RAVEN Essays

BC Studies is pleased to share the 2017 RAVEN Young Scholars Essay Prize Winners. 


Air, water, land, human rights. RAVEN (Respecting Aboriginal Values and Environmental Needs) believes that what is at stake for Indigenous Peoples is at stake for everyone: the expectation that human rights will be upheld, and that we will always have water to drink, land to grow healthy food on, and sustainable ecosystems for all life.

First Nations’ rights, enshrined in section 35 of the Canadian Constitution, are currently the most powerful environmental rights in the country.

Having rights is one thing. The problem is enforcing them. Native leaders and their legal teams usually face overwhelming odds against the established interests of big corporations and governments as they struggle to protect their rights and lands through the courts.

Many people recognize the inequity in accessing the justice system. RAVEN is the only charitable organization in Canada that raises legal defence funds to help ensure our First Nations partners can defend their treaty rights and the integrity of their traditional lands and cultures.  RAVEN’s work is reconciliation in action. You can find out more about RAVEN on their website.

2017 Young Scholars Essay Prize Winners

Laura Peterson, First Place. University of Alberta. "Lake One Trail Survey, Indigenous Cultural Landscapes and Wood Buffalo National Park of Canada."

Download and read Laura Peterson's essay here. 

Marie Laing, Second Place. University of Toronto. "Two-Spirit Lives and Stories as Resurgence." 

Download and read Marie Laing's essay here.