Indigenous Nationhood Movement 4-Colour Logo T-shirt.
100% heavyweight cotton. Black. Unisex sizing
Available in: S-XXL. $20
ORDER INFO: HERE
Colonization is a femicide machine that kills Indigenous women with impunity. It is designed to dispossess Indigenous people of who we are and what we imagine is possible. Its goal is to eliminate our power and our nationhood; and to deceive us into believing it can be reformed, if only we wait long enough and keep chanting reconciliation.
The Zapatista Escuelita (Zapatista Little School) project, which opened in August 2013, has now made available the first of several books, translated into English, as free PDF downloads.
The first in the series is the text, Autonomous Government 1: Freedom According to the Zapatistas. Download the PDF here.
Forthcoming books will be released in the coming months, at one month intervals, if not sooner, as follows:
• Autonomous Government I (Available now: click here)
• Autonomous Government II (Will be published no later than April 8th)
• Participation of Women in Autonomous Government (Will be published no later than May 8th)
• Autonomous Resistance (Will be published no later June 8th)
Over the past two weeks, we have been running a series of posts confronting the crisis of violence against Indigenous women and girls, to declare: #ItEndsHere. We are committed to eliminating all forms of violence within Indigenous communities, including violence based on gender and sexual identity and orientation. Please read and share these powerful words.
"First, I want to cite Susan Blight: ‘It is not about you being inclusive, [decolonization] is about you being included under our laws, relations, and ways of being’. The killing of Indigenous women is an extension of the genocidal practices of the colonial mother country and it is intended to eliminate the decolonization of Canada as a mother country. It is not simply about “ending violence”, the violation is the colonial order, that rests on our lands, our homes, our lives and kills either overtly [killing young women, slaughters our lineages forever] or covertly, assimilation, reconciling without restoring our nations. The people in this country need to own up: this is not Europe, Africa or Asia, it is Turtle Island. Political struggle is the struggle of one set of laws versus another. In this country that means our laws must prevail, our sensibility must prevail. We are all about “all my relations”, this is the centre point of our legal systems, everyone in this country, in order to be a ‘decolonized’ citizen must ascribe to this and protect the mothers of our nations and the future mothers of our nations, so that we may live within and transmit to everyone our laws and our relational teachings, that we may all live in peace. Anything else contributes to genocide." — Lee Maracle
READ THE SERIES HERE:
This is a collaborative response from Families of Sisters in Spirit (FSIS), No More Silence (NMS) and the Native Youth Sexual Health Network (NYSHN) to the calls for a national inquiry by some family members of missing and murdered women. We come together here to name specific forms of state violence – as much of the violence we face as communities, nations, and families stems from colonial nation-states like Canada and the US and the laws themselves. Structures of colonialism (i.e. state governments, foster care, prisons, social services) are responsible for and contribute to ongoing violence against Indigenous women, girls, Two Spirit, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, queer, questioning intersex, and asexual (LGBTTQQIA) people.
Gender based violence also impacts Indigenous women and Indigenous people who are part of the LGBTTQQIA community. LGBTTQQIA people often don’t fit gender binaries, or other Western categories of relationships and identities dictated by mainstream culture and as a result experience increased amounts of violence. This has resulted in the continuance of hundreds, if not thousands of disappearances and deaths across these lands.
As grassroots organizations, we have also provided some concrete suggestions about working collaboratively across Turtle Island towards the resurgence of Indigenous knowledge while supporting each other to address these issues.
State Responses and Inquiries
With the recent disappearance and murder of Loretta Saunders, a pregnant Inuk university student living in Halifax, support for a national inquiry has grown stronger than ever before.
During the past three years, FSIS has engaged with and appealed to state institutions and government bodies. This included providing testimonies at both the Senate Committee in 2011 (which did not result in meaningfully implemented recommendations) and the Special Committee in June 2013 (whose findings were released Friday March 7th). This past fall, FSIS and NYSHN also participated in meetings with the United Nations Committee for the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous People. We’ve gone through ”the proper channels” and it hasn’t got us any closer to justice that we are seeking.
“In my own mother’s case, I have been petitioning the province and federal government for an ‘independent investigation’; after 12 years I have gotten nowhere. So I did my own. The only way that I was going to find truth or answers about my mother’s death was to find them myself. It is what so many families across Turtle Island have been forced to do because they don’t have support from colonial agents in government, policy-making, media, police, and the legal systems. But as Indigenous women, the grief and trauma of experiencing crisis after crisis in our families and communities can overwhelm us; and the best we can do is just try to stay alive each day.” Bridget Tolley, Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg First Nation – Co-founder of FSIS
Our concerns and responses as families and community based organizations regarding a national inquiry come from these types of experiences. It is not an endorsement of the federal government’s position to not have an inquiry, it’s exactly the opposite. It is because we are ourselves family members who are affected by disappearances, murders and violent deaths, as well as community organizers who have seen the harms of state-led interventions. We call attention back to ourselves: we have the answers and solutions. We always have. We are the experts in enacting those solutions too. Collaboratively we are interested in nurturing self-determined and community-led solutions to interpersonal and structural violence. This is where our hearts are; in resistance to colonialism and in fostering our solutions as Indigenous peoples with the support and consensual allyship of our non-Indigenous friends and family members in the struggle.
READ MORE: http://nationsrising.org/it-starts-with-us
VIDEO of Minister of Injustice Peter MacKay throwing documents relating to Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women…on the floor of the House of Commons.
Now, who wants an inquiry?
NEW POST: “Against the Crisis” - by Jarrett Martineau
“I have been disappointed by how few Indigenous men have been willing to speak out in support of this series—and how few have done so in public. I want to work toward eliminating all forms of violence in Indigenous communities, and I want to know that my brothers will have my back. Our sisters can’t be the only ones doing the heavy lifting. They are already fighting. We need to fight with them.”
Please read and share.
Today, in Toronto. Organizers blocked a railroad demanding justice for all Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women.
"When we speak out against settler colonialism and its insidious manifestations, we are met with hostility because it disrupts the illusion of the system being innocuous. The hostility presents itself through the countless silencing and avoidance tactics thrown our way. We are the ones that are accused of being violent, offensive, hostile, confrontational, closed minded, stuck, etc. We are dismissed as the angry, ungrateful Indian. We are accused of not wanting to work towards resolution. We are told that the real world does not work that way. We are told that we have to be patient. We are told that our anger is pathological. This is wrong because these are examples of the ways in which everyday acts of settler colonial violence manifest and reinforce structural violence. They are attempts to shame us into silence and pacify our resistance. We need to be prepared for this and not buy into the shame. We must continue to speak despite the intimidation."
READ MORE: HERE
Another great post in this ongoing series. Read and share!
The history of violence against Indigenous people is woven into the colonization of our Indigenous territories. Our bones and blood make up the fabric of “Canada”.
Through the process of âsotamâtowin, (Sacred Agreement/Treaty) and through the power of the oskiciya (the Pipe Stems), our ancestors agreed to share these territories with Euro-Canadian people. The numbered treaties were a result of these negotiations and form the largest landmass in Canada. The largest landmass holds within it the largest numbers of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. Our mothers, daughters, aunties, sisters, and grandmothers have been found in the fields of the prairies, in the forests of the mountains, in the ditches alongside the road, in the alleys of the cities, and even in the pigpen of a farm; many have never been found. They have disappeared from the prairies, the mountains, the roads, and the cities. These areas where Indigenous bodies have been brutally placed and these areas where they have disappeared from are our territories; that of the nêhiyawak, the Saulteaux/Anishnaabe, the Haudenosaunee, the Dene, Dakota, Lakota, Nakota, and the Blackfoot Confederacy, that of the Métis and the numerous First Nations in British Columbia and in the East. In Indigenous territories, Indigenous people of all genders, like our ancestors, have become a part of the landscape, but these Indigenous bodies have not been ceremoniously placed with honour and respect; instead, they have been horribly brutalized, sometimes disembodied, and always dehumanized.
One of the most immediate questions people ask is why do Indigenous women, specifically, experience more violence? The answer is simple: it is because we are Indigenous and we are women.
What does that mean in terms of numbers, in terms of “validation?” As Amnesty International reports, if there are 14 of us in a room and half of us are Indigenous and the other half non-Indigenous, the 7 of us who are Indigenous women are most likely to die before the other half and die violently. For the record, the 7 of us do NOT have to be living what society deems a “high risk” lifestyle – the 7 of us die because we are Indigenous women. Why? “Canada” is not only built through colonization, but also through patriarchy. Add patriarchy to the racial stereotypes and notions that we are disposable, of little value, and of no consequence and we become targets for racial and gender violence.
Loretta Saunders’ murder has become symbolic of that violence. Her death triggered a wave of media interest and brought the issue of the missing and murdered Indigenous women to the forefront of many people’s minds. Her death, however, is one of many. What about 26-year-old Courtney Johnstone? She was reported missing on Jan. 30th 2014 and found Feb 16, 10 days before Loretta was found. A 21-year-old man was charged with first-degree murder in Courtney’s death. What about Daleen Bosse Muskego’s family and friends? Daleen went missing May 18, 2004. She was found on August 8, 2008. The man charged with first-degree murder in her death has yet to go to trial. What about 5 year old Tamra Keepness? 10 years ago on Feb. 18, this five-year-old little girl, this five-year-old little baby, disappeared and has yet to be found. What about Bella Laboucan-Mclean, Cheyenne Fox, and Terra Janine Gardner? These 3 young women died within 3 months of each other in Toronto. Bella, Cheyenne, Terra, Tamra, Daleen, Courtney, Loretta – they are 7 of over 800 names. They are 7 of over 800 Indigenous women and girls who are loved and who are missed as the Canadian government continues to deny the need for any kind of national movement and, thus, any kind of national empathy and sorrow. To acknowledge this issue, to move beyond “the status quo,” is to acknowledge the government’s own continued culpability in creating a world where being Indigenous is all it takes to get you killed, especially if you are an Indigenous woman.
READ MORE: HERE