In light of the recent revealings of over 1000 unmarked graves, and remains of hundreds of children buried at residential school sites, we can’t begin to imagine the pain that Indigenous communities are experiencing right now. We must remember that this is not simply a past chapter in our history, but a legacy of colonialism, genocide and oppression that continues to permeate through our country and communities today. We feel that it is necessary to show compassion, empathy and solidarity for Indigenous communities by changing the focus of Canada Day this year to be one of reflection and observation, rather than celebration. We encourage you to participate in Indigenous demonstrations, events and actions, listen to and help to amplify Indigenous voices, as well as learn about Indigenous cultures and histories to help gain a deeper understanding of the land and trails in which you live and ride on.
As we continue to become more educated about our country’s history of colonization, genocide and land theft, we must take it upon ourselves to make more informed decisions that will contribute to a better future.
Please read through the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) call to actions and encourage your local governments, MLA’s and MP’s to implement them. The NSMBA advocates for equal opportunity and access within mountain biking and the riding of the North Shore Trails, and we are committed to decolonizing outdoor recreation. Some points directly related to this in the TRC that you can specifically point to are:
– Telling the national story of Aboriginal athletes in history (#87)
– Ensure long-term Aboriginal athlete development and growth (#88)
– Promote physical activity as a fundamental element of health and well-being (#89)
– Reduce barriers to sports participation and improve inclusivity for Aboriginal people (#89)
– Programs for coaches, trainers, and sports officials that are culturally relevant for Aboriginal peoples (#90)
– Anti-racism awareness and training programs (#90)
If you are able to, please consider donating to The Indian Residential School Survivors Society: https://www.irsss.ca
If you or someone you know need help and support, please contact the National Indian Residential School Crisis line at 1-866-925-4419.
National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation: https://nctr.ca/
TRC Calls to Action: http://trc.ca/assets/pdf/Calls_to_Action_English2.pdf
Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Website: https://twnation.ca/
xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam) Website: https://www.musqueam.bc.ca/
Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) Website: https://www.squamish.net/
United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: https://www.un.org/development/desa/indigenouspeoples/declaration-on-the-rights-of-indigenous-peoples.html