Tiny House Warriors is a First Nations-led group fighting expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline on unceded Secwepemc territory. They had a vision that they were going to stop this pipeline and the way they were going to do it was to build tiny houses along the new pipeline’s path which is on Secwepemc territory, to say no to the TMX pipeline and no to all the dangers that are associated with the construction of pipelines on and near Indigenous communities and territory. They have been building Tiny Houses on their homelands since 2017 with a clear intention to stop this pipeline. The Tiny House Warriors are many but namely the family of Kanahus Manuel and Mayuk Manuel, have propelled this movement forward.
On Tuesday, November 9th 2021, Tiny House Warriors won the Carole Geller Human Rights Award and $15,000 in recognition of their resistance work to protect their homelands. In an article with Canada’s National Observer, Kanahus Manuel recognizes her late father Arther Manuel who was a leader and activist known for writing The Reconciliation Manifesto and Unsettling Canada – both can be found here – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25631772-unsettling-canada
Kanahus said her later father would always say “it’s the land and self determination that we are fighting for. As human rights defenders, we know that as Indigenous people, we have a right to land, and we have a right to self-determination. And that includes homes, and that includes exclusively going and living on our territory without the interference from Canada or the colonial government.”
This award is a huge win not only for Tiny House Warriors but a huge win for all Indigenous land and water defenders across colonial borders. This award celebrates the hard labor and relentless dedication the people of Secwepemc territory have given their life to protect. This award is about the possibility of the TMX pipeline being stopped. Recognition matters, because it shows our opposition that we are not alone and people are paying attention and are here to support our causes. Congratulations to the Tiny House Warriors on this recognition and award. It’s not enough but it’s a start.