Acknowledgement of history
We are a group of settlers who are not Indigenous to the land we live on. As settlers, we see that us and our families are direct, material beneficiaries of the theft of Indigenous land and the imprisonment of Indigenous people on reserves and in residential schools. We are direct, material beneficiaries of the brutal biological and physical war that 'Canada' unleashed upon Indigenous people, including the spread of smallpox, the destruction of coastal Indigenous villages by bombing and fire, and the forced relocations or summary executions of those who resisted colonization. Our towns, cities, roads, schools and hospitals were built from the profits of the dispossession of land and resources from Indigenous people, and profit continues to accrue to settler individuals, settler governments and settler corporations through this process.
Indigenous people have always resisted colonization. There is currently a broad resurgence movement within and across Indigenous nations. From individual camps to cross-nation coordination, Indigenous territory defenders are mobilizing incredible strength to revitalize their cultural practices and to protect their traditional lands and waters, including resisting resource extraction projects encroaching on their territories without consent.
Reparations and Solidarity
Understanding this history and present-day context, Gathering Allies does not see our work as acts of charity, but as acts of reparation and solidarity. All steering members put a percentage of their monthly income towards this work. Considering the massive race and class privilege differences that result from colonization processes and resource theft, we believe reparations must be made. We believe making reparations is the first step towards building the trust needed for our communities to form long-term partnerships that can provide meaningful alternatives to the status quo.