First Nations activist receives international peace prize
Judy DaSilva is a key player in Grassy Narrow's decade-long logging blockade
A First Nations rights activist from Grassy Narrows is getting international recognition.
Judy DaSilva received the Michael Sattler Peace Prize from the German Mennonite Peace Committee this week.
In a news release Lorens Theissen van Esch of the German Mennonite Peace Committee said: "We want to award the prize to Judy DaSilva in order to honour the nonviolent resistance of the Grassy Narrows First Nation against the destruction of nature and for the preservation of their Indigenous culture."
DaSilva travelled to Germany to receive the honour and couldn't be reached for comment, but a First Nations councillor from Grassy Narrows said the community is proud of DaSilva for standing up against clear-cut logging.
"It wasn't that long ago that I think our people started realizing that we did have rights and that we're equally parts of Canadian society," Lucille McKenzie said. "I think that she enforces that in the work that she does."
But McKenzie says there is still work to be done, as the government is making plans to resume logging in the First Nation's traditional territory — against Grassy Narrows’ wishes.
The news release describes DaSilva as a mother of five children, a "humble, passionate and relentless" advocate who has helped her community suspend logging on Grassy Narrows territory for nearly five years.