Being effective allies in a Rapidly Evolving Indigenous-Settler Relationship in Toronto

A stimulating talking circle dialogue as our process of moving from community-based learning and indigenous education toward meaningful ownership and personal investment in decolonizing ourselves and our immediate communities and social worlds was organised on Wednesday, July 26 at 6:30 pm, Lambert Lounge OCADU, 100 McCaul Street.
Indigenize or Die has proceeded as a continuous series of engagements with indigenous history, experience, and cultural knowledge since January 2016. The image below is a visual recording from the session, summarizing the highlights of the discussion.


Over the past 18 months, the curated monthly series of  Indigenize or Die has evolved from being largely conceptual (either we as a society adopt an indigenous world view of interconnectedness and reciprocity with all life or we won’t survive) towards a trajectory that is increasingly active in building life affirming pathways for the continued well being of the water, land and future generations. Our process has enabled connections with such groups as Naadmaagit Ki (Helpers of the Earth), Toronto Parks 40 year revision and a leader of the Mississaugas of New Credit – the legal rights holders of the land upon which Toronto now sits. Each of these has led to progressively greater opportunities for decolonizing and re-indigenizing Toronto.

At this point we are turning toward serious reflection on our purpose and opportunity as a learning group. We see that the next steps are necessarily to move toward taking action on our commitments, on becoming true allies in  the movement toward reconciliation (e.g., acting on the TRC) and cultural regeneration, not only for justice for  Indigenous peoples but for the future of us all.

While we recognize the necessity of decolonization, many non-indigenous observers wonder about how we can participate authentically, in a good way, and especially how we can be effective allies without inadvertently colonizing.. This discussion was a step towards becoming effective allies in support of this rapidly evolving indigenous-settler relationship.