Statement of Solidarity

We at the Toronto Rape Crisis Centre/Multicultural Women Against Rape would like to make a statement in regards to our position around violence against Indigenous communities, Indigenous women and 2 Spirit People and the Indigenous Resistance Movement. We would like to make this statement from our position as a majority settler organization.

As members of the TRCC/MWAR, we speak from our position as (mostly) settlers on Turtle Island. As settlers we express our solidarity with the Idle No More Movement, Indigenous women, 2 Spirit People and the struggles for sovereignty and land rights. We believe that the movement for the self-determination of Indigenous peoples is not a new one.

As a majority settler organization, we believe that colonization and sexual violence go hand in hand. We know that rape and sexual violence has been used against Indigenous women and communities for hundreds of years and it is a tool of colonization and conquest against Indigenous women’s bodies and the land itself.

The TRCC/MWAR has a goal of bringing our membership more in line with the connection between decolonization and ending sexual violence. We also have a goal of working more closely in solidarity with Indigenous women’s work to end violence in their communities.

We recognize that the history of Canada is one of colonization and genocide and that on-going settler colonialism is the current reality for Indigenous peoples of this land. This has resulted in the dispossession of land and rights, the extraction and misuse of resources and forced suppression and assimilation of all the various cultures, languages and customs of Indigenous peoples. Another clear result of the ongoing state violence against Indigenous peoples is the more than 500 missing and murdered Indigenous women across Turtle Island.

We further recognize that historically many social service organizations, specifically the child welfare system, have been used as the arm of the state to continually enact violence against Indigenous communities. Many institutional non-profit organizations continue to perpetuate colonization, racism, sexism, etc., to Indigenous community members.

It is our goal to work towards decolonizing our practice at the TRCC/MWAR. This can happen by making ourselves more aware of the struggles for sovereignty, treaties and land rights, taking the direction and leadership from Indigenous peoples and their resistance, attending events led by Indigenous people, continuing to learn about the historical struggles of Indigenous peoples and so much more. We are committed to decolonizing our minds, our work and the relationships we have with Indigenous peoples. Through working with Indigenous community-based organizations and community members, we attempt to work in a good way.

This year we will be co-hosting Take Back the Night with Central Neighbourhood House. The theme is “Honouring and Reclaiming Self-Determination of Indigenous Peoples”. It is with our most authentic selves that we try to plan this event in a good way and to work in solidarity with Indigenous peoples’ existing struggles and movements. We also aim to bring this issue to light for other survivor/settler members of the community.

References:

South Asians in Solidarity with Idle No More

(statement originally found on facebook, no url to be found)

Immigrants in Support of Idle No More

http://www.oyetimes.com/whats-on/42915-immigrants-in-support-of-idle-no-more

Trans Inclusion

The Toronto Rape Crisis Centre/Multicultural Women Against Rape needs to make a statement about gender and our position of various genders being included/centralized to the process of building and attending the community event of Take Back the Night.

While sexual violence impacts all of us, we understand that based on experiences of oppression, sexual violence will have different impacts for those who have experiences of oppression based on age, sexual identity, class, race, gender identity, family status, ability and faith-based beliefs (including all other forms of oppression).

Herstorically, the community planning committee of Take Back the Night, can be made up of people of all genders excluding cisgendered men. This would include cisgendered women identified people, trans women, gender queer people and trans men. Also herstorically, all genders were included in attending the event, except at the time of the march in where only women, trans women and children were asked to participate in the march.

The event itself claims space for all survivors of sexualized of violence (including survivors of interpersonal violence such as childhood sexual assault, sexual assault, rape and domestic violence and institutional violence such as racism, homophobia, ableism, etc). However we recognize that gender-based violence disproportionately affects women, trans people and children.

The TRCC/MWAR wants to co-create space with community members to claim space for all survivors of sexual violence. At the same time, as we recognize gender plays a role in (sexualized) violence and we want Take Back the Night to reflect this. We also understand that folks who may have experiences growing up socialized as one gender, then transitioning to another gender may also have experienced impacts of sexual violence that need to be recognized at the event.

All genders are welcomed to the Community Fair and Rally of Take Back the Night, including any and all activities at the event exterior to the march. We welcome all two-spirited people, genderqueer people, cisgendered women, trans women, trans men, youth and children to attend the march. We welcome cigendered men to stand at the outskirts of the march and support the cisgendered women, trans women, trans men, two-spirited people, genderqueer people, youth and children you see marching. We encourage trans men and gender queer folks to decide for yourselves whether or not to participate in the march.

**For 2013 – In an attempt to decolonize gender, we are inviting cisgender men to join in the march. **

At the TRCC/MWAR, we work with communities of survivors to reflect what is needed at Take Back the Night. We ask that communities of trans people to take up space at Take Back the Night and the anti-violence movement at large.

For two-spirited, genderqueer and/or trans people: We have trained marshals for the march and we ask marshals to not police people’s gender. That means, marshals are not instructed to talk to or remove anyone from the march without consulting with their squad leader.  Marshals are instructed to not make decisions about marchers on their own, but look to squad leaders for direction, in situations where people are unsafe, being harassed, etc. Marshals are instructed to think about the safety of all marchers in their role of marshal.

Event Details

Take Back the Night 2013

Central Neighbourhood House

349 ONTARIO ST. (North of Dundas and East of Sherbourne), Toronto

Community Fair 4-6pm — Community Dinner 5-6pm — Childcare 4-8pm — Rally 6-8pm — March 8-9:30pm

This event is wheelchair accessible. This event provides ASL interpretation. This event provides note taking packages. This event is welcome to all genders and is trans inclusive (see trans inclusion policy).

Rally speakers and performers include:

Crystal Melin, Native Women’s Resource Centre
Eagle Women Singers
Audrey Huntley, No More Silence
Charlene Catchpole, North York Women’s Shelter
Krysta Williams, Native Youth Sexual Health Network
Alec Butler, 2 Spirit artist and community activist
Shandra Spears, Singer and Drummer
Alana Wemigwans, Jingle dancer
Percy Lezard, Community activist and professor
and Lee Maracle, esteemed author and elder
Opening Ceremony by Blu Waters

Organizations and Community Members involved…

Aboriginal Legal Services, Native Youth Sexual Health Network, Sistering, Parkdale Anti-Violence Education,  The Redwood, Anne Johnston Health Station, Native Women’s Resource Centre, George Brown College (AWCCA Program), Toronto Rape Crisis Centre/Multicultural Women Against Rape, Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP) and many, many more.

Other links – https://www.facebook.com/events/361352833968259/

SCROLL DOWN FOR MORE INFO IN COMMUNITY MEETINGS & COMMUNITY FAIR

Take Back the Night wants to invite you to another event the next day!

Theme 2014

This year’s theme is:

Decolonizing Feminism Globally: From Turtle Island to Palestine”. This year’s theme speaks to the experiences of Turtle Islands original people and the (sexual) violence Indigenous women and Two-Spirit people still face today as part of the ongoing colonization of this land. We are all responsible for taking resources from this land and together we can honour the many treaties still between settlers and Indigenous communities.

The theme is to address and speak to the lived realities from the continuous struggles and resistance of indigenous peoples of this land. Herstorically, the feminist movement has challenged the impact of violence against women and for all survivors. We acknowledge that we are on Turtle Island and have a responsibility to work from our places of settlers and to join in solidarity with the struggles impacting the Palestinian people.

Please see our statement of solidarity for more details.

Community Fair Invitation

We invite Indigenous and Regent Park community members/community organizations to come and DISPLAY THEIR INFORMATION AND RESOURCES at a TABLE at the COMMUNITY FAIR.

This space is free of charge and we invite you to come, show how you support survivors in your organization and offer your resources and knowledge at the Community Fair.

What you would be doing? Bringing display boards, pamphlets, flyers – anything you want to share with survivors and community members about your group, organization or agency. Groups, organizations and agencies are also welcome to bring a banner and march with us!

What would be provided? We will provide the table, chairs and food at the community fair and an invitation to stay and be part of the rally and march!

When is the Community Fair? Community Fair at 4-6pm, Rally at 6pm and March at 8pm

Who do I contact for questions and info? Contact Shine at 416 597 1171 x230 or email tbtncommunityfair@gmail.com

Come and spread the word about the amazing work you are doing in your community at this year’s TAKE BACK THE NIGHT!

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