June 21, 2019

Statement on National Indigenous Peoples Day

Statement on National Indigenous Peoples Day

June 21st is National Indigenous Peoples Day, a day where we celebrate and honour the culture and significant contributions made by Indigenous peoples. From the wisdom passed down from generation to
generation about this planet and the ecosystems alive around us, to the significant inventions and discoveries, including commonly used medicines, there is no shortage of things that are a part of our everyday lives that can be traced backed to Indigenous peoples. Indigenous leadership, knowledge and stewardship has helped make life better for all.

In recognizing those contributions, it is just as important to acknowledge the inhospitable environment in which many of these contributions have been received. At FoodShare we recognize the realities of systemic oppression and discrimination rooted in settler colonialism, white-supremacy and capitalism that has had profoundly negative impacts on Indigenous people for far too long.

Indigenous communities experience food insecurity at disproportionately higher rates. The people of Grassy Narrows First Nation are forced to live with the devastating consequences of a half century of mercury contamination of their rivers and lakes. Instead of action, this crisis has been met with decades of government denial and inaction. The National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls recent report was met with debate around the use of the term “genocide”. There should be no debate!

On National Indigenous Peoples Day, FoodShare reasserts our commitment to honour the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action by committing to integrating them into our work and collaborating with Indigenous groups working to advance Indigenous food sovereignty. We also urge individuals and our community partners to join us in advocating for the passing of Bill C-262, an act that requires the Government of Canada to take all measures necessary to ensure that the laws of Canada are in harmony with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

This National Indigenous Peoples Day, let’s stand with folks and organizations fighting for Indigenous rights
across Turtle Island.

Paul M. Taylor
Suman Roy