A painting of Rainbow Eyes
Rainbow Eyes | Artist credit to Marnie Recker

Each year, we here at rabble ask our readers: “What are the organizations that inspire you? Who are the activists leading progressive change? Who are the rabble rousers to watch?” And every year, your responses introduce us to a new group of inspiring change-makers. This is our ‘rabble rousers to watch’ series. Over the next few months, we’ll be sharing features about the people and organizations you nominated. Follow our rabble rousers to watch here

We kick off our 2022 ‘rabble rousers to watch’ series with a powerhouse from the west coast.  

Meet Angela Davidson, or Rainbow Eyes. She is a member of the Da’naxda’xw-Awaetlala First Nation near Knight Inlet on Vancouver Island. Over the past year and a half, Rainbow Eyes has put her energy toward defending an old growth forest near Fairy Creek – one of the last old growth forests on Turtle Island. For her land defending, Rainbow Eyes has been arrested and jailed; but her dedication and love for the land keeps her coming back to defend this sacred place.

In June, Rainbow Eyes was appointed a Deputy Leader of the Green Party of Canada; however she prefers the more culturally respectful title of Ooh-mah An-nise, which means high ranking aunty in Kwakʼwala.

We spoke with Rainbow Eyes to talk about her work at Fairy Creek, and what inspires her to keep going. 

A conversation with Rainbow Eyes 

rabble.ca: Can you tell us about the work that you’re doing with your organization?

Rainbow Eyes: At Fairy Creek, on the traditional hunting and fishing territories of the Pacheedaht and Ditidaht First Nations, we are standing up for the last remaining old growth in B.C. and Turtle Island under the invitation of Pacheedaht Elder Bill Jones. We are standing up against our government and industry in their attempt to dominate the natural world for profit. We want people to wake up to the fact that Spirit, the forest and our ancestors are calling us to wake up from our lives that are completely disconnected from the magic the forest provides.

rabble.ca: How did you first get involved in activism?

RE: I was scrolling through Instagram and one of my favorite artists, Autumn Skye, posted about Fairy Creek and the cutting of old-growth forests on southern Vancouver Island. It took a while to prepare myself to even acknowledge something so heart wrenching was happening. 

rabble.ca: What does being nominated as a rabble rouser to watch mean to you?

RE: Being a forest defender is the new rock star. The cool thing to do is to stand up against a government and legal system that is lying to and oppressing First Nations people and all the people who live in so-called Canada. We also know mainstream media is controlled by the government while independent media is making a difference in getting what is really happening at Fairy Creek to the public. 

rabble.ca: How do you take care of yourself and find the drive to keep going? 

RE: Connection to Spirit is the greatest motivator. The beauty of nature provides when truly seen, honoured and appreciated. Spirit’s beauty and magic can help us get through the most difficult times. A few ways I connect to Spirit is by beading, reading tarot and oracle cards, growing house plants and creating beautiful spaces with feathers, sage, crystals and flowers. I also now have a forest family, we stay connected, motivate and inspire each other. 

rabble.ca: What is one goal you have in the next year? 

RE: I don’t think about it. I trust completely we are running on Creator time. The Creator knows our path. As soon as I went to Fairy Creek, followed the call of the forest, my life was on hyperdrive. So I guess my goal would be to continue to follow my heart. Which in itself takes a lot of focus and loving attention. 

rabble.ca: What do you wish people knew about the organizing you do? 

RE: In all groups, organizations, and even friendships, there are different ideas and opinions. A mantra that went through Fairy Creek was unity. We will never all be on the same page; division is a human condition. So we must begin to figure this out in order to create the Rainbow Nation. We must now because our planet is in code red and drop all the distractions pulling us from what Spirit is calling us to do. 

Mick Sweetman

Mick Sweetman is a rabble.ca contributor. His articles and photos have also been published in Alternet, Basics, The Calgary Straight, Canadian Dimension, Clamor Magazine, Industrial Worker, Linchpin,...