'Volunteering is about trying, not perfection': rabble rouser Maureen Huot

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Image: Maureen Huot. Used with permission.

In December, we at rabble.ca asked "What are the organizations that inspire you? Who are the activists leading progressive change? Who are the rabble rousers to watch in 2021?" And you responded. Over the next while, we'll be running both print and audio features about the people and organizations you nominated. Follow our rabble rousers to watch here.

Today on rabble radio's rabble rousers to watch series, we go to Regina to talk to Maureen Huot. Maureen currently has gained media attention because of a petition to declare the west lawn of the Regina legislature as a space for Indigenous peoples.She is working in consultation with signatories of her petition: Elders and Matriarchs, educators, artists,  and Saskatoon NDP MLA and Opposition critic for First Nations and Métis Relations and Truth and Reconciliation, Betty Nippi-Albright. Maureen is a consummate ally, having worked with youth setting up climate strikes in Saskatchewan,  with First Nations communities towards the goal of environmental justice and sustainability, and a whole lot more.

On September 19 way back in 2019, rabble podcast producer and host Victoria Fenner did a panel discussion with a group of students about the work they were all doing organizing climate strikes. Maureen was one of the guests on that show. She's not the same age as the students by a few decades, but we included her in the conversation as an adult ally. That's something that Maureen does well.

Maureen's activism is multifaceted and wide-ranging. She is a founding member of EnviroCollective, a grassroots initiative to promote action for climate change. She's also involved in health issues and food sovereignty. She is a person with a disability, and is interested in any issue which improves our collective and individual quality of life.

In her own words:

"When my friend Shanon Zachidniak invited me to what has become EnviroCollective, I never knew how deeply it would resonate with me, what an impact we could have, or what other opportunities it would lead to. Volunteering is about trying, not perfection; capacity is not the same as competency. What really matters are the connections, the collaborating, and maintaining credibility. Many non-profit groups hold integral pieces of the environmental puzzle, and typically have to do more with less against well-funded opposition. Creating a bridge between the knowledge and efforts of Indigenous peoples and settler descendants can change the current unsustainable trajectory of our planet and society; we are all Treaty people."

The  conversation starts with some reflections about her rabble rousers to watch nomination and it what it means to her.

Image: Maureen Huot. Used with permission.

Music: Karl Nerenberg/La touladie en hiver. Used with permission.

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