Eriel Tchekwie Deranger is a Dënesųłiné woman (ts’ékui), member of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation and mother of two, coming from a long time of Indigenous rights advocate fighting for the recognition and return of their full sovereignty and autonomy in what is now known as Canada.
Deranger is the Executive Director and co-founder of Indigenous Climate Action (ICA) – an Indigenous-led climate justice organization working to empower communities and inspire Indigenous-led climate solutions. ICA develops educational multi-media and contemporary climate change resources for Indigenous communities (short documentary series, webinars, podcasts, and on/offline journal of writings, essays and short stories) curated and produced by Indigenous peoples.
Prior to ICA, Deranger worked with her First Nation to build out one of the largest intersectional and powerful keep it in the ground campaigns: The international Indigenous Tar Sands campaign – challenging the expansion of Alberta’s Tar Sands. As part of her role she brought international recognized to issues in her territory with international celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio, Darren Aronofsky, Neil Young, Daryl Hannah, James Cameron and many others who assisted in bringing these issues into minds and hearts across the globe.
Since this time, Deranger has written for the Guardian, The National Observer, Red Pepper Magazine, been featured in documentary films including Elemental (2012), interviewed for national and international media outlets including Democracy Now!, Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN), and CBC.
Beyond this work Deranger is recognized for her role in creating the UN Indigenous Youth Caucus; interventions at UN Climate Summits; lobbying government officials in Canada, the US, the UK and the EU; developing the the Tar Sands Healing Walk; spring boarding one of the first Internationally recognized Indigenous rights-based divest movements; and working to develop and lead mass mobilizations highlighting the mass inequity of the impacts the fossil fuel industry and climate change on the rights of Indigenous peoples.
Eriel now sits on the board of WWF Canada, Bioneers, Keepers of the Water and the UK Tar Sands Network with a focus on building intersectional dialogue between Indigenous rights and other social justice movements nationally and internationally.