Indigenous Rights Activism: So You Want To Be an Ally?

It would be in my blog post Canada’s Shameful History: Remains of 215 children found at Indigenous residential school site that I began with the intention of being proactive in how to participate in Reconciliation, and the recommendation made by the Commission. As I began to gather helpful learning tools and resources I was reminded of the learning I had coming away during many of the Black Lives Matters demonstrations I attended last year. Click Here to Read More.

I learned that my voice as a white woman is loud when I choose to use it towards fighting for injustices, and when I’m not using my privilege to speak out, I’m part of the problem. I learned also that my role is to also listen, even when its hard to hear or accept. I learned to trust and take direction when to stand back as to not drown out the voices and faces of the inequality and discrimination. To get to this place however I had to humble myself and the assumptions I held around how my own anti-oppressive based education had been enough to consider myself “skilled” in the area of social justice.

I feel strongly that to begin any kind of engagement it is important to do your homework first. However I wanted to bring the spot light onto a guide I came across by Dakota Swiftwolfe. She said allies definitely need to be aware of their motivations and be “self critical of their actions and why they do what they do, and just raising that level of self-awareness.” Dakota Swiftwolfe developed the content and research of the toolkit along with a handful of other contributors from the Network.

The Montreal Urban Aboriginal Community Strategy Network Non-Profit launched the toolkit on how to be an Indigenous ally.

The toolkit breaks down allyship into three steps:

  1. Be critical of any motivations.
  2. Start learning.
  3. Act accordingly.

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