PEOPLE ON THE PATH

People on the Path is a collaborative art installation that has been created in resistance to continued fossil fuel expansion and instead presents a hopeful vision for the sustainable, justice based future that we want to see.

"People on the Path” showcases a cross-section of real people from across the province. We have had people submit their photos from across sectors and of all ages, backgrounds and genders. We have transformed each photo into an impactful, larger-than-life painted portrait and alongside the painting we have included a quote from the person.

Together, these portraits are a powerful statement of the future we want to build in Alberta – one which respects Indigenous rights, puts workers first, and honours our obligations to the world and protects our land, forest and water.

Alvin

Alvin was born and raised in Alberta. He has worked in oil and gas, as have many of his friends and family. Alvin has gotten to know people from all over the province with similar backgrounds. His community’s history has largely been shaped by the industry.

Why did you choose to participate in People on the Path?
I'm tired of this project being portrayed as supporting working people. I don't want the harm it's going to cause to be carried out in my name.

What is your vision for the future of Alberta?
Workers deserve better than false pipeline promises. Instead we will invest in retraining and community supports for the coming transition, and we make the oil and gas employers pay for it. We properly support building trades union members with unionized public infrastructure construction, and an end to double breasting. We expand universal public services to better support all working people and create good low carbon jobs. We no longer find it acceptable to put industry above human rights and start putting the principles of UNDRIP into practice.

BATUL GULAMHUSEIN

Batul is a racialized settler from an immigrant family. Her family are settlers from unceded, stolen Maasai and Kikuyu territory in East Africa. Batul is a political organizer in amiskwaciwâskahikan and is passionate about addressing the roots of criminalization, building capacity in marginalized communities and supporting the decolonization work of Indigenous communities whose land she lives on.

Why did you choose to participate in People on the Path?
There is no climate justice without decolonization. We cannot build a pipeline without enthusiastic Indigenous consent.

What is your vision for the future of Alberta?
As a settler, I do not get to determine the future of this land. However, building a sustainable, justice-based future must involve acting in solidarity with the Indigenous communities whose lands we live on. We cannot have justice without decolonization. The land must be returned for a justice-based sustainable future.

HEATHER SEESEEQUASIS

Heather is from Beardy’s and Okemasis First Nations in Treaty 6 Territory. She is Plains Cree and her hobbies include designing, crafting, and spending time with family and friends. Heather was raised Catholic and is now more into her Cree Culture.

Why did you choose to participate in People on the Path?
Because I support clean energy and the respect of Indigenous Rights.

What is your vision for the future of Alberta?
If I had a vision for the future of Alberta, it would be only using clean and sustainable energy. If we were to go back to respecting our Mother by giving more than taking. To respect the treaties that were signed by our ancestors and keep the rivers flowing, the sun shining and the grass growing.

 

kATE JACOBSON

Kate is an immigrant & settler on Treaty 7 territory in Calgary, where she works in non-profit management, research data centres, produces a podcast and organizes tenants. Kate is determined to stop the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion because she is a socialist who believes that our future should be safeguarded for everyone & not sacrificed to the whims of a parasitic ownership class.

Why did you choose to participate in People on the Path?
In Calgary, the impact & money of oil sands extraction is impossible to deny. But even here, it's important to show that many people are willing to take action to stop the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. I will not forfeit my right to a livable climate to the profits of private companies. The fight to stop the trans mountain pipeline expansion is about stopping the pipeline being built, but it is also about creating a world for us all to live in for generations to come. There are no jobs on a dead planet

What is your vision for the future of Alberta?
The future can and should be built with a green jobs guarantee, democratized energy sources, honoured treaties with Indigenous nations, infrastructure retrofit, retraining workers in extractive industries, government investment in low-carbon industries like public transit and universal childcare, and much more. Another world is possible.

LUNa

Luna is a junior high school student living in Edmonton, Alberta.

Why did you choose to participate in People on the Path?
I think this is an important issue.

What is your vision for the future of Alberta?
I want to grow up in a safe and healthy environment. I want our leaders to help us find new sources of energy so that the generations after me will have clean air and water.


NIPAHKWÊSIMOWIN PÂHPIMOTEHT

“Tânsi, Nipahkwêsimowin Pâhpimoteht nitisiyihkâson, Kayahtê Kiskaciwan ohci niya.”
Ambrose Cardinal is a Michif Oskapewis from Prince Albert Saskatchewan. His journey of internal reclamation has allowed him take on many different roles and learn from many different people. He is currently going into his fourth year of his Kinesiology degree which has privileged him with many opportunities.

For the past year Nipahkwêsimowin has been creating Nantâwihiwêwin, a "zine" based around the Medicine wheel for Institutionalized Indigenous peoples. Although Nantâwihiwêwin is taking the form of a community based publication, Nipahkwêsimowin has aspirations in creating community based programs around the concepts within the "zine"

Why did you choose to participate in People on the Path?
I want to show my solidarity for my brothers and sisters fighting the Kinder Morgan Pipeline firsthand. I want this portrait to symbolize the every day acts of resurgence that our young people are portraying.

What is your vision for the future of Alberta?
I picture a radically different society that honors the integrity of peoples lived experiences. A society that has dissolved the inherent plague of white supremacy which has formed and continues to form this country. I envision a society that values and has acted upon repatriation of stolen land, where indigenous people are valued. A society that treats all children as their own, that values the medicine wheel of all people. A place that does not solely value the profits of holistic Indigenous genocide. A place where all two-leggeds, four-leggeds, flyers, crawlers, swimmers and mother earth have the same fundamental rights and freedoms as wealthy white men.

 

REGAN BOYCHUK

Regan has a BA in international relations from the University of Calgary and an MA in political science from York University. He worked as a rough neck on a service rig in southern Alberta and as an analyst at an oilfield service technology development company before joining the University of Alberta's Parkland Institute as a research manager, where he published peer-reviewed work on oilfield profits and royalties. Regan left Parkland to pursue an opportunity with another oilfield technology start-up. He has continued and expanded on his research on royalties, has advised the current finance minister on such issues, and has served on the oil sands expert group that advised the last royalty review panel. After the panel's report closed the issue for the foreseeable future, Regan shifted his focus to putting Albertans back to work cleaning up the immense backlog of unreclaimed wells in Alberta.

What is your vision for the future of Alberta?
“Imagine an Alberta where polluters are held accountable and there are safe and secure jobs for everyone. Imagine healing the land through reclamation, and beginning to rebalance the scales of justice with Indigenous communities. Winding down insolvent oil and gas producers will provide the opportunity to begin decades of needed cleanup work and the remaining viable wells could provide the needed funding while still limiting ourselves to what can be produced within our carbon budget.”

TINA OH

Tina is currently based in Sackville, New Brunswick on unceded Mi’kmaq territory but was born and raised on Treaty 6 territory in Edmonton, Alberta. Tina grew up in south-end Edmonton after her family immigrated from South Korea when she was two years old. She is now a Masters candidate at Dalhousie University, where she researches food insecurity and Canadian landscapes in the era of unprecedented climate change. Tina has been named one of Canada’s Top 25 Environmentalists Under 25. She still refers to the City of Champions as home.

Why did you choose to participate in People on the Path?
I am tired of Albertans being painted as a monolith when it comes to fossil fuel projects and its expansion. There are working class Albertans who oppose the Kinder Morgan pipeline and their voices equally deserve to be heard.

What is your vision for the future of Alberta?
I imagine a future where Alberta will thrive in the era of clean energy after successful interventions of jobs training and up-skilling for oilsands workers. This just transition acknowledges the responsibility that this community has to the tens of thousands of Albertan workers and families employed by the sunset industry. With a healthier environment and stronger community, my Alberta is a leader in the face of climate change adaptation, reconciliation, and clean energy.


Violet Cheechum

Violet Cheechum is a member and elder of Fort McMurray First Nation. Her grandfather was chief of the Nation for thirty years— the longest-standing chief Violet knows of. Her grandfather was paid $25 a year; a small amount to look after the people. Violet grew up on the Fort McMurray / Anzac reserve and spent four years at 'Holy Angel' school in Fort Chipewyan— a school that she says was far from holy. Violet moved back to Fort MacMurray First Nation about forty years ago. She loves her reserve but thinks there needs to be more understanding of what should happen on the reservation.

Why did you choose to participate in People on the Path?
I have talked an awful lot about how [the oil industry] spoils our land and leaves it in a mess. They take us in a chopper to look at the land, and they show us these squares of wells— they take up so much land, the animals have no where to live and survive on. People on the reservation have no where else to go because this is our home. This is my home, and this is the way I want it, hopefully untouched, but it's too late for that.

What is your vision for the future of Alberta?
I would like people to be able to get together and discuss all these things, so we can all tell our parts. Maybe if I tell mine, they will take a hint - look after your land, guard it and keep it. Mother Nature didn't expect you to do this to spoil the land like this for the animals and people who want to live in it, the birds can't even fly over anymore because of the smell and the dangers. The rivers that are all polluted, the creeks that you can't use any more. We have to buy water now, we never had to buy water before, we moved to be close to water we could use. Water is our life, same with air, same with sunshine ... even the sun is getting covered with clouds of oil. Can we not live in peace and harmony with other people?

 

WAYNE GROOT

Wayne is a farmer of some wonderful soils in and next to the Industrial Heartland in Alberta. Wayne believes our earth is something sacred, and worthy of respect and that our North American lifestyles don’t currently honour this. He believes that we must be thoughtful and modest in the way we live; filled with respect for all of creation.

Why did you choose to participate in People on the Path?
I want people to know that I love our natural world and I am ready to let everyone know that we cannot carry on as we have in the past.

What is your vision for the future of Alberta?
I believe in an Alberta where everything and everyone is considered sacred and worthy of respect. Citizens will consider how their lifestyles will impact the people and world around them. We can live more thoughtful and modest lives, reducing our ecological footprints through the use of renewable resources, not just sustaining but regenerating the world around us. Our goal is that all of creation will flourish.

WENDY AND EMBER

Wendy was born and raised in Edmonton into a beautiful and loving family. Wendy is a woman who feels grateful and blessed by the love of the Creator, the community around her and the nature she experiences. Wendy is a mother, gardener, believer, activist, photographer, graphic designer, working to advocate for the people and nature of our world that doesn't have a voice. Wendy is a woman who is devoted to showing respect and love, and seeks peace and justice for all things. She believes that behind every face, every forest, every landscape, every action, there is a voice or a spirit. In all that she does her desire is to honour and respect that voice.

Why did you choose to participate in People on the Path?
I believe that people need to hear the new ideas and visions held by Albertans, and see that there is a collective voice standing alongside the indigenous peoples and nature that is affected by the pipeline and the continued expansion of the fossil fuel industry. Plus, People on the Path is a new and unique and approach to publicize people’s ideas and opinions!

What is your vision for the future of Alberta?
I envision an Alberta where proper respect for nature and it's conservation is at the forefront of our conversations on energy expansion. I envision a place where all peoples are respected and the rights of indigenous nations are not trampled on. I envision an Alberta where all land and nature is sacred. I envision a province that is a leader in renewable energy. Where we treat this land and all its life as a gift, and do not exploit it. My hopes for my community is that we can connect and see eye to eye. An Alberta where peace, love, and respect guide our decisions. For Ember I want an Alberta where she can see hope in our planet. My children will live in an Alberta/community that lives in a loving response to creation.





Stay tuned for more people on the path…