Today is Canada Day. CESAR encourages our members and communities to spend this day in reflection of the struggle Indigenous nations of Turtle Island continue to face as well as the history of colonialism and Indigenous erasure in Canada. We must resist the whitewashing of our history and present realities of racism and colonial violence in our society that consolidated control over the land in the hands of a few.
We must do our due diligence to educate ourselves and our communities about systemic disadvantages facing Indigenous, Black and racialised peoples. Truth must always come before reconciliation can occur, and reconciliation requires action.
This means working to advance our knowledge while also calling on the Canadian government to commit to the many demands put forward by Indigenous nations and their allies. Some of these demands include:
- Adoption of the recommendations of the The Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls
- Adoption of the Calls to Action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada
- Entrenchment of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples into law (including free, prior and informed consent of economic development affecting their land)
- Defunding the police (including the RCMP)
We encourage our members to read articles, attend workshops, sign petitions, show up to rallies and listen to Indigenous communities and activists as they tell us their stories and call on us for change.
Last week, CESAR co-hosted a talk with Leigh Simpson, an Anishinaabekwe Two-Spirit instructor of the Certificate in Aboriginal Knowledges and Experiences, discussing Indigenous People’s Day and solidarity with Black Lives Matter. If you have not listened yet, please do.
Indigenous People’s Day Lecture with Leigh Simpson
Petition to remove Egerton Ryerson Statue
Truth & Reconciliation Commission Report
Residential School Reading List
The Making of The Witness Blanket
Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls
United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples