INDIGENOUS SOLIDARITY NETWORK – (UN)OCCUPY VANCOUVER (adopted: Nov30-2011)
An equitable world for Mother Earth and all Her inhabitants.
To foster inclusive communities within (Un)Occupy Vancouver, the (Un)Occupy movement and the world at large by starting from within , working in circle and sacred manner. We actively promote Indigenous Solidarity and Decolonization through peer education, engaged partnerships, shared leadership, support and advocacy for indigenous and marginalized peoples and allies. Our work is in solidarity with Indigenous peoples for their reclamation of land, culture and traditions, spirituality and wisdom in a dignified manner, along with the Ally Bill of Responsibilities.
As indigenous peoples and allies we ourselves work in peace through direct action.
(this area under construction)
The ISN strives to uphold the following principles at all levels of organizational decision-making, planning and we follow them by the process of healing, developing and fostering ourselves on a physical, mental, emotional and spiritual level. We recognize the same healing process applies to Mother Earth and our human relationship to Her. Through healing we renew ourselves, including: environmentalism, governance, social, and economic, sustainable and cultural elements.
The ISN has a foundation of anti oppression principals to which we seek to uphold the spiritual principals below by walking through the roadmap of anti oppression towards equality and balance. See: http://wiki.freegeekvancouver.org/article/What_is_Anti-Oppression%3F + http://opirg.ca/ao/
The ISN strives to uphold the following principles at all levels of organizational decision-making, planning and activism elements.
Respect, fairness, honour and justice for Mother Earth and all her inhabitants.
Consistency of actions, values, methods, measures, principles, expectations, and outcomes.
The opposite of hypocrisy
Honesty and consistency of character.
Indigenous Self Determination
The right of Indigenous peoples to freely choose their sovereignty and international governance status with no external compulsion or external interference.
We recognize that by Rule of Law, Canada is in fraud and treason unto itself as it has never obeyed Queen Anne’s Royal Order which says all Indigenous peoples must be dealt with on a nation to nation basis with a third, neutral party http://www.angelfire.com/folk/sovereignty (Mohawk Manifesto)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Proclamation_of_1763 We wish this rectified.
Indigenous peoples ARE sovereign and the land belongs to First Nations, Metis and the Inuit to steward.
We humbly recognize that our activities are taking place on already occupied unceded Coast Salish Territories and the remainder of Turtle Island is already occupied, unceded indigenous territories.
We commit to acting out of intrinsic collective and self worth and respect for all life – not individual ego. We are as newborns in every moment.
Understanding, the ability to recognize the physical, material, and psychological suffering of others, to put ourselves “inside the skin” of the other.
Understanding is the essence of love. If you cannot understand, you cannot love.
Deep listening, naming challenges and problems without shaming or blaming.
In true dialogue, where both sides are willing to change.
About the Indigenous Solidarity Network – ISN
ISN is actively promoting Indigenous Solidarity and Decolonization within the (Un)Occupy Vancouver movement through example, peer education, engaged activism, support, and shared leadership.
ISN is an (Un)Occupy Vancouver working group run by and for Indigenous peoples, marginalized peoples and allies.; All of our meetings involve Indigenous spirituality, and compassionate action toward creating and ensuring an equitable world for Mother Earth and all her inhabitants. We also follow a philosophy of Indigenous self determination and confronting the realities faced by Indigenous and *marginalized peoples in a non-judgmental manner through providing information, and decolonizing education to the larger (Un)Occupy movement and the world in order to create movement toward a more equitable, just and environmentally sound society. Anti oppression education and understanding – not withstanding.
Anyone who understands or is open to being educated about the realities of colonization and genocide on Turtle Island (North America) and the world at large is welcome to attend and get involved with our committee meetings and actions.
*Marginalized peoples include but are not limited to: Queer, Trans, Gender Queer, Two-Spirit, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual folks, People of Colour, Women, People with Disabilities, Fat People, People Affected by Poverty and Homelessness, People with Addictions… and so on.
On October 21, 2011 at the 4pm GA committee meeting, there were several people who happened to be in attendance who expressed feeling that there was an imbalance of power at (Un)Occupy Vancouver. Specifically, white, cis-gendered, male, apparently straight voices and able bodies were actively taking up an inequitable amount of space within the movement and perpetuating a colonial, kyriarchical environment. (Kyriarchy is a neologism coined by Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza to describe interconnected, interacting, and multiplicative systems of domination and submission, within which a person oppressed in one context might be privileged in another. It is an intersectional elaboration of the concept of patriarchy — it extends the analysis of oppression beyond traditional feminism to dynamics such as sexism, racism, economic injustice, and other forms of internalized and institutionalized oppression [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kyriarchy])
Many people expressed a sense of alienation. The discourse suggested that step one on the way to overcoming this imbalance – because (Un)Occupy is taking place on unceded Coast Salish Territory – was to first really be centered in our relationship with Squamish people and all Indigenous peoples, women, peoples of colour, two-spirited, queer and trans peoples, people with disabilities, etc.. We decided to create a committee that would find a way to effectively apologize to Coast Salish elders and to learn proper protocol in order to unoccupy the land as respectfully as possible.
Originally we called “The Apology Committee” which was a working title. By the first official meeting we had come to consensus on the title “Indigenous Solidarity Committee“, which has evolved to the “Indigeous Solidarity Network“, as we began to see past the narrow focus of our involvement with (Un)Occupy Vancouver. This is now about all aspects of indigenous issues facing all communities on Turtle Island.
Other efforts were made to revamp the largely ineffective, academic style General Assemblies, incorporating a more traditional Aboriginal style set up, more representation of people of colour, women and marginalized folks as moderators, decision making and space holding; to remind people to move the acknowledgement of Coast Salish territories to the top of the unity statement; and to add a friendly amendment to recognize that this is already occupied land as is the rest of Turtle Island at Large. This reminder and proposal were made within two days of the committee meeting but as of this writing have not yet been dealt with or passed due to related disruptions at the GA’s.
Ultimately we aim to change the name to (Un)Occupy Vancouver as did New Mexico’s (Un)Occupy Movement. It is our contention that in order for this movement to effectively affect change on Turtle Island or the world at large, we need to begin within our own community.
(*note: this is an evolving document – one that is a living and breathing as we are as spirit beings)