The Sustainability Collective, Common Energy, and UBCC350 held a book party celebrating the power of story and justice. Lindsay Borrows, author of the newly released Otter’s Journey through Indigenous Language and Law, and Grace Nosek, author of the Ava of the Gaia series, shared stories and insights from their  new books and why and how they use story in pursuit of environmental and social justice.

Lindsay Borrows is a member of the Chippewas of Nawash First Nation. Her community of story-tellers raised her to embrace the Anishinaabe concept of mino-bimaadziwin, ‘the way of a good life’. Her love for the land, water and story-telling inspired her to explore law as a way to strengthen relationships between humans and non-humans in the spaces we call home.  She is currently a lawyer at West Coast Environmental Law where she works on the RELAW (Revitalizing Indigenous Laws for Land, Air and Water) Project.

In Otter’s Journey, Borrows employs the Anishinaabe tradition of storytelling to explore how Indigenous language revitalization can inform the emerging field of Indigenous legal revitalization. She follows Otter, a dodem (clan) relation from the Chippewas of Nawash First Nation, on a journey across Anishinaabe, Inuit, Māori, Coast Salish, and Abenaki territories, through a narrative of Indigenous resurgence. In doing so she reveals that the processes, philosophies, and practices flowing from Indigenous languages and laws can emerge from under the layers of colonial laws, policies, and languages to become guiding principles in people’s contemporary lives.

Grace Nosek is currently pursuing her PhD in law at the University of British Columbia, studying how to use law to protect climate change science from manufactured doubt. She is fascinated by the intersection of law and story and focuses her research on how law can tell better stories in the pursuit of environmental and social justice. She holds a B.A. from Rice University and law degrees from Harvard Law School and the University of British Columbia.

Ava’s War is third and final book in the Ava of the Gaia series—entertaining, hopeful young adult fantasy books animated by explorations of environmentalism, climate change, animal welfare, and gender.

This event took place on the traditional, unceded, occupied territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Nation.

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