Ending environmental racism with these seven practices

On this International Day for the Elimination of Racism, CAPE introduces you to one of our outstanding changemakers and board members, Dr. Ojistoh Kanawahere Horn, a Mohawk woman and family physician serving the border community of Akwesasne, ON/QC. 

Dr. Horn is recognized globally as a leader on environment and health. Following her lead, we are sharing with you some of her stories and work that remind us as human beings of our place within nature, through Indigenous ways of knowing and experience.

Let us guide you with seven practices to help eliminate environmental racism: listen, learn, collaborate, act, advocate, share, and give. Support our work so that we can secure the right to a healthy environment, free of racism.


In April 2021, CAPE launched a three-part virtual webinar series: “Environmental Racism in Canada.” The first video is an introduction to the key issues that have led the environmental movement to focus on the work needed to address environmental justice. The speakers are Dr. Horn and Dr. Ingrid Waldron. Dr. Waldron is a Black woman and Canada’s preeminent scholar in this field and co-founder of the Canadian Coalition for Environmental and Climate Justice. Have a listen! 

In February 2022, Dr. Horn published in The Lancet as co-author of the milestone paper, “The determinants of planetary health: an Indigenous consensus perspective.” This work is the outcome of a group of Indigenous scholars, practitioners, land and water defenders, respected Elders, and knowledge-holders that came together to define the determinants of planetary health from an Indigenous perspective. Three overarching levels of interconnected determinants, in addition to ten individual-level determinants, were identified as being integral to the health and sustainability of the planet, Mother Earth. Dr. Horn wishes to thank this coalition for their collaboration: Nicole Redvers, ND, Yuria Celidwen, PhD, Clinton Schultz, PhD, Cicilia Githaiga, MA, Melissa Vera, RN, Marlikka Perdrisat, BComm, Lynn Mad Plume, MPH, Daniel Kobei, MBA, Myrna Cunningham Kain, MD, Anne Poelina, PhD, Juan Nelson Rojas, Be’sha Blondin.


CAPE collaborates with and amplifies the work of BIPOC communities and organizations through our participation in the Canadian Coalition for Environmental and Climate Justice and the Coalition for Environmental Rights. Are you curious about these efforts or interested in becoming involved but don’t know how? Ask us and we can connect you with other like-minded people working on these issues.  


CAPE has heeded the call to action on environmental racism by including environmental justice as a lens and strategic goal for our work. Environmental justice is a desired outcome of our work but it is also a process of untangling oppression where we find it. Our next steps include holding more conversation, setting clear intentions, establishing new policies, building and adapting our practices, engaging the community, and collaborating to make this change a reality. 


You can make an impact right now by joining environmental justice advocates taking action to ensure Bill C-226 is fast tracked and given unanimous consent in the House of Commons! Visit our campaign page to choose your next steps. 

Bill C-226 will be an effective legislative tool for addressing environmental racism in Indigenous, Black, and other racialized communities across Canada. The Prime Minister and the Minister of Environment have already announced their support for this bill in the House and on social media. Now we need to encourage cross-party support for Bill C-226 and consent from all political parties to fast track the bill through Parliament.


Share with us any initiatives and lessons that you are implementing to build equity, diversity, and justice in your work and communities. We would love to track the CAPE community’s impact and communicate your stories with thousands of other people who share in this mission. 


In 2021, gifts from donors, not grants, made up over half of our income. Every time that you make a donation to CAPE, we are able to expand our planning, programming, staffing, and capacity for changemaking. As we listen to your input and feedback, you help us to determine the focus for our work, and we are grateful. Please give today for environmental justice!