Land & People's Acknowledgment
I would like to acknowledge that as a Black person I must first reconcile as a stolen person on stolen land. I am presently situated in Tiohtià:ke, later colonized as Montreal, Quebec, on the unceded Kanien'kehá:ka traditional territory. I would also like to acknowledge that a great deal of the work I do is based in N’Swakamok, later colonized as Sudbury, Ontario, the unceded land of the Atikameksheng Anishnawbek & the Wahnapitae First Nations.
I recognize that reconciliation does not begin and end with a land acknowledgment and in fact, as an aspiring scholar, truth and reconciliation includes an active decolonization of the academia, uplifting Indigenous ways of learning and teaching, as well as unlearning settler-colonial state ways of living and aiding in the ongoing battle for Indigenous rights, access to clean drinking water, land back and the end of numerous ongoing oppressive practices being imposed on the Indigenous peoples of this land.
I likewise acknowledge the legacy of slavery in our country and the enslaved African people whose labour was exploited for generations to help establish the colonial lands we now call Canada. The end of slavery was followed by a series of discriminatory and repressive practices and laws such as segregation, redlining, disproportionate acts of police and state violence, systemic oppression in our educational, governmental institutions and a plethora of other ongoing forms of anti-Black racism. I recognize the remaining harm of colonialism and white supremacy that is present in our society
BLACK LIVES MATTER SUDBURY (BLMS)
It's not a moment, it's a movement
BLM Sudbury was formed in 2020 by a group of local Black activists who connected in light of the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. That year the murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and Regis Korchinski-Paquet, among so many others, accentuated the need for systemic change to address anti-Black racism in all its forms. Noticing a significant dearth in local action, these activists came together to mobilize their community and destigmatize conversations surrounding racism, decolonial practices, and the abolition of harmful institutions, namely policing, across the country.
Today, Black Lives Matter Sudbury prides itself on being an organization that is committed to fighting systemic racism, demanding that society and all levels of government address and fix the root causes of racism in all social institutions. Led by four Black community members, BLMS creates a safer space for marginalized individuals in the community through coordinating educational events, arts-based initiatives, and supporting cultural creation through liberation, identity, and joy.
There is no Black liberation without Indigenous liberation across Turtle Island. All Black lives matter today, tomorrow, every day.
AMPLIFYING VOICES ON TURTLE ISLAND:
AN INTERSECTIONAL CAUCUS
February 26 & 27, 2022
The second iteration of BLMS' Northern Caucus, AVTI was a free online conference which centered and uplifted the voices of Black, Indigenous and people of colour (BIPOC) and 2SLGBTQ+ activists, leaders, educators, and changemakers from across Turtle Island.
Comprised of six culturally responsive panels and one key-note presentation, these talks allowed audiences the opportunity to learn about the ongoing journey towards dismantling oppressive systems of power, combating inequality, and imagining new futures for marginalized communities.