Scholar Strike Canada Statement

September 2020

In support of Black and Indigenous scholars in Canada and the United States, the Institute for Critical Indigenous Studies will be participating in this week’s Scholar Strike Canada, with the result that classes on September 9-10 are cancelled. We live in a broken colonial system founded on racism and white supremacy, which continues to do great harm despite mass activism and protest in both Canada and the USA. Violence against Black and Indigenous peoples via state infrastructure, namely the police, continues to go unchecked and Instructors and staff in CIS stand in solidarity with those demanding change.

We are currently witnessing mass mobilization, most recently as a response to the Wisconsin police officer who shot Jacob Blake seven times in the back. While the anti-Black histories of Canada and the USA have long been viewed by government and public authority as a regrettable part of our history, for those whose lives continue to be affected by racist and colonial modes of violence, the present is just as steeped in militarized methods of white supremacy. We must mobilize and resist to ensure that the future delivers radical change.

In the Institute’s earlier statement on the Black Lives Matter movement, we acknowledged that the violence that we are seeing is not new, but neither is the resistance to it. The ongoing protests and direct action are an indictment of the current state of affairs. The movement that we see all around us today, including the Scholar Strike Canada, and student, staff, and faculty mobilization, will light our way towards anti-colonial futures based in healing and justice. We hope that these calls for justice will be heard and transformation achieved.

While classes in the Institute for Critical Indigenous Studies are cancelled, we encourage students to participate in the Programme of Digital Teach-Ins organized by Scholar Strike Canada, featuring talks by Desmond Cole, Erica Violet Lee, Eve Tuck, and Rinaldo Walcott, among others. You can find the full (and fast growing) program here: