Terri-Lynn Williams-Davidson — a Haida musician, author, activist, artist and lawyer — is this year’s guest speaker at the Campagnolo Lectures on Restorative Justice, presented by the Comox Valley Community Justice Centre.
Her presentation will be of particular interest to those active in the environmental movement.
“Certainly what’s going on in Fairy Creek about the preservation of the ancient and old growth forests is a matter about which she won the leading case in Canada, which was the defence of the tree farm licence #35 in Haida Gwaii,” CJC chief administrator Bruce Curtis said. “The Supreme Court ruled that government must take input from First Nations on resource extraction matters, and by implication that extends also to private corporations. That was a landmark decision in 2004.”
Williams-Davidson has undertaken considerable work in the area of environmental law from an Indigenous perspective, he added. She has intervened on behalf of several First Nations concerned about the pipeline across northern B.C. She is also chief negotiator for the Haida land claim, which has tabled proposals for control over the sea area around Haida Gwaii for fishing and ocean rights.
“If it’s concluded, that would be the first time an Indigenous treaty has ocean rights included in it,” Curtis said. “It’s land-breaking work on the environmental front.”
A dinner in honour of Williams-Davidson is being held Wednesday, Oct. 13 at the Native Sons Hall in Courtenay. The 5:30-9 p.m. event includes recognition of CJC volunteers along with special surprise entertainment.
The lecture, Supernatural Restorative Justice, is Thursday, Oct. 14 from 7-9 p.m. at the Sid Williams Theatre.
On Oct. 15, the Comox Valley Art Gallery opens an exhibition of Williams-Davidson works that had been displayed for nine months at the Bill Reid Gallery in Vancouver.
The 10th anniversary of the Campagnolo Lectures events conclude Saturday, Oct. 16 with a concert of works that Williams-Davidson composed to accompany pieces in the exhibition, sung in Haida and English. Her band includes two founding members of Chilliwack. The concert is 7:30 p.m. at the Sid Williams.
The CJC has confirmed that next year’s special guest is Cindy Blackstock, executive director of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society who helped win a compensation case for residential school survivors.