On 11 February 2018, Indigenous faculty members and allies published an open letter to University Presidents of Canadian post-secondary institutions. In common cause with its signatories and in alignment with the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association, the Executive Committee writes to express our strong support of the Letter’s call to address ongoing violence against Indigenous peoples by taking measures to proliferate anti-racist and decolonial education.
The immediate catalyst of the Open Letter was the acquittal of Gerald Stanley of murder charges in the death of Colten Boushie, a 22 year old member of the Red Pheasant Cree Nation. While neither incarceration nor adjudication through legal proceedings is capable of redressing the multifaceted and ongoing devastation to Indigenous peoples attending to settler colonialism, as in this case, such acquittals render clearly visible the urgent need for robust understanding of violence against Indigenous people as part of the effort to bring it to an end.
The Letter calls for institutional support of Indigenous peoples through the deliberate creation of environments hospitable to Indigenous communities; the reconfiguration of the relationships of Indigenous peoples to institutions in ways that contribute to the revitalization of Indigenous ways of knowing, being, and living; and, the transformation of curricular structures, policies, and practices toward proliferation of anti-racist and decolonial knowledges.
The ASA embraces these values, renews our commitment to supporting their further establishment, and calls on its members to work toward these ends in and through our respective institutional settings.
The Executive Committee