Statement of Solidarity: Truth Before Reconciliation
Vancouver | May 31, 2021
Download the statement by clicking here..
So often the word truth is dropped from Truth and Reconciliation. We move forward under the guise of reconciling when we have not taken accountability for the truth of the ongoing atrocities committed against Indigenous Peoples and the land they have stewarded since time immemorial. Accountability is not just words, it is actions. We grieve for all the children who were taken from their families and never returned. We call upon those responsible to take accountability, acknowledge the truth, and spare no resource or expense to return all the stolen children to their families.
“To stand as settlers in genuine and authentic solidarity with Indigenous Peoples and nations in our ancestral, unceded and occupied Homelands is an exhortation to awareness, integrity, honour and accountability as well as a call to action. Standing in solidarity with Indigenous Peoples and nations is to first learn of what is and has been done in your name as a citizen, permanent resident, refugee or immigrant to Canada” (Dupuis-Rossi, Hellson & Reynolds, 2020).
As an organization that supports newcomers and their integration onto unceded and stolen lands, we continue to learn about the Indigenous experience and reflect as settlers to this land with open hearts and minds, reinforcing our enduring commitment to disrupt systems of oppression. We aim to centre Indigenous presence and practices within AMSSA and our member organizations, and to provide support to newcomers with the knowledge and truth of Canada’s colonial past and ongoing structures of oppression.
“To stand in solidarity with Indigenous Peoples requires settlers to hold the complexity of, at once, being overwhelmed, repulsed, disgusted, angry and heartbroken in the face of human atrocity while simultaneously realizing that you are the direct beneficiary of it. Canada is built on the attempted genocide of Indigenous Peoples. And this genocide is still occurring. This ongoing attempted genocide of Indigenous Peoples and the continued invasion and occupation of our unceded Homelands is the foundation of Canada’s government, economy and larger society. What atrocities Canada has and continues to commit is being done in the name of its citizens and residents. As citizens and permanent residents of Canada, there is a collective accountability that is critical to realize” (Dupuis-Rossi, Hellson & Reynolds, 2020).
In September 2020, AMSSA released a booklet written by Riel Dupuis-Rossi, Charlene Hellson, and Vikki Reynolds to help the immigration sector and non-profit organizations centre Indigenous knowledge on the impact of colonialism and the process of settler reflexivity. You can find the booklet Disrupting Current Colonial Practices and Structures in the Immigration and Non-Profit Sector by clicking here.