In recognition of the continued prevalence of anti-Indigenous and anti-Black racism in Canada, including police violence, and the enduring legacy of settler colonialism, September 9 and 10 have been designated as days for the Scholar Strike for Black and Indigenous Lives in Canada.
Scholar Strike are days for social justice advocacy, teach-ins and labour action. Thousands of academics across Canada are encouraged to make a statement in solidarity against anti-Indigenous and anti-Black racism in Canada, the United States, and elsewhere. This time is meant as a break from teaching and administrative duties – shifting instead to digital teach-ins on addressing racism and the legacy of colonialism. This includes highlighting the importance of tangible action, including the full implementation of the basic human rights of Indigenous Peoples as defined in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
Not everyone will be able to participate and those working in precarious labour status are encouraged to amplify and share information about the Scholar Strike on social media, or dedicate class time to watch the teach-ins.
The idea for Scholars Strike came from a tweet by Dr. Anthea Butler, who was inspired by the WNBA and NBA players taking a labour strike in solidarity with Black Lives Matter. Although statements of solidarity are important, this is a time to commit to action. Learn more about the strike demands via their website.
At the Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre we commit to actively ending institutional and systemic forms of violence, supporting Black, Indigenous, and racialized students, faculty and staff, and advocate for others at the UBC campus to join the strike. We cannot ignore anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism, and call upon UBC to address incidents of discrimination, violence and inequality on campus.
Further, we continue to advocate for full-time faculty and staff positions, and prioritization of Black, Indigenous or racialized faculty and staff hires at the University. We believe in anti-racism education at all levels but particularly for everyone at UBC in order to create environments that are inclusive, supportive and safe for BIPOC faculty, students and staff.
Those in support of these values can add their names to the support statement online, participate in the teach-ins, or share resources with their colleagues, friends or family to continue further dialogue about these issues.