In our sixth episode of the Courage My Friends podcast, series 4; Ana Guerra Marin, communities director and just transition lead, and lead Indigenous researcher, Dara Wawaite-Chabot discuss the mission of worker-founded Iron & Earth to create pathways for workers from traditional (carbon-based) energy jobs to jobs within renewable energy sectors and how green transition meets climate justice when it comes to the needs of workers, Indigenous communities and the country.

According to Guerra Marin:

“Iron Earth started in the oil sands in Alberta, where some workers were concerned about one of the many boom and busts of the industry cycle. They were also concerned about what they were seeing with the environment … [O]ur mission and vision … right now is to empower fossil fuel workers and Indigenous workers to build and implement the climate solutions required to transition. It’s not just the workers. The workers, their family. When a refinery shuts down in a town that affects commerce, education, churches, it affects everything … So we are currently in the process of doing that internal work. Our audience right now is workers, their communities and Indigenous peoples across nations and urban centers.”

Wawatie-Chabot explains:

“I work from an Indigenous perspective, given that I’m Algonquin Anishnaabe. I have grown up on the land with my family and I have that relationship with my communities that I’m from … To do any of this work in a just way requires acknowledging the history that Canada has socially, historically, economically, with Indigenous peoples across this land. So what that means for me, is that these relationships are our primary focus.We don’t just meet with Indigenous people, we meet with politicians, educators, community leaders, different organizers and frontline activists so that we can assess the needs of everyone living in so-called Canada. The principles around this are really just to highlight the holistic nature of the work that we do. And ensuring a future for all really does mean for all. It’s not exclusive.”

About the speakers:

Ana Guerra Marin, communities director and just transition lead, started her career in Colombia, listening to and empowering oil, gas and mining workers at various work sites through forming partnerships and understanding worker issues. As Marin delved into the extractive industries, she became more aware of how important it is to address the environmental and socio-economic impacts she was witnessing, and how urgent it is to create long-lasting solutions rooted in community-based initiatives that focus on the most vulnerable persons.

This started a 15-year career focused on helping communities achieve self-determination through social and environmental justice in Latin America and Canada. As a white, cisgender, immigrant woman with invisible disabilities, Marin recognizes her position in the world and challenges societal ideas by creating transformative change through a praxis informed by intersectional and Black feminism, womanism, critical race theory, Indigenous Peoples’ knowledge, decolonization, and critical consciousness.

Dara Wawaite-Chabot, Indigenous lead researcher, is a single parent who studies political science full-time at the University of Ottawa and works part-time for Iron & Earth. They support their small family by creating art and working remote contracts fighting for environmental justice in so-called Canada.

Transcript of this episode can be accessed at or here.

Image: Ana Guerra Marin and Dara Wawaite-Chabot / Used with permission.

Music: Ang Kahora. Lynne, Bjorn. Rights Purchased.

Intro Voices: Ashley Booth (Podcast Announcer); Bob Luker (Tommy); Injila Rajab Khan and Danesh Hanbury (Street Voices)

Courage My Friends podcast organizing committee: Chandra Budhu, Ashley Booth, Resh Budhu.

Produced by: Resh Budhu, Tommy Douglas Institute and Breanne Doyle,

Special Thanks to Joel Ornoy, Iron and Earth

Host: Resh Budhu.

Needs No Introduction

A series of speeches and lectures from the finest minds of our time. Fresh ideas from speakers of note.