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Ontario Tech acknowledges the lands and people of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.

We are thankful to be welcome on these lands in friendship. The lands we are situated on are covered by the Williams Treaties and are the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation, including Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi. These lands remain home to many Indigenous nations and peoples.

We acknowledge this land out of respect for the Indigenous nations who have cared for Turtle Island, also called North America, from before the arrival of settler peoples until this day. Most importantly, we acknowledge that the history of these lands has been tainted by poor treatment and a lack of friendship with the First Nations who call them home.

This history is something we are all affected by because we are all treaty people in Canada. We all have a shared history to reflect on, and each of us is affected by this history in different ways. Our past defines our present, but if we move forward as friends and allies, then it does not have to define our future.

Learn more about Indigenous Education and Cultural Services

Ways you can participate in the Black Lives Matter movement

June 4, 2020

Written in collaboration with Fatima Bah.

On May 27, 2020, Regis Korchinski-Paquet, age 29, fell off of her balcony after Toronto Police were called to intervene after her family reported that she was in distress [1]

On May 25, 2020 George Floyd, age 46, was pinned down at the neck by a Minneapolis police officer’s knee and died while other officers and bystanders watched. He begged for his life with his last words being “I can’t breathe” [2]

On March 13, 2020 Breonna Taylor, age 26, was shot and killed by Louisville Police officers as they entered her home with a warrant for a narcotics investigation. The officers forcibly entered the home, announced themselves and shot Taylor in response to her boyfriend, Kenneth opening fire on the officers. There were no drugs found in her apartment [3].

On February 23, 2020 Ahmaud Arbery, age 25, was an unarmed man who was chased by two men and shot and killed as he was jogging outside of Brunswick, Georgia [4]

On February 4, 1999, my uncle, Amadou Diallo, age 23, was murdered outside of his apartment in New York. Four New York City police officers fired a total of 41 shots, 19 of which hit Diallo because they believed he was holding a gun and was a rape suspect. He was not only unarmed, but he was innocent. 

These stories are heartbreaking, saddening, and enraging. Yet these are only a handful of recent accounts. Unfortunately, there is an incomprehensible number of Black lives that have been lost at the expense of racism, systemic injustice and police brutality. This cycle must end, and the end starts with speaking up for those who have been silenced. 

Here are some ways that you can get involved:

Sign a petition 

There are many petitions you can sign to help enact the justice that you would like to see. blacklivesmatter.carrd.co is a website that lists various different petitions.

Sign a petition

Donate 

  • Ahmaud Arbery Fund
    • A fundraiser to support Ahmauds mother in the fight for justice.
  • Black Lives Matter
    • A global organization whose mission is to eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes.
  • Campaign Zero
    • An organization that works to end police brutality via policy solutions.
  • George Floyd Memorial Fund
    • A fundraiser to support George’s family in covering funeral, counselling, and legal expenses, as well as fund his children’s education.
  • Regis Korchinski-Paquet Fund
    • A fundraiser to support the investigation of Regis’ death.

Educate yourself 

To prevent this social issue from becoming a trend, it is important that we become more knowledgeable about the plight of Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC). Below are some resources that you can read, watch, and share.

Read

Watch

Educational YouTube videos

Documentaries and films

  • 13th
    • A Netflix documentary analyzing the criminalization of African Americans and the U.S. prison boom. The full feature is also available on YouTube.
  • American Son
    • A film depiction of modern-day race dynamics and systemic tensions. 
  • From Slavery to Civil Rights Movement
    • A playlist that gives an overview of the history of slavery to civil rights.
  • Time: The Kalief Browder Story
    • A documentary on Netflix that covers the story of a young man who was convicted without a trial.
  • When They See Us
    • A movie based on a true story of five teens being falsely accused of a brutal attack.

Talk

It’s important to have conversations about how you’re feeling. Whether that’s through conversations with friends and family, attending a discussion group, or seeking support through mental health services.

The Active Minds Club is hosting a virtual support group this Friday, June 5 at 6 p.m. as a space to discuss the impacts of COVID on mental health, including cultural barriers and the impact that the murder of George Floyd has had on the community.

Student Life has also organized a discussion group titled “Not Another Black Life” for Black students and allies to come together for support, education, and collective action in response to recent and historical events of anti-Black police violence. You can express your interest on their website.

If you are in need of support during this time, we encourage you to make use of the university’s mental health resources and services.

Share

Sharing is caring. Spreading awareness complements acquired knowledge. You can use your social media platforms to share articles, videos, stories, and pertinent Black Lives Matter links. 

We hope that this post empowers you to take action.

All lives can’t matter, until black lives matter. 

References

[1] https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/regis-korchinski-paquet-toronto-1.5593718

[2] https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/01/us/george-floyd-three-videos-minneapolis/index.html 

[3] https://www.cnn.com/2020/05/21/us/breonna-taylor-death-police-changes-trnd/index.html

[4] https://www.cnn.com/2020/05/25/us/ahmaud-arbery-doj-hate-crime-investigation/index.html