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Wed, Apr 24


O'Born Room, National Arts Centre

Plastic pollution on the frontlines: stories from Turtle Island

Environmental Defence

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Time & Location

Apr 24, 2024, 12:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

O'Born Room, National Arts Centre, 1 Elgin St, Ottawa, ON K1P 5W1, Canada

About The Event

The Frontlines: Stories from Turtle Island is a roundtable event featuring speakers from Indigenous communities on the frontline of the plastic crisis. When people think of plastic pollution, they tend to think of litter and landfills or the ocean garbage patches. But plastic pollution begins long before the landfill and continues long after. Every single stage of the lifecycle of plastic causes harm to our environment and our health. From the extraction of oil and gas to the disposal of waste, the lives of Indigenous communities have been disproportionately threatened by the polluting plastic industry. To ignore the plastic pollution crisis is to ignore the devastation that plastic creates for First Nations communities, their food sources, ways of life and languages. Join Environmental Defence and Ecojustice for this event to hear from the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, Aamjiwnaang First Nation and the Nunatsiavut government about the impacts of plastic production and pollution on their communities. Refreshments and light snacks to follow. The roundtable will also offer an opportunity for frontline communities to exchange information and resources with each other about the pollution they face and how they may be addressing it, including through research, advocacy, Indigenous governance and regulatory reform. We will also discuss how the fourth session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee provides an opportunity for nations to commit to protecting the health and well-being of communities that are on the frontline and experiencing the health impacts of plastic production.


  • Janelle Nahmabin, First Nation Councillor and Environment Committee Member, Aamjiwnaang First Nation
  • CJ Smith-White, First Nation Councillor and Environment Committee Member, Aamjiwnaang First Nation
  • Liz Pijogge, Researcher, Nunatsiavut government
  • Jay Telegdi, Intergovernmental Relations Manager, Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation
  • Karen Wirsig, Program Manager, Environmental Defence

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