In Canada, aside from the urgent threats from climate change (witness this week’s devastating floods and landslides in heat- and fire-ravaged British Columbia) and never-ending COVID, ensuring that the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Report are acted upon in timely, meaningful ways is essential. The rub is that most of us don’t know how we can help make a difference, how we can be an ally to our Indigenous neighbours in their pursuit of dignity, respect, and justice. We care, but what next?
Yesterday when I was downtown I came across a pamphlet that addresses that very question. How can we be allies to Indigenous peoples in Canada? This pamphlet, developed and distributed by the Wolastoqey Nation in New Brunswick, provides some very helpful advice. For those of you anywhere in the world outside of Canada where Indigenous peoples and their languages, cultures, ways of life, and pride have been victims of colonization, these points may be useful to you as well.
The website mentioned in the pamphlet, https://native-land.ca/, actually shows the traditional territory on which settlers live all over the world. You might be surprised at what you find. And think about how some of the points raised in the sections What is an Ally, How to Educate, and How to Advocate below can also apply to ways in which one could be an ally to other marginalized groups in our countries who face discrimination and/or racism. Please give some though to how you can be an ally.
And now to let this helpful pamphlet speak for itself.
Woliwon. Wela’lin. Thank you.