I am settler of Ashkenazi Jewish and English heritage, from Treaty One Territory (Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada), land of the Anishinaabeg, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota and Dene Peoples, homeland of the Métis Nation. I recognize my privilege and responsibilities as a guest on Lekwungen territory. I am committed to the pursuit of justice here and on neighbouring lands of the WSANEC, Sc’ianew, T’Sou-ke, Pacheedaht, Ditidaht, Quw’utsun, Penelakut and other Coast Salish, Nuu-chah-nulth and Kwakwa̱ka̱ʼwakw peoples.
Ben Isitt has served the public as a City Councillor and Regional Director in Lekwungen territory (Victoria, BC, Canada) since 2011.
An award-winning historian and legal scholar, Ben holds a BA, MA, LLB and PhDs in Law and History, and has taught history, international relations and labour studies at the University of British Columbia, University of Victoria and other institutions. He is the author of several books that challenge how we think about Canadian and global society and the process of social change, including From Victoria to Vladivostok (UBC Press), Militant Minority (University of Toronto Press), Able to Lead (UBC Press, with Ravi Malhotra), and Using Power Well (forthcoming from Nightwood Editions, with Bob Williams and Thomas Bevan).
Ben’s involvement in local politics builds on grassroots volunteer work for social and ecological justice – in support of Indigenous rights, workers’ rights, climate action, non-violence, the abolition of poverty and racism, and protection of natural ecosystems. Ben’s research on housing, land use, forestry and public education reflect this community-based approach. He has hands-on experience addressing social inequality as a former Housing Support Worker with Victoria’s street community and as founder of the Red Cedar Café – a not-for-profit social enterprise he helped establish at the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, to provide healthy meals and social supports to community members in need.
Ben lives in the Hillside-Quadra neighbourhood. He enjoys cooking for family and friends, frequenting coffee shops and live-music venues, exploring the outdoors, and travelling to diverse communities on the island and beyond. Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, he visited 84 countries for work and pleasure, primarily by rail and other low-carbon modes.
View Ben’s CV