Indigenous Solidarity Statement – Israeli Apartheid Week Montreal
We gather this week to assert our opposition to colonialism and apartheid, and our solidarity with Indigenous struggles for dignity and self-determination.
As the organizers of Israeli Apartheid Week in Montreal, we believe that we cannot speak meaningfully about Israeli Apartheid without speaking first about the realities of apartheid here in Canada.
Canada’s reservation system and treatment of Indigenous peoples was closely studied by the planners of apartheid in South Africa, although this is a hidden chapter of our history.
Recently, members of Harper’s conservative government have argued that “Canada’s values are Israel’s values”, and they’re right: the dispossession and theft of Palestinian lands, and the creation of Palestinian open-air prisons
and bantustans, mimic Canada’s own historical policies.
From its very foundations, Canada has been based on the theft of Indigenous lands, and the genocide and displacement of Indigenous peoples. In crucial ways, the Canadian state’s treatment of Indigenous
peoples, historically and currently, can be described as an apartheid system — from the imposition of the Indian Act, band councils and reservation system, to stolen children and residential schools; from
the continued theft of lands and resources by governments and corporations, to the cultural appropriation of native traditions and culture.
In the face of more than five hundred years of colonialism, Indigenous communities continue to resist and survive. Their multifold and diverse struggles demand our active support, especially in the face of
state repression and criminalization. For those of us who are non-native, we have a role within our own communities, to further the process of decolonizing Canada.
If you are with us in opposition to Israeli Apartheid, we encourage your consistent opposition to apartheid right here in Canada. Let us support both the resistance of indigenous Palestinians, and the
survival and struggles of Canada’s Indigenous nations. From Palestine to Turtle Island: There is no justice on stolen land.
– The organizers of Israeli Apartheid Week in Montreal.