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A Stream of Consciousness Livestream Event:

Courageous Conversations

A dialogue with RAVEN, John Borrows & Adam Olsen Watch the Replay
Thursday, September 27, 7:00 PT
2 Hours
Sunset Labs | Victoria, Canada
Courageous Conversations

RAVEN’s vision is a country that embraces the ancestral laws of Indigenous Peoples and their equitable access to the justice system within a thriving natural habitat.

What We Believe

The environmental challenges that face many Indigenous Peoples in Canada are really challenges for the entire world. Fundamentally, we believe these are issues of human rights and climate change – we are seeking social and environmental justice for all. The constitutional rights of Indigenous Peoples are the strongest environmental laws in Canada (and possibly the world), especially now that the Canadian government has gutted national environmental protection legislation. The law is clearly on the side of Indigenous Peoples: their victories protect protect us all.

“RAVEN is really giving us hope: that has more value than any monetary value that can be put to anything. It’s beyond words how we appreciate what British Columbians and Canadians are doing to help stand beside us in our fight. It’s really humbling. How can you not feel like you’re going to win?” ~ kil tlaats’gaa Peter Lantin, Council of the Haida Nation

Native leaders, advocates and their legal teams almost always face overwhelming odds when going against the established interests of large corporations and the governments that support them. Governments and wealthy corporations are able to hire large teams of lawyers and experts to bolster their arguments. Their resources appear almost limitless in comparison to First Nations groups and their dedicated legal teams, who often work pro-bono simply because of their belief in the cause. The background research and other costs involved in winning legal cases are invariably immense. Yet, without adequate research and background information, native causes are likely to fail in non-native legal systems.

RAVEN sees the inequity in accessing the justice system and is supporting those First Nations willing to take actionable steps to achieve parity.

Hope you enjoyed the stream, take a look at what we have from the event!

Watch the Replay

Event Summary

We’re kicking off this new RAVEN program with an evening of stories, poetry and dialogue with some of the country’s leading Indigenous scholars, poets and visionaries!

Law is something that is constituted through our relationships: with one another, with the living world and with our non-human relation. Join a discussion of how Indigenous legal traditions are shaping our world with eminent Anishnabe legal scholar John Borrows, Executive Director of the Circle on Philanthropy Kris Archie (Secwepemc te qelmucw and seme7), MLA Adam Olsen and RAVEN Executive Director Susan Smitten. As First Nations win case after case in Canadian courts, how can settlers and allies put reconciliation into action to realize rights that belong not only to the first people of this land but to the Earth itself?

In 2019, RAVEN will be unveiling a series of online learning modules combined with real world community building. This evening is the beginning of a process of listening, learning, and dialogue towards a more balanced, more courageous national conversation on Indigenous rights.

• a way to weave local struggles together with the national story
• a justice-seeking educational opportunity aimed at empowering ordinary people to put reconciliation into action
• a set of tools to empower people to engage in courageous conversations about relationships between Indigenous Peoples, settlers, and the natural world

We are inviting Indigenous peoples, allies, and organizations working in the human rights, social justice, and environmental fields to join in Courageous Conversations.



Founding executive director, RAVEN.

Secwepemc te gelmucw and seme7 Nations, Executive Director of the Circles on Philanthropy and Aboriginal Peoples in Canada

Anishnabe, Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Law at University of Victoria

ADAM OLSEN, Moderator
Green Party MLA for Saanich Gulf Islands



With Courageous Conversations, RAVEN aims to build a network of reconciliation ambassadors who commit to learn, share knowledge, and host courageous conversations about Indigenous rights where they live, work and play.

The program will kick off with a live panel event which is also live-streamed on the internet. Following the kick off, participants sign up to participate in the “Courageous Conversations” pilot.

Courageous Conversations is a solidarity education project designed to offer resources, skills and connections to foster understanding between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. Courageous Conversations will offer practical ways of putting reconciliation into action to advance intercultural understanding and an awareness of justice frameworks which support a move to a more equitable country that takes into account aboriginal values and laws.

Rather than looking backwards to the injustices of the past, Courageous Conversation has a goal of building a kinder, more understanding and more prosperous society where the caretaker values of Aboriginal Peoples inform the decisions and visions of the country as a whole. Loosely based upon the 94 recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Courageous Conversations are about fostering “Lateral Kindness” by offering people teaching and learning tools that are inclusive, accessible and compelling.

Our Host

20 local non-profits. 20 broadcasts. 20 months. 1 gift.

2020 Vision is a project designed to amplify & forward the deep work being done by the non-profit & charities right here in our hometown of Victoria.

We’re gifting 20 live broadcast events, over 20 months, to 20 local community-based organizations in order to help them reach more people, scale their message, capture some beautiful video, host an event, and build an expanded awareness of the cause they champion! 2020 Vision is our way of saying THANK YOU for all that you’re doing to make the world a more beautiful, just, compassionate, balanced and sustainable world.

To learn more about the 2020 Vision project and see the other events that our local grant recipients have and are producing, click here!

Our Venue

Sunset Labs is an intimate waterfront multi-purpose venue located downtown Victoria, Canada. This beautiful, high-tech venue hosts live broadcasts, meetings & workshops, dance nights, film screenings, live rock shows, fashion events, book fairs and everything else the community comes up with. For more information, please visit our website.


Photo Gallery

The community really came out for this potent and courageous evening.
Big thanks to Zenkai Photo for capturing these fantastic shots!