It has been an incredible year of action and growth for Movement Rights, and the work for 2024 has already begun. Movement Rights is an intentionally small, strategic Indigenous and women-led organization, focusing on three pillars organizing: frontline-led climate justice, Indigenous Rights, and Indigenous-led Rights of Nature. We were asked to speak at key events around the world, we organized and joined in the streets for dozens of actions across Turtle Island, and supported Indigenous-led initiatives for Rights of Nature and just transition (and much more). We sit on the steering committee of the frontline-led People VS Fossil Fuels Coalition and are co-founder and Executive Committee Members of the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature.
In addition to the highlights shared below, we have laid the groundwork for some big projects taking place in 2024! Please stay connected by joining our bi-monthly online newsletter and following us on our website and social media. Support Movement Rights as we grow to meet the moment.
In September 2023, Movement Rights, and our frontline and steering committee partners at People vs Fossil Fuels (PVFF) coalition helped bring the fire—and a large Indigenous delegation—to lead the 75,000 people March to End Fossil Fuels, launching UN Climate Week. (Pictured: Ponca elder and Movement Rights’ board chair Casey Camp Horinek in purple leading the march). With Lush Cosmetics and Stop the Money Pipeline we partnered for the inspiring event, Climate Rising: Imagining the End of Fossil Fuels, bringing together dozens of powerful Indigenous, black, brown and youth speakers to share inspirational victories against fossil fuels from across the country. We also sponsored several events on Rights of Nature with our partners at the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature (GARN), showcasing the power of this global movement to shift culture and law to address climate change and end the era of fossil fuels. View Climate Week Photo Gallery, and read Movement Rights’ Op-ed by Casey Camp Horinek, “Climate Week is Over. Now What?”
REPORT RELEASED AT COP28 IN DUBAI
Largely Indigenous-led, Rights of Nature is now law in over 30 countries. Our collaborative report details the power of Rights of Nature as a system change, climate justice and a legal tool for tribes, communities and nations, and shares advancements from the last 3 years. Download the report, “Redefining Global Climate Solutions & Environmental Protection for Systemic Change” which was launched at a press conference (watch here) in Dubai with speakers: Ponca elder and Movement Rights’ Board Chair, Casey Camp Horinek, Nnimmo Bassey, Director, Health of Mother Earth Foundation, Nigeria, and Osprey Orielle Lake, WECAN Executive Director. Speakers discussed how this framework can stop fossil fuel extraction and guide us to harmonize human laws with the laws of the natural world.
TWO DOCUMENTARY VIDEOS
Movement Rights was thrilled to partner with Lush Cosmetics for their documentary short, “Water Has a Memory” which features Ponca matriarch Casey Camp Horinek and how the Ponca nation is recognizing Rights of Nature to protect their land and waters from fossil fuels. The video is now streaming for free on WaterBear, the first interactive streaming platform dedicated to the future of our planet.
And, in partnership with Fossil Free Media, Movement Rights created the 5-minute short, “The Convening of the 4 Winds” to showcase our work in OK and the Plains to gather in community and ceremony to protect the Rights of Rivers, LANDBACK, Indigenous Just Transition and coming together to reciprocate strategies and resiliency.
2nd CONVENING OF THE FOUR WINDS
Over 150 participants from 59 tribes and 8 states (and First Nations Canada) joined us for Earth Day weekend April 22-23, 2023 in the heart of Cherokee Territory, Oklahoma for a weekend of ceremony, NVDA trainings, strategy and conversations about water protection in a fossil fuel epicenter. We were invited by our hosts, Jokay Dowell (Cherokee/Quapah) and the Eagle and the Condor Indigenous Peoples Alliance.
Why Oklahoma and the Plains? In 2022, upon passing the Immutable Rights of Rivers into Ponca law to protect Ní’skà and Ni’ží’dè (the Arkansas and Salt Fork rivers which run for thousands of miles), the tribe understood they cannot act alone against state-sponsored fossil fuel destruction. There are 39 tribes in Oklahoma alone, and while they don’t all agree on the role of fossil fuels, they can come together around water protection and tribal sovereignty. In 2022 we began a 2-year effort to gather tribal communities of the Plains—and beyond—in the 4 Directions (or 4 Winds) which will culminate in a Plains-wide gathering of intertribal water protectors with the hope of creating a powerful coalition to take action for the Rights of Water, Land Back, and Indigenous Just Transition. Read more/see photo gallery about the 2nd Convening of the 4 Winds. Watch this short video from the first Convening of the Four Winds hosted by the Ponca nation, and stay tuned for announcements about our upcoming Convening in Spring 2024. All are welcome and scholarships are available.
INDIGENOUS RIGHTS OF NATURE (IRON) TRAININGS ACROSS TURTLE ISLAND
During and after COVID, Movement Rights brought our IRON Forums online in many different formats. In partnership with the Na’ ah Ilahee Fund, we created and led a 6-month Rights of Nature Cohort Series for 5 tribal communities of the Pacific Northwest. With amazing Indigenous guest speakers every two weeks the cohort had the chance to explore Rights of Nature in a dynamic way, and meet those leading this movement in creative ways unique to their territories, laws, culture and challenges. In 2023 we also resumed our in-person trainings when invited, including a 2-day event (pictured) with the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, where we also connected with inspiring and powerful Mashpee Native youth leading their tribe to recognize the Rights of Herring, including working with government agencies to help bring this fish species that is critical to the wellbeing of their waters and ecosystems, back to health and able to return to spawn. See here for more information about IRON forums and other workshops.
DID YOU SEE US IN THE STREETS ALL YEAR?
Movement Rights believes all our movement struggles are connected, and that Non-Violent Direct Action (NVDA) is among the most critical ways to act. In 2023 we participated in or helped organize dozens of local and national actions large and small. For example, as a member of the steering committee for the 1,200-organization strong, frontline-led People VS Fossil Fuels (PVFF) Coalition, we helped organize large events such as the 75,000 people march to end the Era of Fossil Fuels in New York (along with many, many other organizations and coalitions), as well as “distributed actions” that take place on the same day across the country and the world. This includes the Joye Braun Day of action. We helped develop and promote events in 30+ cities across the country in honor of our friend, force of nature and pipeline fighter who passed away in late 2022 and whose legacy continues on. Casey Camp Horinek led one of those actions in Ponca City, Oklahoma (see video here); and our National Organizer, Isabella Zizi proudly MC’d the moving Bay Area action on the same day.
MEET OUR GROWING LEADERSHIP TEAM & BOARD
The call for our work is increasing and we’re proud to welcome these stellar women leaders to our team! (Top L-R see full bios here) Isabella Zizi (Northern Cheyenne, Muskogee Creek and enrolled Three Affiliated Tribes) is Movement Rights National Organizer, co-leading national weekly organizer calls and actions with our People VS Fossil Fuels coalition, and working with communities on the Rights of Nature and tribunals. Julia Horinek (Ponca Nation of Oklahoma) is an Equation Campaign Fellow, and Movement Rights’ Plains Organizer, leading our Convenings of the 4 Winds in Oklahoma and working to bring Indigenous water protectors and fossil fuel fighters together for the Rights of Rivers throughout the Plains and beyond. (Bottom L bio here) We grow our board when we commit to working deeply and long-term with communities, to ensure leadership comes from those communities. Dr. Crystal Cavalier Keck (Occaneechi Band of Saponi Nation) and the organization she co-founded with her husband Jason Keck, 7 Directions of Service, is working to stop the MVP Southgate Pipeline and protect the Rights of the Haw River in North Carolina.
PUBLIC EVENTS AROUND THE WORLD
Whether in the United Arab Emirates, Vancouver BC, Egypt, North Carolina, Arizona, Bioneers (CA), NYC, Stanford University, Brazil and beyond—Movement Rights took the stage at dozens of key gatherings. Our team, representing frontline struggles against fossil fuels and critical Indigenous-led climate solutions including the Rights of Nature, can be found globally. We also co-sponsored many events such as the inspiring Climate Rising: Imagining the End of Fossil Fuels event at New York’s Great Cooper Hall (pictured: Casey Camp Horinek and Lush Cosmetics Advocacy & Activism Manager, Carleen Pickard) which focused on solutions from the grassroots.
SPARKING IMPORTANT CONVERSATIONS FOR MOVEMENT BUILDING
Like no other in history, both nuclear weapons and climate change pose the largest existential threats to life on Earth. You probably know that both the nuclear and climate movements have powerful divestment movements, but did you know that many of the banks that fund nuclear weapons ae the same banks that fund fossil fuels? And yet, these two divestment movements traditionally have not collaborated despite the potential for shared and exponential impact. Led by Movement Rights’ co-founder, Pennie Opal Plant, we brought together high profile leaders of these movements including Bill McKibben (writer, co-founder Third Act and 350.org), Tzeporah Berman (founder of the Fossil Free Non-Proliferation Treaty and STAND.earth), Susi Snyder (President, International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons) and Cynthia Lazaroff (US & Russian diplomacy, founder, Women Transforming our Nuclear Legacy) to discuss the challenges and opportunities for learning from each other’s movements and for collaboration. The first of many conversations we hope to see. Watch the webinar here.
LOOKING FORWARD TO 2024 – SAVE THE DATES!
As busy as we were in 2023, we are already hard at work for 2024 with some events already on the calendar:
- 3rd Convening of the Four Winds (March 22-24, 2024) Our next Convening will take place in Caddo territory Oklahoma with speakers and participants from the Plains and across Turtle Island. Limited Indigenous scholarships will be available (prioritizing Plains tribal communities and other fossil fuel frontline communities considered). More information will be available here beginning in January 2024. Some events will be livestreamed.
- Peoples Tribunal on Mountain Valley Pipeline and the Rights of the Haw River (May 30-June 2) Hosted in Occaneechi / Saponi Territory of North Carolina, we are cosponsoring this event with our hosts and partners at 7 Directions of Service. More information available on our website and social media soon.
- Climate Week New York (September) and COP 29 Climate Negotiations in Azerbaijan (December 2024) We are at a critical stage in the work to end the era of fossil fuels, and will be working with our Indigenous partners to support solutions at key international events like these and more.
- So much more Please stay tuned as we announce more activities and events in the New Year.
Thank you from Movement Rights.
Movement Rights is founded on the idea that we must align human law (and culture) with the laws of the natural world—the future of humanity depends on it. Since our inception in December 2014, we have established our work as a vital and respected piece of the climate justice mosaic. We know no single part of our movements for justice can win on its own—we believe in the power of frontline leadership and true solidarity, sharing and integrating strategies, tactics, resources and learning from each other. We are strategically small, because it allows us to support the communities we work with in ways that ensure the leadership and our resources stay with and empower them. While we are proud of our many accomplishments, one of the benefits of our size is that we do not need to focus on branding our work, which allows us some freedom to work in quiet ways when it serves the greater good.
We are in the streets, in the news and in the courts, providing research and reports, convening strategic gatherings large and small, speaking at the UN, community meetings, regulatory hearings, and more. We work with national and global climate allies, sovereign Indigenous nations and communities. We have helped thousands of people connect the dots between the critical time we find ourselves in and the solutions that Indigenous people have always known: human activity must take place within the natural system of laws that govern life on Earth.