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UofT MSA issues statement honouring Indigenous peoples

UofT MSA issues statement honouring Indigenous peoples

The Muslim Students’ Association at the University of Toronto has issued a statement acknowledging that their student club sits on the land of indigenous peoples.

“We want to honour this land’s original peoples and we invite others to also think about the past and present-day realities of these communities, and to holistically question colonial practices that disrupt connections to families, homes, and the Earth,” reads the statement.

The Land Acknowledgement has been posted on the club’s website and is being circulated through social media channels.

“As Muslims, living in the current heightened climate of Islamophobia, we need to recognize that we are not the first community to be targeted,” Aruba Ahmed, VP-External of the Muslim Students’ Association told IQRA.ca. “Black and Indigenous folks have shown great resilience and strength in the face of violence and the way forward for the Muslim community needs to be centered around the fact that we can not do this alone – we need allies, and the only way we can build those crucial relationships is if we are in sincere solidarity with other oppressed minorities.”

“Releasing this land acknowledgement statement was an important first step, and even though it might look like just words, it is a great way to start the necessary conversation that will lead to action and attitude changes,” added Ahmed.

Aruba Ahmed says that the MSA has taken the decision to read the statement before every event “to further enforce our commitment to work in remembrance and alliance with the Indigenous people of this land.”

“Releasing this land acknowledgement statement was an important first step, and even though it might look like just words, it is a great way to start the necessary conversation that will lead to action and attitude changes,” she noted.

 

MUSLIM STUDENTS ASSOCIATION STATEMENT: LAND ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

The Muslim Students’ Association at the University of Toronto acknowledge that our office and student club operate on sacred territorial land of the Nishinaabeg and Haudenosaunee people.

This land is also the territory of the Huron-Wendat, Petun First Nations, the Seneca, and most recently, the Mississaugas of the Credit River.

The territory was the subject of the Dish With One Spoon Wampum Belt Covenant, an agreement between the Iroquois Confederacy and the Ojibwe and allied nations to peaceably share and care for the resources around the Great Lakes.

The legacy of this meeting place, where people have gathered for 15,000 years, should inform our course, especially how we think about anti-oppression and allyship.

We want to honour this land’s original peoples and we invite others to also think about the past and present-day realities of these communities, and to holistically question colonial practices that disrupt connections to families, homes, and the Earth.

Furthermore, at a University which has consistently resisted acknowledging the legacy of the land that it is built upon, it is vital for different communities in this space to centre ideas of responsibility, reciprocity, and resilience in our work and be accountable to the treaty relationships we are bound to.

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