Cities Have No Right to Criminalize, Brutalize and Remove Homeless People
– Statement, Skyler Williams,
Six Nations 1492 Land Back Lane Defender –
(September 17) Indigenous people make up nearly 40 per cent of those living without homes on the streets of every major city across the country. This is the legacy of residential schools. Dispossessed of lands. Disconnected from language, culture and family. The legacy of trauma inflicted on our nations and our people over and over again.
These are our people. People stolen from our nations through the residential school system and CAS, criminalized and brutalized for simply existing in one of the few spaces left where they feel safe.
The city of Toronto has no right criminalizing, brutalizing, and removing Indigenous people from the place they’ve made home on stolen native land. To see a city and it’s police come down so hard on folks that have already been through more than most could ever bear is infuriating.
I will be standing with our Indigenous family members wherever they choose to live. We need to stand together to keep each other safe while our brothers and sisters cope with their trauma, find their nations, and reconnect with lost families. We need space and time to heal from generations of trauma. And to fight for landback so that our nations have space to grow, space to welcome our brothers and sisters as they find their way home.
Our nations have called these lands home forever but our fight is not over. No government outside of our nations will dictate to us where we can live. Landback is everywhere. The time to stand up is now! Whenever our people make a call out, whether that’s in the bush or in the middle of a city, everybody should know that we will all be there to help.
Thank you to everyone who answered the call from Encampment Support Network Toronto to show up for myself and two others who were arrested yesterday. And an extra huge thank you to everyone who donated to the 1492 Land Back Lane Legal Defense Fund, pushing us over our fundraising goal.