Open Letter from BCSA

Feb 20 2020

The Canadian Sociological Association has a binding policy that prevents the organization from engaging in advocacy for any issues beyond the working conditions of sociologists. This prevents us from signing on as an organization.

However, we support the efforts of the Black Canadian Studies Association, and are therefore sharing their open letter below.

An Open Letter from the executive of Black Canadian Studies Association to our fellow member associations and the Board of Directors of the Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

As most of you are aware, on January 7th 2020, the RCMP began enforcing the injunction against Wet'suwet'en land defenders and forcibly removing Indigenous peoples from their own land in order to make way for a pipeline.

The BCSA Executive strongly feels that as scholars committed to social and environmental justice, and as a federation of academic associations preparing to convene a congress around the theme of confronting colonialism and anti-Black racism, we all have a profound obligation to stand in solidarity with the Wet'suwet'en land defenders.

The Federation has a stated commitment to  engage in and “advance reconciliation” with Indigenous peoples and recognize Indigenous peoples’ right to self-determination. To quote:

Following the Board commitment and adoption of the Touchstones of Hope principles, the Federation will engage proactively with our members on the collective responsibilities of the Academy (as institutions and disciplines) to shape a relationship with Aboriginal peoples in Canada that respects their distinct rights, cultures and languages and in so doing enriches society as a whole. (Federation, 2016-2020 Strategic Plan, p. 9)

We encourage our fellow scholars and associations to join us in signing on to this Pledge to Stand with Unist’ot’en.

This is an opportunity, especially those of us who teach, write about and otherwise promote anticolonialism and decolonization, to stand firmly in solidarity with Indigenous peoples in a historical moment as they defend themselves and the land from horrifying colonial-capitalist violence.

We also encourage you to follow live updates and videos on  the Unist’ot’en Facebook page and get involved in other ways, such as teaching students and others about what is happening and participating in protest actions happening across the country. 


Black Canadian Studies Association


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