Indigenous Grandmothers Share Amazing Story of How They Fought Washington Gas’s Parent Company – and Won!

Courageous activists will decry AltaGas misdeeds and offer key lessons for D.C. resistance to Washington Gas’s reckless, wasteful Project Pipes

Washington, D.C. – On Thursday, two indigenous grandmothers from the Mi’kmaq tribe in Canada will visit D.C. to share the amazing story of how they defeated Washington Gas’s controversial parent company AltaGas, which has been called “one of the worst fossil fuel companies in North America.” These heroic tribal leaders will tell how they protected their people’s health and sacred lands by fighting back against AltaGas’s false claims and greed for nearly a decade — and won! In the process, they will offer valuable lessons for resistance to Washington Gas’s reckless effort to expand fossil-fuel use across D.C., Maryland and Northern Virginia. 

Cheryl and April Maloney, who helped lead the Mi’kmaq campaign, will tell their story with words, photos, and video. They will describe their hard-fought campaign that began with building a sacred fire near the gas company’s proposed pipeline operation, invoking the spirit and guidance of their ancestors. By the time the Mi’kmaq defeated AltaGas in a celebrated 2020 court case, they had been threatened by the company with arrest, exorbitant fines, and legal action but they never surrendered and AltaGas finally backed down. 

Now these remarkable leaders have been invited to D.C. by CCAN Action Fund and other activist groups in order to spotlight Washington Gas’s corrupt corporate culture, which puts profits ahead of urgent public health and climate concerns. D.C. activists also hope to gain insights into how they can stop the company’s reckless, unnecessary Project Pipes program

Watch the livestream at
It will include video footage from the Mi’kmaq resistance campaign.

WHAT: Indigenous Grandmothers vs. AltaGas, Washington Gas’ Parent Company — A Cautionary Tale for Washington, D.C.! 


  • Speakers:
    • Cheryl Maloney, indigenous grandmother from the Mi’kmaq tribe
      Emcee – Mike Tidwell, Executive Director, CCAN Action Fund
    • Jessica Swann and Kyle Swann, members of the Piscataway Conoy Tribe
  • Sponsors – CCAN Action Fund, Nature Forward, Sierra Club DC Chapter, D.C. Environmental Network, Third Act D.C., We Power D.C., Extinction Rebellion Washington DC, and Interfaith Power & Light DC MD NoVa 

WHEN:  Thurs. June 20 at 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM EST

WHERE: Foundry United Methodist Church – 1500 16th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20036

Naomi Cohen-Shields, D.C. Campaign Manager, said:

“By the time the Mi’kmaq defeated AltaGas in a celebrated 2020 court case, they had been threatened by the company with arrest, exorbitant fines, and legal action against their community. When the justices told AltaGas to honor the 1752 treaty and seek approval from the local community, the company gave up on their controversial gas project. This hopeful story is badly needed in the D.C. region where Alta-owned Washington Gas is likewise breaking agreements and trampling consumer interests. We hope it will inspire our supporters and help us win the fight against Project Pipes.”


The Chesapeake Climate Action Network (CCAN) Action Fund is dedicated to driving change in public policies at the local, state, and national level to address the climate crisis. Through voter education, lobbying, and participation in the electoral process, we seek to advance our country’s leadership in the global movement toward clean energy solutions — focusing our efforts primarily in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC.