We, in discussion with the Indigenous Student Society of Acadia (ISSA), are aware that the current political climate in Canada is affecting Indigenous students at Acadia. Dialogue and communication are fundamental to peacebuilding, and we condemn any prejudicial behaviour towards Indigenous students on campus.
Acadia is founded on Mi’kma’ki-the unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq Nation. The ASU stands in solidarity with hereditary chiefs and land defenders in Wet’suwet’en territory in their right to voice their opposition to pipeline development on their land. Freedom of expression and freedom to peacefully protest are fundamental components of a democratic society. The ASU condemns all violence enacted by RCMP and law enforcement against peaceful protestors, especially Elders, women, and youth. This violence directly contradicts the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).
Last month, the ASU’s federal lobby organization, the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA), advocated to the federal government that they adopt UNDRIP. CASA further called on the federal government, following the adoption of UNDRIP, to make the necessary investments to support the implementation of the Rights there within.
We are encouraged at the recent developments made by a Wet’suwet’en hereditary chief and government ministers on Sunday who have said they have reached a proposed arrangement on how to move forward. We support the Wet’suwet’en Nation in determining an outcome through their own internal governance and decision-making process on this issue.