SAN FRANCISCO, April 20, 2015 /CNW/ - A BC First Nations woman is the latest Canadian recipient of the world's largest international prize for grassroots environmental activists, awarded by the Goldman Environmental Foundation.
Xeni Gwet'in Councillor and former chief Marilyn Baptiste is one of the six recipients of the 2015 Goldman Environmental Prize, which is presented annually to environmental heroes from each of the world's six inhabited continental regions, and recognizes fearless grassroots activists working against all odds to protect the environment and their communities.
The winners will be awarded the Prize at an invitation-only ceremony on Monday, April 20 at 5:30 p.m. at the San Francisco Opera House. The event will be streamed live online at www.goldmanprize.org/ceremony. A ceremony at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, D.C. will follow on Wednesday, April 22 at 7:30 p.m.
Ms. Baptiste was chosen for her work in leading her community in defeating one of the largest proposed gold and copper mines in British Columbia that would have destroyed Teztan Biny (Fish Lake)—a source of spiritual identity and livelihood for the Xeni Gwet'in, Yunesit'in and Tsilhqot'in. (Bio: www.goldmanprize.org/marilyn)
"I am thrilled that the Goldman Environmental Foundation has chosen to acknowledge the importance of our successful battle against the Prosperity/New Prosperity Mine proposal and our contribution to the changing face of mining versus the environment and First Nations rights in BC," said Ms. Baptiste.
"It is also a recognition of the incredible work that the Xeni Gwet'in and Tsilhqot'in National Government put into this fight, and the invaluable support we received from First Nations Women Advocating Responsible Mining, the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, the First Nations Summit, the Assembly of First Nations, individual First Nations across BC and Canada, and many environmental groups," said Ms. Baptiste.
"When one looks at the calibre of the other recipients, this year and in the past, it is not only an honour to be included, but also a clear message that the world is watching and recognizes the importance of our fight and what is happening in BC."
Ms. Baptiste joins an illustrious list of past Canadian Goldman Prize winners. They are:
- Sophia Rabliauskas (2007): http://www.goldmanprize.org/recipient/sophia-rabliauskas/
- Bernard Martin (1999): http://www.goldmanprize.org/recipient/bernard-martin/
- Matthew Coon Come: (1994): http://www.goldmanprize.org/recipient/matthew-coon-come/
- Colleen McCrory (1992): http://www.goldmanprize.org/recipient/colleen-mccrory/
Ms. Baptiste's fellow 2015 winners are:
PHYLLIS OMIDO, Kenya.
MYINT ZAW, Myanmar
HOWARD WOOD, Scotland
JEAN WIENER, Haiti
BERTA CÁCERES, Honduras
ATTENTION EDITORS: Detailed biographical information, photographs, and broadcast-quality video of all the winners in their home countries are available by request or online at http://www.goldmanprize.org/pressroom/2015-press-resources/
About the Goldman Environmental Prize
The Goldman Environmental Prize was established in 1989 by late San Francisco civic leaders and philanthropists Richard and Rhoda Goldman. Prize winners are selected by an international jury from confidential nominations submitted by a worldwide network of environmental organizations and individuals. For additional information about the Prize and previous winners visit www.goldmanprize.org.
SOURCE The Goldman Environmental Prize
For further information: Canada: Sean Durkan. [email protected]: 613-841-6944 (office) / 613-851-2151 (cell); US: Linda Vejnoska, [email protected], 415-875-3045 (office) / 541-521-2462 (cell); Jenny Park, [email protected], 415-249-5800 (office) / (415) 867-1166 (cell)