CBC: Montreal non-profit launches toolkit on how to be an Indigenous ally

Montreal Urban Aboriginal Community Strategy Network breaks down allyship into 3 steps

Dakota Swiftwolfe and Leilani Shaw of the Montreal Urban Aboriginal Community Strategy Network are two of the contributors on the group’s new Indigenous ally toolkit. (Leilani Shaw)


What does it mean to be a good ally to Indigenous Peoples?

It’s something the Montreal Urban Aboriginal Community Strategy Network is hoping to clarify with its recently launched Indigenous ally toolkit.

The toolkit provides an overview on terminology, dos and don’ts, with examples of why the term “Canada’s Indigenous Peoples,” asking “why don’t you just get over it?” or saying “you must be an alcoholic” is problematic.

The latter was a personal experience for Leilani Shaw, the network’s communications and mobilization co-ordinator.

“Someone said it to me and my friends on the streets of Toronto,” she said.

“You could just tell that they were so ignorant. It made me so embarrassed and all these different types of feelings.”

3 steps

The toolkit breaks down allyship into three steps:

  1. Be critical of any motivations.
  2. Start learning.
  3. Act accordingly.

Dakota Swiftwolfe developed the content and research of the toolkit along with a handful of other contributors from the Network.

She said allies definitely need to be aware of their motivations and be “self critical of their actions and why they do what they do, and just raising that level of self-awareness.”

“A lot of the time where that ignorance comes from is the fact that they don’t know proper protocols, what’s rude and what’s not,” she said.

“I don’t know if I’m naive but I honestly don’t think that these things come from a malicious intent.”

Click here for full article.

Click image to download toolkit!

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