Skills for Solidarity

Skills for Solidarity is an introductory program that will open up a conversation about the shared history between Indigenous Peoples and non-Indigenous Peoples in Canada, and ways to renew the relationship between nations.

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Program at a glance

  • 5 months
  • 3 - 5 hours / month
  • English

Confirmed Presenters

  • Heather Milton Lightening

    Community Organizer

  • Victoria Freeman

    Historian and author

  • Ed Bianchi

    Program Manager, KAIROS

About the program

This free program will explore this relationship between Indigenous Peoples and non-Indigenous Peoples in Canada and provide an overview of what it looks like to renew the relationship between nations and continue to work together on a variety of campaigns and issues. By the end of the program, you will have explored the following:

  • The shared history between Indigenous Peoples and non-Indigenous Peoples in Canada.
  • The ways in which this shared history continues to impact and define the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Peoples in Canada today.
  • Your own personal story and the ways in which it is connected to our shared history.
  • Common myths about Indigenous Peoples in Canada.
  • Indigenous and non-Indigenous perspectives on working together on a variety of issues and campaigns.
  • Some campaigns that are working to renew the relationship, including both the possibilities and challenges of this work.
  • How relationship to land and place are central to challenging the impacts of colonization.
  • Ways to continue deepening your learning about solidarity work.

Program Syllabus

Skills for Solidarity is delivered in 5 modules, each consisting of a panel and a follow-up resource guide and workbook. The modules are as follows:

Module 1 – June 24 (5:30pm PST / 8:30pm EST)

Personal Story

This panel will open with an introduction and overview of the program. Following this, Indigenous Peoples and non-Indigenous Peoples will share their personal stories, linking them to the impacts of colonialism and the relationships between Indigenous Peoples and people who have settled here.

We’ll walk away with a deeper understanding of our personal stories and the stories of Indigenous Peoples and non-Indigenous Peoples engaged in renewing the relationship. Solidarity work must be grounded in our personal stories. We will walk away with a deeper understanding of how our stories are connected to doing this work.

Module 2 – July 17 (5:30pm PST / 8:30pm EST)

Our Shared History

In this panel, we will explore the shared history between Indigenous nations and the Canadian state as a way to start understanding colonialism as a system that marginalizes and assimilates whole groups of people. A history of Indigenous resistance will also be woven into this module. We will walk away from this panel with a broader understanding of how we are all connected to our shared history.

Module 3 (date TBA)

Mythbusting

In this panel, panelists will challenge prevalent myths and demonstrate the ways in which history impacts present-day realities. We will leave with a recognition of the ways in which our shared history is connected to present realities. Additionally, through a process of deepening our understanding of our shared history, we will recognize some of the myths that we hold onto, why this might be, and how we can challenge them.

Module 4 (date TBA)

Working together towards a new relationship

This panel will explore what accountability to Indigenous communities looks like in practice for non-Indigenous Peoples. Examples of solidarity work will be presented, with panelists exploring both what has worked and what the challenges are. We will walk away with an understanding of the questions we need to be asking when engaging in solidarity work, by both hearing case studies of solidarity work and also being asked to explore our own story and how it connects to this work.

Module 5 (date TBA)

Where do we go from here?

In this panel, we will explore what we can do next. We will explore questions to keep asking ourselves as we engage in the work of renewing the relationship and discuss opportunities for making connections with other campaigns and organizations that are doing this work.

Recommended Background

This program is open to anyone. No particular background is needed. Please note that the majority of the content will be geared towards non-Indigenous Peoples, though it may also be of interest to Indigenous Peoples. We hope you’ll join us!

Program Format

Online panels will be hosted approximately every 3 weeks starting June 24th. All that is required to join is a stable internet connection. If you miss a panel, it will be available to view on the module page shortly after the livestream event.

The panels will be approximately 90 minutes in length and consist of 2-4 panelists, each speaking for about 10-15 minutes, followed by a moderated Q+A session.

Following the panel, a resource guide and workbook will be available. It will consist of questions that will encourage you to deepen your thinking through a series of questions on the panel theme, as well as additional resources on the panel theme.

Additionally, there will be a moderated online forum where you can connect with other participants and discuss the panel and workbook content between panels.

Who is Leadnow?

Leadnow is a community-driven organization that works to create an open, just and sustainable society by:

  • Running campaigns on some of the major issues of our times.
  • Connecting and organizing people on the ground.
  • Using technology to empower collaboration, participation and self-organization.

What is the history of Skills for Solidarity?

In the winter of 2013, following the arrival of the Idle No More movement, many of us at Leadnow were asking what our role could be in supporting this movement, and in particular, in supporting the sudden upswing in the number of settlers getting involved in organizing around Indigenous rights and issues.

Additionally, many people in our community, who had initially joined Leadnow because they were concerned about the state of our democracy and environment, were starting to express interest in learning more about how to renew the relationship between Indigenous Peoples and non-Indigenous Peoples.

Through conversations with many engaged in this work, including much support from those involved in Idle No More and Defenders of the Land, the resounding theme we heard back was that we could provide education on what it means for non-Indigenous Peoples to be engaged in the work of renewing the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Peoples on this land.

Thus, Skills for Solidarity was born. This program has been developed by several staff members of Leadnow, with guidance from a wide range of advisors connected to Idle No More and other Indigenous-led movements. We have also received support from our incredible list of panelists.

We are not the first people to think of doing this kind of work, and we won’t be the last. However, we hope to be able to make a small offering to the incredible work being done from coast to coast to coast on Indigenous rights issues. It has been a year in the making, and we are so excited to go through the program with you.

What is the vision for Skills for Solidarity?

Skills for Solidarity will provide an introductory overview to our nations’ shared history.
Our hope is that those who participate in the program will leave with a better understanding of how they are connected to and responsible for renewing the relationship between Indigenous Peoples and non-Indigenous Peoples, and a toolkit to help us continue exploring effective ways of working together. While we will not walk away knowing everything about our nations’ histories, we will hopefully be better equipped to ask questions about how to engage in solidarity work in a meaningful, authentic and effective way.

Register

Skills for Solidarity is an online education program that will open up a conversation about the shared history between Indigenous Peoples and non-Indigenous Peoples in Canada, and ways to renew the relationship between nations. Sign up below and we'll send you an invite to the online panel and the discussion with participants like you.

Registration successful

Thanks for registering. We'll be sending additional information to you soon by email.

Register

Skills for Solidarity is an online education program that will open up a conversation about the shared history between Indigenous Peoples and non-Indigenous Peoples in Canada, and ways to renew the relationship between nations. Sign up below and we'll send you an invite to the online panel and the discussion with participants like you.

Registration successful

Thanks for registering. We'll be sending additional information to you soon by email.