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Melina  Laboucan-Massimo

Melina Laboucan-Massimo

Climate Justice, Renewable Energy & Indigenous Rights Advocate

Biography

Melina Laboucan-Massimo is an internationally renowned advocate for climate justice, Indigenous sovereignty and women's rights. Melina is Lubicon Cree from Northern Alberta, Canada. She is the Founder of Sacred Earth Solar, co-founder and Just Transition Director at Indigenous Climate Action and a Climate Fellow at the David Suzuki Foundation. She is the Host of a new TV series called Power to the People which profiles renewable energy in Indigenous communities. Melina holds a Master’s degree in Indigenous Governance at the University of Victoria with a focus on Renewable Energy. As a part of her Master’s thesis Melina implemented a 20.8 kW solar project in her home community of Little Buffalo which powers the health centre in the heart of the tar sands. Read More >

In 2021, Melina was named one of the 26 Climate Champions in Canada by the Canada Climate Law Initiative. She has also been recognized for her work throughout the years, being profiled and named as a social & climate justice influencer in Global Citizen, Elle Magazine, Chatelaine, Flare, CBC, 350.org and Refinery29. She received the Canadian Eco-Hero Award in 2019 by Planet in Focus. 

For the past 20 years, Melina has campaigned to build brighter futures alongside icons including Jane Fonda, David Suzuki, Bill McKibben and Naomi Klein. She has been invited to speak before hundreds of audiences over the years including in the US Congress, the Harvard Law Forum, in British Parliament and numerous international organizations like Amnesty International while campaigning globally for climate justice. 

Her extensive advocacy is deeply rooted in her first-hand experience as an Indigenous woman. The impacts of the oil tar sands on her home community compelled her to be a strong voice from a young age. It is from her love for her community and for Mother Earth that she draws her convictions to stand up for environmental rights, climate justice, and Indigenous-led movement building. Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

United Shades of America Interview | CNN

A Just Transition to an Equitable Future

The World is Watching

Power to the People

Violence Against the Earth is Violence Against Women

On the Pervasiveness of Western Culture

Speech Topics

Climate Justice, Gender Equality, & Indigenous Rights

The path toward a cleaner, safer and more just world means reconciliation with all women, girls and Mother Nature alike. If we are serious about social equity for all women and girls - especially Indigenous women - we must recognize that violence against Earth is violence against women.

Melina speaks on the need to unpack the patriarchal, racist and colonial mentalities of our societies to move towards justice. In this talk, she addresses the reasons why Indigenous women’s lives are not valued and how that devaluation is related to the devaluation of our natural world — which Indigenous Peoples call Mother Earth.

Community Based Solar & Energy Sovereignty

In this talk, Melina shares how Indigenous communities are implementing clean energy projects, and how women in particular are creating climate solutions critical to addressing the growing impacts of climate change. Indigenous communities are on the frontlines of fighting resource extraction and climate change, but they are also on the frontlines of solutions. Growing up in one of the world’s most intensive fossil fuel extraction zones on the planet in the Alberta tar sands, Melina became increasingly aware that our current global energy strategy is unsustainable. After witnessing a massive oil spill in her home community, she dedicated her advocacy work to building renewable energy solutions that are key to a community’s health and vitality.

A Just Transition to an Equitable Future

A Just Transition places Indigenous communities at the forefront of the energy transition to ensure that our future energy system does not reproduce the imbalances and inequities of the current one. Indigenous Peoples are already leading the way towards this transition. Melina shares evocative stories of climate action taking place across North America.

Reimagining our Relationships & Communities

How do we create a future that is rooted in sustainability and reciprocal relationships with the Natural world? Read More >

For us to truly solve the climate crisis — we need a global paradigm shift back to understanding and living within the natural laws of our Earth. We must relearn how to live in reciprocity with the land. It comes as no surprise, as indicated by our current climate crisis that humans do not have dominion over the Earth. Our relationship with the Natural world cannot be a transactional one, we have seen this fail time and time again.

There needs to be a widespread understanding of what Indigenous Peoples have always known. What we do to the land, we do to ourselves. Humanity has lost this sacred connection to the Earth — this is why we are now living in an era of consequence. Read Less ^