My name is Angelica Choc, and I am indigenous Mayan Q’eqchi’ from the community of La Uníon, in the Municipality of El Estor, Republic of Guatemala. Just over a year ago, my husband, Adolfo Ich Chamán, was killed by security forces employed at the Fenix mining project in Guatemala – a mining project owned by Canadian company HudBay Minerals. In the afternoon of September 27, 2009, I watched my husband leave our house for the last time. I later learned that mine security forces had surrounded my husband, dragged him through a gap in a fence and hacked at him withmachetes.
Dr. Rachel Ariss received her Bachelor of Laws degree from Osgoode Hall Law School at York University in Toronto, Ontario, Master of Laws degree from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario and Doctor of Juridical Science from the University of Toronto, Ontario. Following her graduate education, she joined Lakehead University's Sociology Department, teaching sociology of law, law and society and reproductive rights until 2010.
Melina Laboucan-Massimo is from Northern Alberta and a member of the Lubicon Cree First Nation. She has worked as an advocate for Indigenous rights for the past 12 years. She has studied and worked in Brasil, Mexico, Australia and Canada focusing on Indigenous rights and culture, resource extraction, and ICTs. She has produced short documentaries, researched, and worked on topics ranging from the tar sands, inherent treaty rights, water issues to cultural appropriation with various organizations like the Indigenous Media Arts Group and Redwire Media Society.
Stephen Collis is a poet and professor of contemporary literature at Simon Fraser University. His many books of poetry include The Commons (Talon Books 2008; second edition 2014), On the Material (Talon Books 2010—awarded the BC Book Prize for Poetry), To the Barricades (Talon Books 2013), and DECOMP (Coach House 2013). He has also written two books of criticism and a novel, The Red Album (BookThug 2013).
Freda Huson is the spokesperson for the Unis'tot'en action camp. Since July 2010, the Unis'tot'en clan of the Wet'suwet'en First Nation have been successfully blockading 7 oil and gas pipelines from encroaching on their traditional territories.
Toghestiy received much of his cultural training from his late grandparents Madeek and Sa’itne. Their teachings brought him through much of the ancient and unceded landscapes. Many days and nights were spent exploring trails, hunting/trapping areas, fishing sites, campsites, and village sites of his people. Today, Toghestiy takes the responsibilities of being a hereditary chief very seriously. His philosophy is based on the ancient Wet’suwet’en philosophy called “Wiggus”, which requires the highest level of understanding, respect, and humility for absolutely everything.
Chris Hedges, whose column is published Mondays on Truthdig, has written twelve books, including the New York Times best seller “Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt” (2012), which he co-authored with the cartoonist Joe Sacco. Some of his other books include “Death of the Liberal Class” (2010), “Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle” (2009), “I Don’t Believe in Atheists” (2008) and the best selling “American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America” (2008).