(June 5, 2020, Fort McMurray, AB) – The Athabasca Tribal Council (ATC), representing First Nations communities within the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, advocates for the end of oppression and racism against Indigenous people. The YMM Solidarity March, taking place this Saturday, June 6th, to bring awareness to ending systemic racism against Black, Indigenous, People of Colour (BIPOC), reinforces our common goal.
The actions of the police in Minneapolis, USA, that led to the death of George Floyd are unacceptable. ATC stands in solidarity with the black community and all who condemn racism and violence against BIPOC. The oppression of Indigenous people in Canada has been persistent and a deliberate violation of human rights, as documented in the Reclaiming Power and Place report from the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, and unfortunately continues today.
“As we watch events and protests unfold all over the world, we need to remember that systemic racism and violence happens right here in our country, communities, neighbourhoods, and streets,” said Chief Allan Adam, ATC Board of Directors President. “Canada needs to take the steps necessary towards changes that will heal the devastation in Indigenous communities, but those steps must be taken by every individual Canadian if we are to heal as a country. When we raise awareness in our communities, we can continue the conversations, bring about actions that further change, and heal our communities, our nations, our country, and the world as a whole. We extend our thanks to the organizers of the YMM Solidarity March for working to shine a spotlight on systemic racism and the impact it has not only on the world but also on our own communities.”
ATC supports peaceful and non-violent activism that brings awareness to oppressions and advocates for change, but during this time of pandemic, the need to protect our communities from the spread of COVID-19 cannot be overlooked. It is vital that all participants in the YMM Solidarity March take appropriate precautions to protect themselves and others from spreading COVID-19.
For more information:
Karla Buffalo | CEO, Athabasca Tribal Council