The Canadian Federation of Students resists the celebration of Canada 150, whitewashing of Canadian history, and celebration of Indigenous genocide.
This year, the federal government is spending half a billion of dollars on Canada 150 celebrations. In contrast, this federal government has failed to honour its treaty obligations to fully fund Indigenous post-secondary education, end boil-water advisories on First Nations reserves, or equalize funding for First Nations child and family services, as it has been compelled by the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal.
From frustrations over the lack of consultation with families for the Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and Two-Spirited People to the abysmal treatment of an Inuit grandmother who was jailed in a men’s facility in Newfoundland for protecting the land of her ancestors, it doesn’t seem that Canadians have much to celebrate on the 150th anniversary of Confederation. For too many Indigenous people on Turtle Island, Canada 150 is a reminder of hundreds of years of colonization, broken promises, broken treaties and genocide.
This Thursday, the Bawating Water Protectors confirmed the Canadian government is still unwilling to be confronted with the reality of colonial violence and listen to the original occupants of this unceded Algonquin territory, when efforts to erect a tipi on Parliament Hill were met with RCMP opposition and the arrests of nine water land protectors.
The Canadian Federation of Students supports Indigenous peoples’ rights to self-determination over their lands, territories and resources and strives to decolonize and indigenize its spaces and centre the voices of Indigenous folks within the student movement. The Federation joins allied organizations across Canada in supporting Idle No More’s “UNsettling Canada 150” call to action, which demands:
- A new open truly Nation-to-Nation recognition process that begins by fully recognizing collective Indigenous rights and Title, and our decision-making power throughout our territories.
- Full implementation of the Truth and Reconciliation Calls for Action, including rejecting the colonial doctrines of discovery and recognizing Indigenous self-determination.
- Full implementation of the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples on the ground.
If you would like to take action to help the Bawating Water Protectors on Parliament Hill and Idle No More’s efforts to UNsettle Canada 150, here are a few ways you can do so below:
- Join an action – several actions will be taking place across Canada. Find out if there is one near you here.
- Make a donation or ask your student association to make a donation to the Bawating Water Protectors, who will be conducting ceremonies and education panels until July 2ndon Parliament Hill
- Endorse Idle No More’s call to action
- Take to social media – tag @IdleNoMore4 and @JustinTrudeau and use the hashtags #UNsettleCanada150 #SupportIndigenousSelfDetermination #Resist150 #UNDRIPInCanada #FPICInCanada
- If you are in Ottawa, monitor the #REOCCUPATION page to stay up-to-date on the needs of the Bawating Water Protectors
Decolonization is a process, and resistance to colonial violence and oppression extends beyond resistance to Canada 150. Students can work to decolonize their campuses throughout the year by advocating for Indigenous Course Requirements, Smudge policies, dedicated supports for Indigenous students, and full funding for the Post-Secondary Student Support Program. To get involved, email [email protected].