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Solidarity with Indigenous People Statment

As part of Arika’s beliefs and specifically in conjunction with our public programme we want to extend solidarity to Indigenous people via the following statement. Those most directly affected by specific oppressions are those best placed to develop methods to overcome it. Globally Indigenous people have suggested a variety of approaches to bring about an end to white supremacy. To further these approaches we first advocate for:

  • Recognition that the social category of indigenous people spans the globe and speaks of a huge diversity of peoples, nations and cultures (and is a term that did not originate from indigenous people themselves although a number of peoples now use it in the course of their struggles for respect and autonomy)
  • Recognition that indigenous people are almost always people of colour and that these two social categories meet and merge in complex ways
  • Recognition that many of indigenous peoples’ rightful lands have either been stolen from them or are violently contested
  • Recognition that indigenous people are subject to markedly high rates of physical violence based upon their identity
  • Recognition that indigenous people are subject to markedly high rates of sexual violence based upon their identity
  • Recognition that indigenous people are subject to markedly high rates physical violence and control from state agencies based upon their identity
  • Recognition that indigenous people are systemically disenfranchised from societal power, especially on a global scale
  • Recognition that caring work by indigenous people goes largely unrecompensed
  • Recognition that indigenous people are consistently economically devalued and impoverished
  • Recognition that indigenous people are consistently depicted in racist and demeaning ways via mediums of public communication (e.g. film, advertising, visual art etc.)
  • Recognition that public healthcare frequently does not take the range of specific needs of indigenous people into account or respect their bodily autonomy
  • Recognition that white supremacy does not necessarily prevent indigenous people from having agency or abusing power over others and that whilst the greatest suffering is experienced by those who are directly oppressed, the oppressor too is damaged
  • Recognition that white supremacy places untenable and contradictory demands upon indigenous people which contributes to a culture of internalised oppression and self-harm
  • Recognition that the direct and lateral communication by indigenous people on the above areas of concern and many other matters is consistently invisibilised and actively eradicated from public view
  • Recognition that a vast expanse of culture, wisdom, art, joy, science and liberating insight has been generated by indigenous people
  • Recognition that these achievements are sometimes subject to cultural appropriation and commercial exploitation by more dominant social groups

We recognise that the following reforms would reduce suffering and save lives:

  • Immediate recognition of the currently existing territories of all indigenous peoples everywhere and respect for those boundaries #endlandtheftnow
  • Recognition by other nation states and state authorities of indigenous peoples and nations right to political autonomy/self-governance free from interference
  • A process that begins the at times straightforward and at times complex process of returning stolen lands to indigenous peoples
  • Payment of reparations by nation states to indigenous people they colonised and murdered
  • End to exploitative free trade deals that override existing and established indigenous treaty rights
  • Cessation of the patenting of plants and other medicinal, culinary etc. substances traditionally used by indigenous peoples for corporate gain
  • Prevention of the promotion of fascist ideas and public gatherings #nopasaran
  • Defunding the police
  • An immediate end to the prison industrial complex to be replaced with more humane ways of collectively preventing acts of violence and abuse of power
  • Enforcement and/or development of legislation that aims to prevent discrimination, racist hate speech and physical racist attacks
  • Support for all victims of physical, emotional and sexual abuse and violence
  • Due diligence and investment of resources in investigating crimes against indigenous people
  • A process of affirmative action to ensure an equitable involvement of indigenous people in societal decision making and cultural processes and educational and employment opportunities
  • Affirmative action that involves the support of autonomous organisations/projects/culture/other provisions by and for indigenous people
  • Active solidarity from other all other social groups with indigenous people
  • Access to free universal healthcare of a high standard with an inbuilt commitment to the support of indigenous people’s bodily autonomy
  • Access to free universal healthcare of a high standard that leads with and/or integrates indigenous healing practices depending upon desire and cirumstance
  • A societal wide commitment to reproductive justice (that includes an end to eugenic practices, non-consensual surgeries and experimentation)
  • Provision of a universal basic income
  • Provision of suitable, safe, healthy accommodation on a universal basis
  • Insurance that all indigenous communities have access to clean, potable water
  • An end to workplace expectations that entail working anti-social and/or long hours

The above listed reforms are both critical and yet inherently limited in nature. We are clear that for full liberation of indigenous people to come about change on a profound, revolutionary, level is necessary. For such changes to occur would entail the end of white supremacy, capitalism and patriarchy. This would involve collective re-organisation of society on a mass level and equitable redistribution of resources and decision-making powers.

The process of struggling for these changes – both long term and immediate – is complex and takes place in challenging circumstances. We recognise that indigenous people are best placed to develop effective strategies and guiding visions around the eradication of their oppression. Our intent is always to be especially mindful of the approaches and ideas recommended by indigenous people. However the process of ending white supremacy (recognising that its effects have accumulated over hundreds of years) and creating a world where respect for the autonomy of indigenous peoples is honoured is inherently a matter of collective responsibility, to which we can all directly contribute.