutions

  • Support for WECAN event planning and volunteer management.

  • Support for WECAN partner and network outreach and relationship building (in collaboration with WECAN Communications Coordinator, as needed).

  • Support for communications regarding campaigns and programs including media and story-telling (in collaboration with WECAN Communications Coordinator, as needed).

  • Other flexible collaboration with WECAN’s Executive Director and Communications Coordinator.

Required Qualifications:

  • Bachelor's degree

  • Previous work experience with an environmental/climate justice, women’s, human rights or other social justice focused non-profit or NGO organization.

  • Highly self-motivated and able to work independently.

  • Excellent organization and attention to detail; ability to juggle many tasks at once.

  • Communications background, superb writing and editing skills, and an enjoyment and ease in quick turn around with writing efforts.

  • Developed background in the current climate justice/environmental landscape.

  • Significant knowledge and experience with at least some of the topics and campaigns central to WECAN’s work, including: environmental and climate justice, women’s rights, rights of nature, Indigenous rights, environmental racism, fossil fuel resistance, forest protection, just transition and divestment, and grassroots movement building.

  • Willingness to dedicate personal time to expanding understanding of critical climate justice themes and the WECAN frameworks and focus areas.

  • Enjoyment of working with others and ease with working collaboratively

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Spanish language proficiency

  • Women of color and women of diverse life experiences are encouraged to apply.

Position Details:


  • This is a part-time position, requiring 15 hours per week (flexible weekly schedule). For special events, weekly hours may be extended to 20 hours per week.
  • This is a remote position which will be carried out from the Coordinators home location. All candidates must be located in the US or Canada. **Please note this is an update, our sincere apologies to International candidates, we will no longer be able to accept your applications.**
  • Compensation, to be discussed.
  • Start date is flexible, but ideally as soon as possible in April.
  • Employees are expected to have their own reliable computer and internet access.
  • The Programs Coordinator will be expected to commit a minimum of 1 year to this position, however the ideal candidate is interesting in engaging in the long-term with WECAN International.

Applications will be accepted through - Friday April 13, 2018

Interviews will be conducted on a rolling basis. 

Candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

Please send a cover letter, resume, and reference contact to: emily@wecaninternational.org

PRESS RELEASE - International Organizations Call For Accountability Following Attack On Amazonian Land Defender Patricia Gualinga

February 08, 2018



February 8, 2018


Media Contact:

Emily Arasim - emily@wecaninternational.org; +1.505.920.0153

Moira Birss - moira@amazonwatch.org; +1.510.294.2041


International Organizations Call For Accountability

Following Attack On Amazonian Land Defender Patricia Gualinga


Patricia Gualinga - Photo via Emily Arasim/Women's Earth & Climate Action Network


BAY AREA, California (February 8, 2018) – Following recent death threats and acts of hostile intimidation towards Patricia Gualinga Montalvo, an Indigenous Kichwa leader from Ecuador’s Amazon rainforest - over 50 prominent global organizations and individuals working for human rights, women’s rights, environmental and climate justice, issued a statement of solidarity and a call for accountability.


The collective statement signed by global organizations including Amazon Watch, the Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network, Indigenous Environmental Network, Global Witness, Frontline Defenders, Urgent Action Fund for Women, Rainforest Action Network, Greenpeace USA, Sierra Club, and Cultural Survival expresses deep concern regarding the attack targeting Patricia on January 5, 2018, during which an unknown man attacked her home in Puyo, Pastaza province, Ecuador, throwing stones at the windows while yelling death threats against her. The attack broke windows and the assailant yelled directly at Patricia Gualinga and repeatedly threatened her with death.


This attack occurs in the context of the national debate about the future of oil and mining concessions in Ecuador. Amazonian Indigenous women and the affected communities have repeatedly expressed their rejection of these projects, promoted by the government without their free, prior and informed consent.


Global leaders who have added their voice to the letter in solidarity with Patricia also note the growing trend in attacks, murder and intimidation against human rights and Indigenous land defenders worldwide. Last week, Global Witness and The Guardian released new data documenting that at least 197 people were killed in 2017 as a result of their work to protect the land and water, and expose the unjust practices that are threatening the health of their communities.


With these critical points in mind, the statement calls on the Minister of Interior and Ombudsman to implement protection measures to safeguard the integrity of Patricia Gualinga and her family that are in consultation with her and in accordance with her wishes; Urges the Minister of Interior to publicly recognize her legitimate work, and the work of all people who defend rights related to land, territory and the environment; and calls on the Attorney General to promptly and thoroughly investigate the attack, by making the results public and bring the material and intellectual perpetrators to justice.


The statement will be delivered to Ecuadorian government officials including President Lenin Moreno, the Ministry of the Interior, and the Attorney General, to demand an end to impunity in cases of persecution of defenders in the Ecuadorian Amazon such as Patricia.


Gualinga is from Sarayaku, and has helped lead community efforts to protect their ancestral Amazon territory from industrial extraction, including winning a historic case against the Ecuadorian government before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. She is recognized nationally and internationally for defending the rights of Indigenous peoples against oil companies, and for amplifying the call to keep fossil fuels in the ground in the Amazon and across the globe.


“If the intent to attack and threaten me was to instill fear to paralyze me, it failed. Following this incident, I am more motivated than ever to stand strong and work to defend the rights and territories of Sarayaku and all of the Amazon threatened by extraction. I’m grateful for the immediate solidarity of Indigenous Amazonian women who are also facing threats, as well as local, national and international allies who are standing with us to demand justice and accountability. We must stand together to protect the Living Forest and Mother Earth for our future generations and all life,” explained Patricia Gualinga following the recent attack.


“Unfortunately, the attack against Patricia is not an isolated incident: threats and harassment of indigenous women leaders occur regularly in Ecuador, as they do against indigenous leaders of all genders. We call particular attention to the cases of Bosco Wisum, José Tendentza and Freddy Taish, assassinated indigenous leaders whose deaths have not been fully investigated by the Ecuadorian justice system. As in the case of Patricia Gualinga, many of the indigenous Earth Defenders who have been attacked in Ecuador have opposed oil, mining, or other natural resource extraction on their territories. Throughout Latin America and around the world, those who defend land rights and nature are targeted with physical violence, intimidation, and criminal prosecution, and Ecuador is no exception,” said Leila Salazar-López, Executive Director of Amazon Watch [full statement from Amazon Watch here]


“The Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network refuses to stand idly by while the life of Patricia Gualinga is threatened, and we are demanding accountability and justice for her. Ms. Gualinga’s selfless and dedicated work to prevent oil extraction in the Ecuadorian Amazon has and continues to protect immense cultural and ecological diversity, and has inspired hundreds of others around the world to find their own voice to stand for the Earth, climate, forests and their communities. Patricia Gualinga has stood for us all countless times, and today we raise our voices to make clear that she does not stand alone. The international community is watching diligently, and we will not allow for continued impunity in attacks against any land defenders, particularly Indigenous women, who are putting their bodies on the line around the world every day to fight for a livable future for all people,” said Osprey Orielle Lake, Founder and Executive Director of the Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN) International


For Further Information:



TOOLKIT - 2018 Women's March, March As Women For Climate Justice

January 12, 2018

We invite women/feminist leaders and allies across the U.S. and around the world to freely use this toolkit to inspire and support your independent organizing to march with ‘Women for Climate Justice’ messaging during January 2018 Women’s March events in your community.

** Click here to DOWNLOAD the 'Women for Climate Justice at the 2018 Women's March' Toolkit **

JOIN OUR TEAM: WECAN Seeking Project Researcher

January 08, 2018

The Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN International) is seeking a volunteer Project Researcher to join a dynamic team of women working for climate justice, systemic change and women’s leadership in climate change solutions. The Project Researcher will work remotely, under the guidance of the WECAN International Executive Director, to carry out pointed research in various topic areas, with a focus on the ‘WECAN Rising For Fossil Fuel Divestment & A Just Transition’ program. 

Required Qualifications:

  • Confident and thorough research skills
  • Strong note taking and analytical skills
  • Highly self-motivated and able to work independently
  • Great organization and attention to detail
  • Developed background and active interest in several key areas such as climate change, climate justice, women’s rights, social justice
  • Willingness to dedicate personal time to expanding understanding of critical climate justice themes and WECAN frameworks and focus areas
  • Bachelors degree, current university enrollment OR equivalent experience

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Background in human rights or Indigenous rights
  • Previous experience working with an environmental or social justice focused non-profit organization
  • Diverse backgrounds and life experiences

Position Details:

  • This is a remote, volunteer position which may be carried out independently from any location
  • 6-10 hour per week commitment
  • Researchers are expected to commit a minimum of 5 months, though all researchers involved will be invited to continue to contribute for as long as they wish after the close of their initial research period
  • This is an unpaid position - WECAN is willing to work with institutions/schools to satisfy credit requirements, volunteer hours, etc.
  • Researchers are expected to have their own reliable computer and internet access
  • The start date is flexible, but as soon as possible in February.

**Applications will be accepted through January 30th, 2018.

Please send your resume and cover letter to: emily@wecaninternational.org**