Social Justice Stories

building compassion, tolerance, and responsible citizenship through social justice narratives

Environmentalists from our First Nations

By Vincent Schilling

The men and women profiled here are united by their work to protect the environment and to support indigenous rights. Their stories take us from the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska to the Black Mesa in Arizona.

  • Melina Laboucan-Massimo uses her passion to stop oil extraction in Alberta's tar sands.
  • Winona LaDuke is a voice for reclaiming Native lands, advocating renewable energy resources, and protecting Native cultures.
  • Clayton Thomas-Muller is a dynamic advocate for indigenous self-determination and campaigner against tar sands extraction.
  • Ben Powless brings his youthful energy and skills to addressing climate change issues.
  • Tom Goldtooth protects sacred sites and organizes global direct-action campaigns for the environment.
  • Grace Thorpe is a grandmother who dedicated her retirement years to keeping Native reservations from becoming nuclear waste dumps.
  • Sarah James is a voice from northern Alaska defending the Porcupine caribou herd and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
  • Enei Begaye and Evon Peter are married activists who work as a team on environmental issues and sustainable strategies for Native people.
  • Klee Benally uses the media to empower Native communities in their fight for environmental justice.
  • Teague Allston works to ensure a tribal voice is heard in Washington DC.