In the winter of 2013, after the emergence of Idle No More, many of us were asking what Leadnow’s 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.
The resounding theme we heard from many conversations with people engaged in this work, including those involved in Idle No More and Defenders of the Land, was that we were well placed to provide education on what it means for settlers to be engaged in the work of renewing the relationship between Indigenous Peoples and non-Indigenous Peoples on this land.
Thus, Skills for Solidarity was born. In the summer of 2014, we ran the five-panel program and had hundreds of people participate in the panels as they aired and shortly afterwards. Now we are offering the panels and workbooks for those who want to participate in the program at their own pace.
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. It has been a year in the making, and we are so excited to go through the program with you.
In developing Skills for Solidarity, we have received incredible support and inspiration from a long list of people, movements and organizations. We want to offer a huge thank you to everyone who has helped us along the way and, in doing so, acknowledge that any mistakes are all ours. We are in a constant process of learning what it means to do this work well and are very open to feedback.
In particular, we would like to thank the following people for their generous support and feedback:
- Sheelah McLean
- Heather Milton Lightening
- Kim Hayward
- Melina Laboucan-Massimo
- Corvin Russell
- Annie Banks
- Robyn Heaslip
- Martin Lukacs
- INM Revolutionary Education Website Team, including Barbara Low (Mi’kmaq Nation), Anna Lee-Popham, Spencer Mann, Shiri Pasternak and Sheelah McLean.
- Graduate Diploma in Social Innovation ‘Aboriginal-Settler Relationship’ Project Team, including Robin Sutherland, Johanna Hove, Heather Laird, Marc-Etienne Brunet and Laurel Currie.
We’ve also learned from some of these movements and organizations:
- Idle No More
- Defenders of the Land
- Canadian Roots Exchange