Host a summit to address systemic racism in the Northwest Territories

Host a summit to address systemic racism in the Northwest Territories

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Vigne Sridharan started this petition to Northwest Territories Human Rights Commission

We, the residents of the Northwest Territories (NT), bring the attention of the NT Human Rights Commission to the following: 

The death of George Floyd on May 25, 2020 by Minneapolis police sparked a global outcry to recognize, acknowledge and end systemic racism and racial injustice worldwide.  The mobilization of Black Lives Matter movements have forced people in all strata of society to speak out and take action on dismantling systems that continue to uphold racist practices. 

Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC) communities in Canada are not immune to the racial injustice that ended George Floyd’s life. The deaths of Chantal Moore, D’Andre Campbell, Regis Korchinski-Paquet and Brian Sinclair among many other victims, serve as a reminder that systemic racism is deeply entrenched in institutions across Canada and the Northwest Territories is no exception. The long history of genocide, settler colonialism, discrimination and intergenerational traumas that Indigenous communities face is by every measurable indicator as horrific as the Black population in the U.S (Maclean’s, 2015). The time has come for us to take a stand and amplify the voices of Indigenous, Black and visible minority communities. 

We, the residents of the Northwest Territories, are calling on the NT Human Rights Commission to host a territorial wide summit to address systemic racism in our territory. An issue of this magnitude requires leadership on all levels to work collaboratively on uprooting and rethinking current policies and practices that cause direct and covert harm to BIPOC individuals. 

We call on all members of the Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories, municipal councils and executive leaders of all sectors, especially law enforcement, healthcare, justice and education boards to attend the summit. Attendees will participate in sector-specific working sessions, facilitated by BIPOC members and in consultation with BIPOC stakeholders to: 

- Collaborate in creating innovative and practical ways of operating and providing services that are anti-racist, anti-discriminatory and anti-oppressive.
- Recognize gaps in their organizations, policies and practices that perpetuate inequities for BIPOC individuals.
- Recognize and remove barriers to opportunities that prevent BIPOC individuals from being represented on executive and other decision-making spaces in their sectors.
- Support racialized individuals, Indigenous peoples and allies through the establishment of Communities of Practice.

This summit will provide an opportunity for leaders to respond to recent anti-racism rallies held in Hay River, Yellowknife, Fort Smith, Fort Simpson, Inuvik and other communities in the NT. This is an opportunity for leaders to listen and to heed the calls of the communities they serve and represent. This will be a starting point for strategic action on dismantling systemic racism and creating a territory that is just, equitable and inclusive. 

It is no longer tolerable for people in positions of power, leaders and influencers to remain complacent on an issue that affects more than half of the NT population (StatsCan, 2016). It is no longer bearable to ignore the calls to action of northern communities to address racist policies and practices in all sectors. And it is no longer acceptable for anyone to be silent anymore. 

Sign below to support this call to action.

 

 

 

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