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Dear Indigenous Peoples of Turtle Island,

As graduate students within the Department of Anthropology at McMaster University, we acknowledge and express our support for the Indigenous Peoples of Turtle Island. We recognize and acknowledge that McMaster is located on the traditional territories of the Mississauga and Haudenosaunee nations, and within the lands protected by the “Dish With One Spoon” wampum agreement. We stand in solidarity with the Land Defenders, Hereditary Chiefs, children, women, men, Two-spirit, non-Binary, trans, and all 2SLGBTQIA+, Indigenous Peoples resisting colonial and corporate agendas to protect the lands, waters, and ways of life, and to assert their sovereignty and Treaty rights on behalf of their communities and future generations.

This is a call to all who read this document to show solidarity with Indigenous Peoples and to actively prevent acts of violence and discrimination against the Indigenous Peoples of Turtle Island, and indeed across the world. We have created this document to do our part to spread awareness on the injustices occurring against the Indigenous Peoples of Turtle Island who are fighting to protect their lands, waters and ways of life for current and future generations.

We acknowledge and stand in support with:

  • Justice for Joyce Echaquan and all others who have experienced systemic discrimination within Canada’s colonial healthcare system.
  • Justice for Barbara Kentner and all others who have been killed by the effects of systemic racism and acts of violence.
  • The Mi’kmaq people, fishermen and fisherwomen, their treaty rights, and their rights to provide for their families without violence, racism, and discrimination.
  • The Algonquins of Barriere Lake and their call for a moratorium on moose hunting.
  • The land defenders of Six Nations of the Grand River, who are defending their traditional territory from development and have been met with violence by the police and the governments of Canada.
  • The people of Grassy Narrows, who continue to suffer from severe health impacts, and a loss of their way of life and economy as a result of a dump of 9 tonnes of mercury into the Wabigoon River in the 1960s.
  • The Secwepmc fighting to preserve their unceded lands and waterways.
  • The Wet’suwet’en land defenders, allies and Hereditary Chiefs fighting to keep the Coast GasLink Pipeline from being built on their traditional territory.
  • The Gitxsan fighting against a CN corporate lawsuit lodged for occupying unceded lands.
  • The people of Kanehsatà:ke.
  • Indigenous People and communities calling for Canadians and Canada’s Provincial and Federal Governments to implement the Truth and Reconciliation Commissions 94 Calls to Action and the Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls Calls for Justice from the MMIWG National Inquiry’s Final Report.
  • All Indigenous Peoples of Turtle Island. We agree with the Indigenous People’s assertion of their rights under UNDRIP, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and Treaty rights. We agree that Indigenous Peoples of Turtle Island have the right to assert their sovereignty.

We denounce:

  • All violence and discrimination against the Indigenous Peoples of Turtle Island
  • The lack of support by the Government of Canada to prevent systemic racism, discrimination, and violence against the Indigenous Peoples across Turtle Island. As well as the inability of the government of Canada to respect Treaty rights.
  • The inability and failure of the Government of Canada to respect and/or implement Treaty rights.
  • The inability and failure of the RCMP and OPP to prevent hate crimes and violence against the Indigenous Peoples of Turtle Island.
  • The failure of the RCMP and OPP to deconstruct racist systems within their institutions that have actively criminalized Indigenous Peoples and have contributed to the overrepresentation of Indigenous Peoples incarcerated across Canada.
  • The inability and failure of Canada’s Health Care System to deconstruct and prevent systemic racism and lateral violence towards Indigenous Peoples within their institutions.

This document was inspired by Shkawbewisag Student Law Society at the University of Windsor, and their statement of support for Haudenosaunee Land Defenders from Six Nations Protecting their Lands.

Please see below for resources on how you can do your part to support Indigenous Sovereignty:

  • Learn about the land you live on and the treaties:

 https://www.rcaanc-cirnac.gc.ca/eng/1100100028574/1529354437231#chp2

  • Support the Indigenous Student-led Youtube Series “Ohneganos: Let’s Talk Water”
  • Email your MPs
  • Join an Indigenous Solidarity Working Group
  • Explore the Wet’suwet’en supporter toolkit:

https://www.ienearth.org/wetsuweten-supporter-toolkit-2020/

  • Sign and share:
    • The org Algonquins of Barriere Lake Petition to Protect the Moose in La Verendrye Wildlife Reserve:

 https://www.change.org/p/protect-the-moose-in-la-verendrye-wildlife-reserve?signed=true

  • The Take Action petition to protect Mi’kmaq rights to fish:

 https://www.collectiveaction.ca/takeaction/mikmaq-rights-to-fish

  • The solidarity letter for 1492 Land back Lane:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfdCv_bB-eOAkOk9SgfGlqimzJz_C0L4oaCQvXcZbgeVA6NhQ/viewform

  • Donate to:
    • 1492 Landback Lane Legal Fund:

https://www.gofundme.com/f/legal-fund-1492-land-back-lane

  • Grassy Narrows:

 https://freegrassy.net/please-donate/

  • Wet’suwet’en Defenders of the Land/ Unist’ot’en Legal Fund:

 https://unistoten.camp/support-us/donate/

  • RAVEN website, connects to Indigenous current social justice campaigns across Canada:

https://raventrust.com/campaigns-overview/

  • Nunavut Kamatsiaqtut Help Line:

https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/nunavut-kamatsiaqtut-help-line/

  • Educate yourself further on Indigenous current issues:
    • Explore the Truth and Reconciliation Commissions report:

 http://www.trc.ca/about-us/trc-findings.html

  • Review the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action:

 http://www.trc.ca/assets/pdf/Calls_to_Action_English2.pdg

  • Explore the National Inquiries Final Report and review the reports “Calls for Justice”:

https://www.mmiwg-ffada.ca/final-report/

  • Educate yourself further through a free course on Indigenous lands, rights and Treaties:

https://www.coursera.org/learn/indigenous-canada

https://www.ualberta.ca/admissions-programs/online-courses/indigenous-canada/index.html

  • Explore Our Stories: First Peoples in Canada a free-open education textbook:

 https://ecampusontario.pressbooks.pub/indigstudies/