The first Earth Day was held was on April 22, 1970. Now, more than one billion people around the world participate in Earth Day activities each year. Volunteers from Sustainable Trent have recently extended an invitation to attend their annual Early Earth Week 2013, which is running from March 18 – 22.

Sustainable Trent will be hosting a series of Early Earth Week Events on campus all week, and have specifically planned that the following organizations, The Council of Canadians (Peterborough Chapter), Community and Race Relations Committee of Peterborough, B!KE: The Community Cycling Hub, Kawartha World Issues Centre (KWIC), Trent Oxfam, Transition Town Peterborough, and many leaders in environmental sustainability will be present from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. in the Champlain Great Hall for Early Earth Day on Thursday, March 21.

“There is just so much work to do,” explained Sustainable Trent Co-Coordinator Julian Tennentt-Riddell. “Sustainability won’t be brought about unless we connect with other groups and organizations. This week is a chance to do just that.”

One of the goals of Early Earth Week is to celebrate and promote organizations creating positive change for social and environmental justice within the Trent, Nogojiiwanong, and Peterborough community, as well as to inform students on important environmental issues, and share ideas on how to get actively involved. A series of talks and discussions are planned to be held throughout the week, including a speech by Clayton Thomas Muller scheduled for Tuesday, March 19 titled “Resisting Tar Sands and Pipelines: The Growing Movement for Environmental Justice on Turtle Island.”

Muller is Co-Director of the Indigenous Tar Sands Campaign at the Polaris Institute. As a Grassroots Indigenous environmental justice activist, Muller will be voicing his thoughts on industrial genocide, powerful resistance movements rising up in defense of Indigenous sovereignty, and how the Canadian government and corporations are continuing to “pursue the expansion of the largest and most destructive industrial project on earth, the tar sands of Alberta.” Muller will be speaking in The Gathering Space, First Peoples House of Learning (Gzowski) from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.

Later in the week on Wednesday, March 22 a Food First speaker will be present in the Champlain Great Hall at 4:00 p.m. Further into the evening at a location TBA, an event sponsored by Canadians for Mining Awareness will take place on the social and environmental impacts of Canadian mining in El Salvador.

Canadians for Mining Awareness is a member of Ontario Public Interest Research Group (OPIRG) Peterborough, and works towards promoting discussion on behalf of the rights of sovereign nations and Indigenous peoples around the world in their efforts to protect both land and livelihood from feeling the effects of harmful mining practices. The talk will examine the violation of human and environmental rights that frequently accompany the exploration and extraction processes of Canadian mining.

As Earth Day approaches, events are being held in over 175 countries worldwide to increase awareness and appreciation of the Earth’s natural environment and beauty. On behalf of Trent University, Sustainable Trent looks forward to seeing students and people from the Peterborough community out and about to celebrate Early Earth Week 2013.

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Jen is a third year Indigenous Studies and English undergrad, and has been writing for Arthur since 2012. She has written dramatic pieces performed in Nozem theatre for Anishinaabe Maanjiidwin, been published in small alternative magazines, and is currently developing a book of self-positivity poetry in partnership with local Peterborough youth. In addition to spending her time writing essays, short stories, and articles, Jen can also be found devouring sushi at local restaurants downtown or sipping one too many cups of coffee by the river.