Art Sterritt is the leader of the Coastal First Nations, an indigenous fronted NGO that’s received millions of dollars of grants from the TIDES Foundation, David & Lucile Packard Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers Fund and the Betty Moore Foundation. Business must be good these days, and as they say, money corrupts. Earlier this year Sterritt was caught parking his shiny late model BMW to an oil protest.
Sterritt was at (fellow foundation grant recipient) Stanford University Law School today where he was given the Bright Award, an annual event giving a $100,000 cheque to an “individual who has made significant contributions in the environmental preservation and sustainability area.” Sounds like a good time to upgrade to an Aston Martin!
Speaking to a reporter in the New York Times about an hour ago (their story has yet to be published), Sterritt explained how he was recommended for the award by University of Victoria law professor Calvin Sandborn- the director of UVIC’s Environmental Law Centre. Sandborn has an interesting history.
An observer at the event commented saying “I feel he is a dangerous man he talks of we– and points his fingers–extremely angry guy”. One of his statements sounded rather backwards, explaining that resource companies shouldn’t come to indigenous communities with proposals, but should wait until proposals are brought to them. When referring to the environment he called the air “our air”. Lots of racial privilege in his voice.
Sterritt also commented how he was speaking with an organization in San Francisco looking for more funding.
His sponsor Calvin Sandborn is an extremely interesting character. He was the legal representative for the radical & militant BC Farmworkers Union in the early 70’s. He later moved on to helping start the Downtown Eastside Residents Association (DERA), a Vancouver housing agency that went down in flames after a scandal not too different to the recent downfall of the Portland Housing Society. DERA was also closely related to the militant Anti-Poverty Committee, led by violence promoter Harsha Walia, and a group behind the violence at the 2010 Olympics.
Prior to his current position at UVIC Sanborn worked with Westcoast Environmental Law, a charity currently being investigated by the CRA for their political activities. Both organizations have something in-common, they’ve hosted and/or sponsored Victoria’s most well-known wannabe eco-terrorist Zoe Blunt (who has also received funds from TIDES).
There are lots of interesting characters in the environmentalist community, that’s for sure….