People's Assembly (Occupy Victoria) Statement of Purpose - to be discussed and possibly ratified Sunday Nov 6th
The Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria, 3 November 2011
RESOLUTION, Statement of Intent and Action for Decolonizing Victoria & Memorandum of solidarity and support with Indigenous peoples of this land and all Indigenous peoples in what is commonly known as British Columbia and Canada.
WHEREAS, that as a signal to the “Occupy Together” movement and Indigenous peoples here who have felt excluded by the colonialist language of occupation used to name this movement, we meet under the name: The Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria.
WHEREAS, we acknowledge that we are on Lekwungen land, territory that is shared in ways with WSANEC and other Indigenous communities but has never been ceded and is illegally occupied by British Columbia and Canada.
WHEREAS, we acknowledge that despite great colonial pressures Lekwungen, WSANEC and other Indigenous communities from the area remain sovereign nations and we will endeavor to build open and supportive communication with members of these communities.
WHEREAS, we recognize that much of the wealth and its distribution being protested in the Occupy-Together Movement is derived from the past and continued theft of Indigenous peoples' land and resources and an unsustainable exploitation of the Earth.
We, The Peoples' Assembly of Victoria do hereby declare it:
RESOLVED, that we will take greater responsibility to learn the histories of Vancouver Island and surrounding area, including colonial legal history and the Douglas Treaties.
RESOLVED, that we will be open to cultivating political and social relationships with Indigenous peoples that will effect meaningful change to address historical and contemporary injustices.
RESOLVED, that we will create a standing working group focused on living up to these commitments and developing further actions in the spirit of addressing the problems of colonialism. We respectfully seek a pathway to prepare ourselves to build non-colonial relationships with Indigenous peoples and their lands. We are open to benefiting from the involvement, knowledges and participation that Indigenous peoples and communities want to offer this standing working group.
RESOLVED, that moving forward, we are open to potential forms of alliances, mutual learning, action and solidarity with local Indigenous peoples, when, and if, they view such cooperation to be appropriate and constructive for achieving change to our relationships.
Extending an open hand of humility and friendship, The Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria respectfully recognizes the protocol breach of not approaching Lekwungen before convening this assembly on their land. We take this opportunity to ask for permission now.
We offer these gifts as a token of the Assembly's sincerity to address colonialism and all of our relations.