On this National Day of Truth and Reconciliation in so-called Canada, we are invited to mourn the loss of children who died in, and those who survived, one of the country’s many genocidal institutions – residential schools.
On this day, members of the Criminalization and Punishment Education Project, CPEP, extend our solidarity with Indigenous peoples in their struggles for truth, justice, and decolonial futures.
We also commit to working alongside criminalized folks on Turtle lsland and beyond towards reducing the use and harms of imprisonment in the short-term while working towards abolitionist futures in the long-term with the understanding that human caging is one of many Canadian state practices that continue to dispossess Indigenous peoples of their lands, languages, cultures, spiritualities, self-determination, and freedom while exposing them to genocidal violence today.
We would like to also amplify the calls of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit kin forcibly confined (OCDC) and other institutions of human caging who the state subjects to unfettered violence daily. We amplify their calls for recognition, dignity, fairness, justice, and freedom while acknowledging that these can only be achieve when punishment and violence in all its forms working under their leadership and in solidarity with them until justice prevails.
We call on all settlers to act in meaningful solidarity with, and follow the leadership of, Indigenous peoples on Turtle Island today and throughout the year in their struggles for decolonial futures while colonialism persists by donating time and resources to Indigenous peoples, seeking a deep understanding of residential schools and ongoing inter-generational impacts, donating money to onedayspay.ca and other Indigenous peoples and initiatives, as well as challenging colonization in our homes, workplaces, and communities.
CPEP members would like to also celebrate the strength and resilience of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples. Their existence is resistance and is a feat that defies the Canadian colonial mission. We thank them for continuing to teach us that abolition cannot occur on stolen land as our abolitionist vision is inspired and informed by the work, knowledge, and lived experience of Indigenous prisoners, writers, thinkers, and community members. We will be in solidarity with our kin until the bars break, the walls crumble, and colonialism is eradicated.