Radio — Environmental organizing across distance: Lessons from Northwatch

On this week’s episode of Talking Radical Radio, organizer Brennain Lloyd talks about her work with Northwatch, a 25-year-old coalition in northeastern Ontario that has tackled a broad range of environmental and social issues.

A perpetual problem for social movements in Canada with goals beyond the purely local is the sheer size of the country. Even with today’s information technology, the distances involved provide major logistical obstacles to effective collaboration. Lloyd talks about how her group has navigated these challenges for the last two and a half decades. The region that Northwatch spans — northeastern Ontario — is a territory of about a quarter of a million square kilometres with only half a million people spread through it, including a few small cities, many smaller communities, and lots of First Nations. The group was founded in 1988 with the merger of two networks, one concerned primarily with peace and development and the other focused on environmental concerns. Today, the group’s activities are mostly related to a range of environmental issues with regional impacts. Lloyd talks about the organization, how it has approached doing the work that it does over such a large area, their current involvement in community opposition to efforts to site a nuclear waste storage facility in the region, and the various ways the group has worked over the years with the many First Nations whose traditional territories currently bear the colonial label “northeastern Ontario.”


To learn more about Northwatch, click here.

Talking Radical Radio brings you grassroots voices from across Canada through in-depth interviews that concentrate not on current events or the crisis of the moment, but on giving people involved in a broad range of social change work a chance to take a longer view as they talk about what they do, how they do it, and why they do it. To learn more about the show in general, click here.

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Talking Radical Radio is brought to you by Scott Neigh, a writer, media producer, and activist based in Sudbury, Ontario, and the author of two books examining Canadian history through the stories of activists.

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