Decolonization

Decolonization

BEYOND TERRITORIAL ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS by âpihtawikosisân

An article on fully recognizing Indigenous homelands from the blog âpihtawikosisân.com, Law, language, life: A Plains Cree speaking Metis woman in Montreal.
Visit Blog: âpihtawikosisân.com

FREE, PRIOR & INFORMED CONSENT A Fact Sheet on FPIC

Indigenous peoples have the right to participate in decisions that could affect their rights, property, cultures and environment. They have the right to determine their own priorities.
Download: Freepriorconsent.pdf (PDF)

THE NEO-LIBERAL IDEOLOGY: A Historical Context 

Adapted from PRIVATE-PUBLIC PARTNERSHIP: Training Manual by Jojo Geronimo
Neo-liberal ideology: underpinnings and assumptions.
Download: Neoliberal_context.doc (MS word)

THIS ISSUE with Sherri Mitchell

Sherri Mitchell,a Penobscot Attorney speaks on the show This Issue about the legal and social pressures on Indigenous people as stewards of their ancestral land and water.
View Video: www.youtube.com

UNSETTLING AMERICA: Decolonization in Theory and Practice

Unsettling America is a blog for a network of autonomous groups and individuals dedicated to mental and territorial decolonization.
Visit Blog: unsettlingamerica.wordpress.com

WHITE PRIVILEGE Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack, by Peggy McIntosh

“I was taught to see racism only in individual acts of meanness, not in invisible systems conferring dominance on my group.”
Visit Website: www.beyondwhiteness.com

Reconciliation By Rebecca Tabobodung We are waking up to our history from a forced slumber We are breathing it into our lungs so it will be part of us again It will make us angry at first because we will see how much you stole from us and for how long you watched us suffer we will see how you see us and how when we copied your ways it killed our own We will cry and cry and cry because we can never be the same again But we will go home to cry and we will see ourselves in this huge mess and we will gently whisper the circle back and it will be old and it will be new Then we will breathe our history back to you you will feel how strong and alive it is and you will feel yourself become a part of it And it will shock you at first because it is too big to see all at once and you won’t want to believe it you will see how you see us and all the disaster in your ways how much we lost And you will cry and cry and cry because we can never be the same again But we will cry with you and we will see ourselves in this huge mess and we will gently whisper the circle back and it will be old and it will be new

Rebecca Tabobodung, a member of the Wasauksing First Nation (Parry Island, Ontario), is a poet, activist, and filmmaker. She lives in Toronto. This poem appears in A Healing Journey for Us All, United Church of Canada, page 11.

Book CoverA HEALING JOURNEY FOR US ALL:

Uncovering the Wounds of Empire

A Response of The United Church of Canada to May 26
A National Day of Healing and Reconciliation

 

 

 

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CANADIAN TIMELINE:
A brief history of Canada & the Residential School System

A 22-minute video about colonization which begins in 1491 and gives a succinct timeline of wars, treaties, reports, acts, apologies, etc. until 2010.
View Video: www.youtube.com

 

 

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JOURNEY IN RESTORATIVE JUSTICE
Canadian Journey in Restorative Justice

3 Videos: Archbishop Prendergast sent an invitation to the Archdiocese of Ottawa to join the Canadian Journey in Restorative Justice.
This link takes you to three videos: catholicottawa.ca

 

 

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MOMENT OF RECKONING:
Turning the Page on a Dark Chapter in our Shared History

This video is produced by the AFN and is an excellent resource, featuring former AFN National Chiefs Phil Fontaine and Shawn Atleo.
View Video: youtube.com

 

 

 

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Renée Vaugeois

National Steering Committee

Renée VaugeoisRENEE VAUGEOIS

Ms. Renée Vaugeois originates from Wildwood Alberta and is a 5th generation Canadian of Ukrainian and French descent. She is currently the Executive Director of the John Humphrey Centre for Peace and Human Rights and current President of the Alberta Hate Crimes Committee; a coalition of law enforcement and organizations working to address hate in the province. Renée is the founder and current Treasurer of Ainembabazi Children’s Project, an organization committed to strengthening children’s rights in East Africa through building self reliant families and communities. Since 2015, Renée also serves as a Director for Women in International Security Canada, a professional network of women in the peace and security field.

 

 

 

 

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Luke Stocking

National Steering Committee

Luke StockingLUKE STOCKING

Luke Stocking works for Development and Peace – Caritas Canada (DPCC). DPCC is the international development agency of the Catholic Church in Canada. Since 2006 he has been the Central Ontario Animator for the organization. His work mainly consists of educating and organizing Canadian Catholics to embrace the Gospel Call to international solidarity and social change. He has led trips for volunteer members to Zambia, the Philippines, Paraguay and Ethiopia. Luke has an M.A. in Theology from St. Michael’s at the University of Toronto with a focus on Catholic Social Teaching and 20th century Catholic social movements.

 

 

 

 

 

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Adriana Salazar

National Steering Committee

Adriana F. SalazarADRIANA F. SALAZAR

Adriana F. Salazar has been the coordinator of the Community Engagement program at the Mennonite New Life in Toronto since 2009. Her expertise and practice in adult education, training and curriculum development for civic immigrant participation, designing and implementation of Participatory Action Research to promote social justice and inclusiveness among diverse communities, and building cross-sectoral collaborations and partnership process span 25 years of work in Colombia and Canada.

She brings over twelve years of direct engagement with diverse immigrant communities, services providers and umbrella coalitions in Toronto around topics of economic, social-cultural and civic inclusion.

 

 

 

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Ishbel Munro

National Steering Committee

 

Ishbel MunroISHBEL MUNRO

Ishbel Munro has been an activist and community builder for over 40 years. Much of her work has been building bridges between peoples. She developed projects like On Common Ground which brought together the African Nova Scotian, Mi’Kmaq, Acadian and fishing communities to learn about each other’s culture and histories. She was coordinator of the First Nations Environmental Networking organizing a youth-elder gathering that brought youth across Canada to Cape Breton.

The thread that has run through-out her life is the creation of a more balanced, just world, a world where people can heal and grow to become the people they dream of being.

 

 

 

 

 

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Miigam’agan

National Steering Committee

Miigam’aganMIIGAM’AGAN

Miigam’agan is a Mi’kmaq woman of the Fish Clan from Esgenoôpetitj/Burnt Church, New Brunswick. Her life has been devoted to Wabanaki cultural revival and to promoting an understanding of Indigenous matriarchal systems. Miigam’agan is the first Elder-in-Residence at St. Thomas University, Fredericton, New Brunswick. Her role provides support for First Nation students and offers resources on traditional knowledge. She is also an important link between the University and First Nations communities.

Miigam’agan sits on the Executive Committee of the Urban Aboriginal Knowledge Network at the University of New Brunswick, which sets research priorities and ensures that the research they support meets the needs of urban Aboriginal peoples.

 

 

 

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Walking With Our Sisters

National Hub Events

Walking With Our Sisters

When: January 14 – February 1, 2017

Where: Mt. St. Vincent University Art Gallery, Halifax, Nova Scotia

A touring installation honoring the 1200-plus missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and Two-Spirit folks (MMIWG2S) arrives at the MSVU (Mt. St. Vincent University, Halifax, NS) Art Gallery as part of it’s North American tour. Comprised of over 1800 moccasin tops made by hundreds of caring hands, it’s a community-based project pushing back against injustice.

 

 

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Reflections on Canada 150

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REFLECTIONS ON CANADA 150

Stories from across the nation to build a more just society

This year commemorates the 150th Anniversary of Canada and we are taking this opportunity to pause and reflect on where we are coming from and where we are going.

A country born out of settler-colonialism and treaty relationships with First Nations, welcoming people from around the world, Canada has a complex history, which we continue to navigate to this day. We are a country, which both respects and upholds civil liberties for some whilst denying the fundamental rights of others. As a government and a people, we are unclear about how to uphold our treaty relationships with First Nations and continue to carry the burden of Canada’s early structural foundations. How do we participate in building a nation, which leverages what is working for all people, and shifts what is not?

Righting Relations believes in the power of an engaged and empowered civil society towards building and re-building a country, which truly reflects and supports us all.

We are genuinely curious to hear Reflections on Canada 150 from a truly diverse collection of people across Canada. We are collecting stories from coast to coast that can hopefully inspire and help move us towards the Canada we want to live in and need to co-create.

We invite you to join this conversation. Please share your reflections on the following questions through video, article, poetry, photography, dance, theatre, collage – all forms of creativity are welcome! Please keep videos to 2 minutes maximum.

1) What Canadian values do you believe in, and how do you live them into being?

2) What do we need to do to build a more politically and economically just society in Canada? What part are you playing in building that reality?

3) What does Righting Relations mean to you? What is needed in order to Right Relations now and into the future in Canada?

Please email your reflections to us at info@rightingrelations.org

Many thanks!

 

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By Ishbel Munro

In May of 2016, 40 mostly Indigenous women gathered to talk about working together to create positive changes for their communities and beyond. Right from the start, there was a sense of hope and excitement. Drawing on the deep wisdom carried by the natural world and women’s connection to that, we quickly renewed living our values as women. We were all leaders, teachers and learners. There was strength in sharing our pain, our vulnerabilities.

“It’s being led by women and its going to end well.”

We shared our stories – stories of the impact of colonialism from Vietnam, Korea, and African Nova Scotian to the intergenerational impact of residential schools, the 60’s scoop and many community killing policies. And yet what shone was the astounding fact that women were still resilient, still looking for hope, looking how to move forward and make things better for their children and those to come.

“What is the story of Indigenous women? It is not the story of trauma. It is the story of resilience, power, hope and love embodied. I do not want to be defined by my trauma. It is time to change the story.”

We talked about the importance that this is a women led project. That is what drew people to it. Women are sacred. We carry life. And yet western society sends many messages causing confusion and pain for women and men. First Nations men are going against their natural grain. When women reclaim the language and culture, they are empowered and this brings a balance to our families and communities.

“I trust this circle, the process and the experience of women’s ceremonies because it’s not hierarchical, it’s collective, everyone has responsibility.”


“Change is happening, there’s a shift happening and it has everything to do with women, and I need that on a personal level, that is the thing that is keeping me going – connecting with strong women, believing that something else can happen and we need to make it happen.”

We all were working in very different ways to make the world a better place. When we thought of what we could do together, there was an overflowing of ideas. We soon came to realize that we couldn’t support a hundred different projects but we could support and strengthen each other. We are always giving to others, concerned for other. If we strengthen women, we strengthen our families and our communities.

“We’ve been divided – different cultures – we’ve been doing our own work in isolation. We need to stand together as sisters and walk together and do this work at the same time in our communities, empowering ourselves and each other.”


“Change is happening, there’s a shift happening and it has everything to do with women, and I need that on a personal level, that is the thing that is keeping me going – connecting with strong women, believing that something else can happen and we need to make it happen.”


“Developing a women-centered way of living.”

Through building an alternative; modelling what a women-led approach is, we are creating a model that is based on respect for all life; nourishing and strengthening our spirit. We are encouraging each other to overcome the “you are not good enough” attitude that we have internalized and to share our gifts with our families, communities and the wider society.

“The time is right for women to take the lead, especially our Indigenous communities – they are the carriers of knowledge of so much on how to take care of Mother Earth.”


“Rebuilding Canada from the ground up with right relations.”

As an Indigenous woman, whose family spent a total of 200+ accumulated years at a Residential School, who has experienced enough heartache and disconnection to fill a thousand pages, the “Righting Relations” Folk School Gathering in Wabamun Alberta proved to be healing, engendered hope, and a heartfelt wish that many Canadians and Indigenous people get a chance to experience this initiative, as well. Righting Relations is an initiative of the Catherine Donnelly Foundation with the John Humphrey Centre for Peace and Human Rights spearheading the development of a Western Canadian Hub for Adult Educators.

There were many different people coming from all walks of life, and cultural backgrounds. When reflecting at the gathering my thoughts would often go to my own Grandmother, my children’s great-Grandparents, and my own parents. Each stayed at the residential school for many years and experienced things no child, no human should ever experience. There is one exercise we did at the Gathering that I’d like to share that captures the power of our journey together for that weekend. We were gifted by three newcomer women (Adult Educators) who joined the Gathering and did a skit about their experience learning about Canada and our Indigenous peoples, and then they said something like this, “We have learned about what Canada wants us to learn, and we have learned about your Indigenous people. Learning from your people, we can now say that we like what we have learned and believe your people need to lead.” “Wow!”, I thought, “Wow!, I get to hear this!?” “What did she just say!?” More thoughts surfaced, “I wish my parents were here (tears welling); they wouldn’t believe this was real; Oh Grandma, are you here, too … Peaking through the veil from the other side? I hope you are. Thank you.”

Other Indigenous participants also got to witness this display of Righting Relations and my heart swelled with so much hope and a feeling of safety and calm that I don’t usually get to experience. In light of this sacred time together that we shared with newcomers, Settlers, Canadians, Indigenous peoples, and many mixed blood people, I approached more closely the idea that maybe, identifying myself as “Canadian” might not be so bad if being “Canadian” means we create our “village” together. In this space at the Gathering, we actually created a new kind of “Canadian”; a new way to move forward together without alienating each other due to our inherited legacy of colonization, residential schools, racist policies and practices, etc. What is unique about Righting Relations is that it engages Adult Educators willing to be the change agents that heal, empower, and enlighten Canadian settler populations, newcomers and Indigenous people with unique workshops, learning circles, and cultural reclamation/acknowledgements that engender mutual respect within their spheres of influence, both personal and professional. They are correcting historical wrongs in such a way that builds newfound relationships and creates deeper understanding and appreciation for the common history that binds us, one to the other.

We can’t change history; however, we can change what this moment offers by a genuine commitment to the Canadian ideals of inclusiveness, cultural diversity, and respect for human rights that haven’t always been the experience for Indigenous peoples, and people who are economically disadvantaged. Our Adult Educators come into this program with unique skill sets, professional backgrounds, and the Spirit to ensure all human beings who engage with our program understand and appreciate that the way forward for Canadians is made more promising by inclusion of Indigenous worldviews, practices, ceremonies, and ways of being together.

If you hear of a gathering in your area that is put together by Righting Relations we hope you join us. Be a part of the solution, a part of the healing of our Nations, so much so that when your children and your grandchildren look back at this particular time they know their Ancestors (you) began the necessary healing that they got to inherit, and be filled with a genuine and well deserved sense of pride.

First Prairies Hub Gathering