Many people joined me on my ride from coast-to-coast-to-coast. And while there were many ways that people did this — ranging from pedalling alongside me to watching my journey on Instagram — one of the most impactful methods was by pledging financial support to RAVEN (Respecting Aboriginal Values & Environmental Needs).
RAVEN is a legal defence fund that partners with Indigenous Nations across Canada to raise money to help them uphold Indigenous rights and protect their traditional territories through the justice system. The money that RAVEN raises is held in trust and disbursed at the direction of the partner Nations to their respective lawyers.
My goal was to raise $1 for every kilometre that I rode. I originally anticipated that my route across Canada would be approximately 14,000 km, so I rounded up that figure to set a goal of raising $15,000 for RAVEN.
In the end, I rode 12,608.8 km and raised more than $17,000 for RAVEN! I’m still shocked by this success and cannot express how grateful I am for each donor.
Donations are still being accepted. RAVEN is a registered charity in both Canada and the United States and will provide donors with a CRA and/or IRS tax receipt.
Fight for access to justice today by clicking the button below.
Canada’s federal, provincial and territorial governments have a legal duty — not to mention a moral and ethical obligation — to honour Indigenous rights. Yet Canada continues to infringe and encroach on Indigenous rights, leaving few options but for Indigenous Peoples to engage in protracted litigation with governments and businesses.
As a lawyer, I know how challenging it can be to access justice. Access to justice is often contingent on access to resources, and in particular access to money.
RAVEN’s mission is to remove financial barriers to justice. Through its fundraising campaigns, RAVEN provides much-needed money to fund Indigenous Nations’ legal claims and defences.
The benefits of honouring Indigenous rights are wide-reaching and impact each of us, like protecting the health of the water, maintaining clear air, and saving important ecosystems and species. RAVEN is funding cases that, amongst other things, press for climate justice, push back against environmental racism, preserve unspoiled natural areas, protect treaty rights, and support Indigenous communities. Upholding Indigenous rights, title and laws benefits all of us.
I’m hopeful that Canada will one day honour Indigenous rights without needing to resort to litigation. But until Indigenous-settler relations are boldly re-imagined, litigation will remain a key tool for upholding Indigenous rights. You can join the fight for Indigenous rights by donating to RAVEN.