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Why Protecting Indigenous Land Matters to All of Us

By Jon Sievert

In a follow-up to last week’s service that focused on protecting Mexican ejido lands from exploitation by extractive energy industries, Georgeann Johnson expands the discussion to include indigenous protests of practices that contribute to climate change in all of the Americas at this week’s Unitarian Universalist Fellowship service.

UU Service
By Georgeann Johnson
Sun, May 31, 10:30am
La Posada de la Aldea
Ancha de San Antonio 15

Johnson will discuss the effectiveness of the work of Idle No More, a Canadian protest movement fighting for indigenous sovereignty and rights with goals that include stopping environmental degradation and economic and social inequality. Founded in 2012 by four women, it is a grassroots movement among the Canadian aboriginal peoples comprising the First Nations, Métis, and Inuit and their non-aboriginal supporters. It has consisted of a number of political actions worldwide. Additionally, Johnson will address the Alberta Tar Sands issues, mining in Guatemala, and oil company exploration and drilling in Sarayaku, Ecuador, where the natives have made ecotourism a way of living. The Sarayaku people accuse the oil companies of ethnocide since the industry, from the people’s perspective, will ruin their subsistence-level economical, cultural, nutritive, ecological, and spiritual lives. In addition it will undermine the social balance in the community.

Georgeann Johnson is a Texas native who first visited San Miguel in 1958 with her family. She continued to return regularly each summer and Christmas until moving here full-time in 1991. She describes herself as a “visionary activist” and has backed that up as an organizer of Women’s Spirituality Workshops, an originator and co-founder of Mujeres en Cambio, a founder and principal of the local chapter of Bioneers, and a scholar of Mayan history and philosophy.

The UU Fellowship meets every Sunday at 10:30am at La Posada de la Aldea, Ancha de San Antonio 15 and welcomes people of all ages, races, religions, sexual orientation, and gender identity. Visitors are invited to attend the service and then join the UUs for coffee and snacks afterwards. The room is wheelchair accessible. For more information, visit our website at


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