June 21st is a day to celebrate the diverse communities of Indigenous, First Nations, Metis, and Inuit peoples across Turtle Island. It is a day to recognize, reflect and uplift the resistance of Indigenous peoples that continue to this day against ongoing settler colonialism. Settler colonialism is an ongoing system of power that perpetuates genocide, racism, and land dispossession for the purpose of foreigner settlers to inhabit land.
As student leaders we are committed to analyzing our unique positionality within settler colonialism so our decolonization efforts are not an empty signifier of change. We want to lead with integrity this board year and show through equitable action, and guidance from the Lək̓ʷəŋən and W̱SÁNEĆ peoples whose unceded and unsurrendered territories the UVSS operates on. We Understand it is our responsibility to further our ongoing commitment to decolonization and Indigenous self-determination. Decolonization and social justice are key UVSS values, which are at the forefront of our work.
We ask all students, staff and community members who use our services to critically think about their own positionality and involvement. We hope that you take this reflection to heart and allow it to flow through you and into your everyday interactions in your personal, academic, and professional lives.
Here is a list of resources that can help guide your self-reflection and broaden your understanding of the relationship we as settlers have to colonization:
Interactive map resources:
- Native-land.ca – to find out more about whose territories you live on
- First Peoples’ Map of BC – which showcases the language, arts, culture, territory and more of different First Nations
- Do you live near a residential school? – CBC interactive map
- Beyond territorial acknowledgments
- Decolonization is Not a Metaphor [PDF] by Eve Tuck and K. Wayne Yang
- Settler Identity and Colonialism in 21st Century Canada by Emma Battell Lowman and Adam J. Barker
- “As We Have Always Done: Indigenous Freedom through Radical Resistance” by Leanne Betasamosake Simpson
- “Indigenous Men and Masculinities: Legacies, Identities, Regeneration” edited by Robert Alexander Innes, Kim Anderson
- “A recognition of Being: Reconstructing Native Womanhood” by Kim Anderson
- “Whose Land is it Anyway? A Manual for Decolonization” – Widely available Audiobook (Allows for more accessibility!) Full list of authors on this site if necessary: https://fpse.ca/decolonization_manual_whose_land_is_it_anyway
- All My Relations Podcast
- Métis in Space
- Media Indigena
- Stories from the Land
- The Secret Life of Canada
Your UVSS Board of Directors