Statement of Solidarity in Support of the Wet’suwet’en people
Solidarity Statement from Thinking Rock Community Arts
in Support of the Wet’suwet’en people
March 2, 2020
As a Settler-led organization that is governed by a Board of Directors that includes 50% Indigenous membership, whose founding purpose is to use the arts to bring Indigenous and Settler communities throughout Algoma on a journey to better relations, Thinking Rock Community Arts stands in unwavering solidarity with local Indigenous land protectors and joins them in their support of the people and the Hereditary Chiefs of the Wet’suwet’en nation.
The long-term struggle of the Wet´suwet´en is a legitimate, legally-sanctioned struggle for rights, autonomy and sovereignty on their unceded territories. We agree with and support the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs’ governance systems and their inherent right to govern their territory. The Wet’suwe’ten have not given free, prior and informed consent to the construction of a pipeline through their lands.
We support initiatives by Indigenous People across Turtle Island to resist resource extraction and energy projects that disrupt their Indigenous food and governance systems and interfere with the health of their lands, territories, and communities. We stand for Indigenous sovereignty, decolonization and the transition to a just economy and energy sector that honours and respects the rights of Indigenous peoples and prioritizes and protects the lands and waters. We support the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People (UNDRIP) and urge the Canadian government to implement the Truth & Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action.
As a community-based non-profit organization and as individual community members, we are doing what we can to put these words and sentiments into action by actively supporting local actions including those in Baawating and Mississauga First Nation. We encourage our supporters, partners and followers to do the same. In doing so, we can collectively help curb the unacceptable persistence and recent rise of anti-Indigenous racism locally and across the country.
The Thinking Rock family shares a desire to explore how we can create spaces for dialogue and mutual understanding through multidisciplinary, multi-generational, cross-cultural community-engaged art projects. Our work takes place in the context of rural Northern Ontario, in the land now known as Canada, where racism toward Indigenous people is deeply ingrained across systems and society. In our artful and collaborative ways, we surface and celebrate each other’s stories and truths, creating bridges of understanding across differences, and work together to find better ways forward.
We express deep gratitude for the Indigenous peoples of Turtle Island who have been caring for the lands and waters for countless generations. These efforts benefit current and future generations of all those who call these lands their homes, and for that, we send our warmest thanks.
In love and solidarity,
The Thinking Rock Family:
Founding Artistic Director Robin Sutherland; Artistic Director Miranda Bouchard; Thinking Rock Board Members Jon Cada, Jessica Bolduc, Crystal Bossio, Katie Huckson, Jae Mahmutova, Laura Mayer, Krista McCracken and Kimberly Pelletier