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2022 Event:
Clayton Thomas-Müller

Hosted by Teneya Gwin


Life in the City of Dirty Water A gritty and inspiring memoir from renowned Cree environmental activist Clayton Thomas-Müller, who escaped the world of drugs and gang life to take up the warrior’s fight against the assault on Indigenous peoples’ lands—and eventually the warrior’s spirituality.

About Clayton Thomas-Müller

Clayton Thomas-Müller is a member of the Treaty #6-based Mathias Colomb Cree Nation, also known as Pukatawagan, located in Northern Manitoba. He is a campaigner for, a global movement that’s responding to the climate crisis. He has campaigned on behalf of Indigenous peoples around the world for more than 20 years, working with the Indigenous Environmental Network, Black Mesa Water Coalition, Global Justice Ecology Project, and Bioneers, among others. Clayton is an award-winning film director, media producer, organizer, facilitator, public speaker, and bestselling author on Indigenous rights as well as environmental and economic justice.

LIfe in the City of Dirty Water: A Memoir of Healing (2021)

There have been many Clayton Thomas-Müllers: The child who played with toy planes as an escape from domestic and sexual abuse, enduring the intergenerational trauma of Canada's residential school system; the angry youngster who defended himself with fists and sharp wit against racism and violence, at school and on the streets of Winnipeg and small-town British Columbia; the tough teenager who, at 17, managed a drug house run by members of his family, and slipped in and out of juvie, operating in a world of violence and pain. But behind them all, there was another Clayton: the one who remained immersed in Cree spirituality, and who embraced the rituals and ways of thinking vital to his heritage; the one who reconnected with the land during summer visits to his great-grandparents' trapline in his home territory of Pukatawagan in northern Manitoba. And it's this version of Clayton that ultimately triumphed, finding healing by directly facing the trauma that he shares with Indigenous peoples around the world.

Now a leading organizer and activist on the frontlines of environmental resistance, Clayton brings his warrior spirit to the fight against the ongoing assault on Indigenous peoples' lands by Big Oil. Tying together personal stories of survival that bring the realities of the First Nations of this land into sharp focus, and lessons learned from a career as a frontline activist committed to addressing environmental injustice at a global scale, Thomas-Muller offers a narrative and vision of healing and responsibility.

 Teneya Gwin is sixth generation Métis and a member of the Cunningham Clan and descendant from the Michel First Nation. She has worked with almost every First Nation, Métis region and Métis settlement in Alberta across sectors such as transportation, land use planning, community planning, traditional land use and Indigenous place making, with a focus on Indigenous inclusion and culture.