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Community Market Acknowledgments

In all of our work, we must first acknowledge and be accountable to histories and ongoing processes of colonization and imperialism. In a country active in the continued colonial project, we must work in solidarity with and support the efforts on First Nations, Métis, and Inuit people and communities. Acknowledgements like these are only one component of Indigenous solidarity, and requires ongoing action, commitments to self-education, and support.

 

The work of OPIRG Brock primarily takes place on traditional and shared lands of Haudenosaunee, Anishinaabe, Wendat, and Chonnonton peoples. The Niagara region is also home to many Metis and Inuit people, Indigenous people from First Nations across Turtle Island, as well as many generations of people brought the region through the transatlantic slave trade and ongoing global imperialism that has forcibly displaced people from their homelands. 

 

These lands are included in the Upper Canada Treaties and governed by the “Dish with One Spoon” pre-colonial agreement. This treaty between the Anishinaabe, Mississaugas and Haudenosaunee binds them to share the territory and protect the land. Subsequent Indigenous nations and peoples, settlers and all newcomers, have been invited into this treaty in the spirit of peace, friendship and respect. In learning about the treaties and agreements in this region, it is also integral to understand the 1764 Treaty of Niagara as a foundational agreement in nation-to-nation relations.

 

In talking about our relationships to activism and how to be accountable to treaties first made here, it is essential that we root our discussion in the fact that historically and currently, Indigenous people are disproportionately targeted, stereotyped, and stigmatized. We see similar targeting happen to racialized communities, perpetuating long standing ideas of anti-Black racism and a wide range of structural discrimination. These power dynamics and acts of violence enforce further issues of ableism, sanism, transphobia, classism, and increased incarceration, to name a few.

 

Legacies of colonization, racism, and capitalism are upheld everyday of 2021 through our failure to address ongoing attacks on Trans and Two Spirit people, Black People, Indigenous People, and People of Colour, who have always been at the forefront of calling for essential societal change; calls and activism that far too often end up in their deaths.

 

Challenging these systems and calling attention to these truths means more than just an acknowledgement at the start of a meeting or event. It means listening and responding to the calls to action from  Black, Indigenous, People of Colour communities, activists, and artists and ensuring our work responds to these calls. 

 

In supporting Indigenous and anti-racism solidarity, please take the time to educate yourself and your networks on the following issues, by following, sharing, donating, and using the social capital you hold in acts of solidarity:

Indigenous vendors, creators & artists  to follow:

Niagara Based

Indigenous resources: