National Indigenous Peoples Day
The Peterborough Community Legal Centre will close in solidarity with Indigenous Peoples on Friday, June 21st, 2019 in recognition of National Indigenous Peoples Day. National Indigenous Peoples Day is a day to recognize and celebrate First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples.
The Peterborough Community Legal Centre will close in solidarity with Indigenous Peoples on Friday, June 21st, 2019 in recognition of National Indigenous Peoples Day.
National Indigenous Peoples Day is a day to recognize and celebrate First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples.
We live in Nogojiwanong, the place at the end of the rapids, in the traditional territories of the Michi Saagiig Anishinaabeg. Nogojiwanong / Peterborough is located on Treaty 20 Michi Saagiig territory and in the traditional territory of the Michi Saagiig and Chippewa Nations, collectively known as the Williams Treaties First Nations, which include: Curve Lake, Hiawatha, Alderville, Scugog Island, Rama, Beausoleil, and Georgina Island First Nations.
We acknowledge that the Williams Treaties First Nations are the stewards and caretakers of these lands and waters in perpetuity, and that they continue to maintain this responsibility to ensure their health and integrity for generations to come.
We honour and acknowledge the Michi Saagiig and Chippewa Anishnaabeg and all Indigenous Peoples in Nogojiwanong, throughout the Legal Centre’s catchment area, and across the continent, which has been populated by Indigenous Peoples since time immemorial.
It is also a day to reflect on Canada’s perpetration of the multifaceted, genocidal violence of colonialism against Indigenous Peoples, reflect on our positions within that system and what we can do to end that violence.
This year we want to draw attention to the findings of the Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, Reclaiming Power and Place, released on June 3, 2019.
Our thanks to the Colour of Poverty – Colour of Change network for sharing their Statement regarding the Final Report.
The Final Report has found that “persistent and deliberate human and Indigenous rights violations and abuses are the root cause behind Canada’s staggering rates of violence against Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA people” and that this is genocide. The basis for naming this violence genocide is explored in-depth in the National Inquiry’s supplementary report, A Legal Analysis of Genocide.
Additionally, the National Inquiry issued explicit recommendations, Calls for Justice, arising from international and domestic human and Indigenous rights laws which are therefore legal imperatives for Canada to implement.
The Calls for Justice also includes a section called “Calls for Justice for All Canadians”. In the spirit of the Statement issued by Colour of Poverty – Colour of Change Network, we have included these at the bottom of this release.
The Peterborough Community Legal Centre denounces violence against Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people, and violence against all Indigenous Peoples.The Legal Centre calls on all governments in Canada to act urgently to implement the Calls For Justice presented in Reclaiming Power and Place: The Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.
The Peterborough Community Legal Centre also urges Canada to make June 21st a statutory holiday, and in the interim we encourage all employers and institutions to declare June 21st a paid holiday for their workplaces.
“To put an end to this tragedy, the rightful power and place of women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA people must be reinstated, which requires dismantling the structures of colonialism within Canadian society.”
– National Inquiry Commissioner Michèle Audette
From the Calls for Justice of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls
As this report has shown, and within every encounter, each person has a role to play in order to combat violence against Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people. Beyond those Calls aimed at governments or at specific industries or service providers, we encourage every Canadian to consider how they can give life to these Calls for Justice.
We call on all Canadians to:
15.1 Denounce and speak out against violence against Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people.
15.2 Decolonize by learning the true history of Canada and Indigenous history in your local area. Learn about and celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ history, cultures, pride, and diversity, acknowledging the land you live on and its importance to local Indigenous communities, both historically and today.
15.3 Develop knowledge and read the Final Report. Listen to the truths shared, and acknowledge the burden of these human and Indigenous rights violations, and how they impact Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people today.
15.4 Using what you have learned and some of the resources suggested, become a strong ally.
Being a strong ally involves more than just tolerance; it means actively working to break down barriers and to support others in every relationship and encounter in which you participate.
15.5 Confront and speak out against racism, sexism, ignorance, homophobia, and transphobia, and teach or encourage others to do the same, wherever it occurs: in your home, in your workplace, or in social settings.
15.6 Protect, support, and promote the safety of women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people by acknowledging and respecting the value of every person and every community, as well as the right of Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people to generate their own, self-determined solutions.
15.7 Create time and space for relationships based on respect as human beings, supporting and embracing differences with kindness, love, and respect. Learn about Indigenous principles of relationship specific to those Nations or communities in your local area and work, and put them into practice in all of your relationships with Indigenous Peoples.
15.8 Help hold all governments accountable to act on the Calls for Justice, and to implement them according to the important principles we set out.