Carole Geller Human Rights Award

Carole Geller Human Rights Award 2021: Kanahus Manuel & Tiny House Warriors

On November 9, 2021, Kanahus Manuel and the Tiny House Warriors were awarded the Carole Geller Human Rights Award for their role as Secwe̓pemc land defenders, taking action to protect their unceded lands – Secwepemcúĺecw. The Tiny House Warriors are a group of grassroots Indigenous leaders who, under the authority of Secwe̓pemc law, have been building tiny houses along the 518km Trans Mountain pipeline route, as a way to stop the pipeline, which poses serious risks to the health, safety and well-being of Secwe̓pemc lands, waters and people – especially women and girls.

The Carole Geller Award is given periodically to an individual or group that is involved in a particularly important human rights struggle. The award is intended to assist recipients in their continued work in organizing for social justice and human rights and is named for Carole Geller – one of Canada’s pioneers in advancing the cause of human rights.

Carole Geller began her work in the human rights field in 1967 when she was the President of the Manitoba Voice of Women. She became the first Director of the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission in 1973, where she promoted stronger human rights protections, affirmative action policies, and equal pay for work of equal value. In 1985 Ms. Geller became the first Executive Director of Manitoba’s Pay Equity Bureau. Ms. Geller died of cancer in November 1987 and this award was started in her honour. This is the seventh time the award has been given.

Kanahus Manuel and the other Tiny House Warriors are experiencing surveillance, harassment, violence, and criminalization for their defence of human rights. It is critical to not only recognize their struggle and their important human rights work, but also support them financially as the criminalization of human rights defenders comes with significant legal costs. This award comes with $15,000 to support them and their rising legal costs.

Award Committee Members: Shelagh Day, Kathleen Ruff and Murray Dobbin (rest in peace Murray).

More information about the award and past winners:

More information about Tiny House Warriors:

Go Fund Me page for Tiny House Warriors:

Tiny House Warriors contact:

Kanahus Manuel Twitter handle = KanahusFreedom

Link to the shorter YouTube (video) version here


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