Rita Wong lives, writes and works  in unceded Coast Salish territories (Vancouver) and teaches at Emily Carr University of Art & Design.  Her books of poetry such as Beholden: A Poem as Long as a River (with Fred Wah & the Columbia River) and perpetual (with artist Cindy Mochizuki) are dedicated to questions of water, ecosystem, and climate justice within commitments to decolonial, Indigenous-led relational ethics.  She is frequently out standing with local Indigenous peoples to protect lands and waters and was arrested in August 2018 and served jail time for peacefully blocking access to the TransMountain facility at the Westridge Marine terminal.  Her statement from her court hearing reads in part, “Our ceremony that morning was an act of spiritual commitment, of prayer, of artistic expression, of freedom of expression, an act of desperation in the face of climate crisis, an act of allegiance with the earth’s natural laws, and a heartfelt attempt to prevent mass extinction of the human race. . .  we can all learn from natural law and Coast Salish law that we have a reciprocal relationship with the land; and that we all have a responsibility to care for the land’s health, which is ultimately our health too.”

Click here to read her full court hearing statement

Click here for Rita’s April 2022 Rabble essay on Land Acknowledgements

Resource List

APTN news article on violent RCMP special unit, “Community-Industry Response Group” (C-IRG) – used against Indigenous land and water defenders in Indigenous territories in B.C.: https://www.aptnnews.ca/ourstories/cirg/

Decolonial Solidarity for Wet’suwet’en opposition to Coastal Gaslink pipeline: https://linktr.ee/decolonialsolidarity

Tsleil-Waututh Sacred Trust Site/info on stand against Trans Mountain Pipeline: https://twnsacredtrust.ca/


Fred Wah and Rita Wong, beholden: a poem as long as the river, 2018

Rita Wong, undercurrent, 2015

Lee Maracle (Sto: lo), granddaughter of Chief Dan George.  My Conversations with Canadians.

Leanne Simpson (Michi Saagiig FN) and Robyn Maynard.  Rehearsals for Living.

Dionne BrandNomenclature.

Max Libroiron (Métis).  Pollution is Colonialism.

For Anishinaabe Laws for Algonquin Territory: John Borrows (Chippewas of Nawash First Nation). Law’s Indigenous Ethics.

Resource List Suggestions