September 30 is the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. In honour of this, Sierra Club BC invites you to engage with resources created to bridge our mutual understanding. We hope that our friends and supporters (fellow human beings) will take the first steps of pausing and reflecting to review these resources so they can commit to change alongside us.
As we look back on our 53 years, we recognize and take responsibility for the fact that Sierra Club BC’s history of advocacy for the creation of parks and protected areas largely disregarded Indigenous governance and jurisdiction over their territories.
In many cases, parks were created without the consent of Indigenous Nations affected and Indigenous peoples were forcibly removed from their land. This violated the human rights of Indigenous peoples. It also harmed the land, by cutting ecosystems off from the beneficial Indigenous management practices that had shaped them over millennia.
Sierra Club BC is engaging in a process to better understand the historical and ongoing impact of these practices by listening to Indigenous peoples. As we move forward, we are striving to do things differently and increase our capacity to recognize and respect Indigenous law and jurisdiction. We are grateful to our Indigenous teachers, colleagues, allies and friends for their guidance and input as we do this work.
As one part of this process, we have helped produce several works:
A reflection and statement of accountability from Sierra Club BC. Read this here.
A Pathway Together is an invitation to cross the bridge towards understanding and respect. This invitation and intercultural climate engagement tool to help in the decolonization process was developed by kQwa’st”not~Charlene George (tSouk peoples) and Elizabeth Jackson (Klamath Tribes). Explore this invitation here.
We invite you to explore these gifts/resources and join us on this journey towards change.
If you would like to do more, our former Board Chair, K’aayhlt’aa Haanas (Valine Brown) invites all settlers and allies to consider joining the One Day’s Pay campaign by donating today’s compensation to an indigenous-led organization.