Vanessa Gray (she/her) is a 28-year-old queer Anishinaabe kwe from the Aamjiwnaang First Nation, located in Canada’s Chemical Valley. As a grassroots organizer, land defender, and educator, Vanessa works to decolonize environmental justice research by linking scholarly findings to traditional teachings. Vanessa is a co-founder of Aamjiwnaang & Sarnia Against Pipelines (ASAP), host of the annual Toxic Tour of Canada’s Chemical Valley. She continues to take part in a diversity of tactics such as direct action, classroom lectures, co-hosting Toxic Tours and Water Gatherings.
“Growing up in Aamjiwnaang surrounded by petrochemical refineries has always made me question my relationship to the environment. Being Indigenous in Canada continues to be the struggle to uphold my responsibility to the Anishinaabek Territory. Education and understanding our interconnected struggles is essential to our ever-growing movement, but we can’t afford not to take risks for a sustainable and just future.”