Guest post by Maya Whiteduck
Ally Squared’s CommunALLY project explores avenues for allyship between First Nation, Métis, Inuit, immigrant, and refugee communities. We believe that marginalized communities should stand in solidarity with one another against colonial systems of oppression. While these communities have encountered vastly different histories and should not be categorized as the same, we believe that they can come together to learn from each other and build solidarity in intersectional ways. Through these discussions, we want to break down negative perceptions that communities may hold about each other. Our main focus is to amplify the voices of people within all these communities who regularly experience microaggressions. Our project is led by communities that our work aims to represent.
Our Call: Ally Squared wants to hear from individuals from Indigenous, immigrant, and refugee communities about times when they’ve experienced discrimination. We invite individuals to share their stories of encountering discrimination and suggest ways they’d like to see other communities be allies for them. Our goal is to amplify voices and determine avenues for allyship across communities and cultures.
Phase 1 – Story collection: Ally Squared is opening a call for stories from people in immigrant, refugee, First Nations, Inuit, and Métis communities to talk about a time when they experienced discrimination and didn’t have an ally. We’d like them to suggest ways for other communities to be allies for them.
Phase 2 – Story dissemination: Ally Squared will be sharing these stories throughout the summer as learning opportunities to understand how discrimination is manifested for people with these identities.
Phase 3 – Consultation: Ally Squared will be consulting with Indigenous, immigrant, and refugee Elders, leaders, and experts in order to ascertain tangible avenues for allyship.
Phase 4 – Public engagement: Ally Squared will be hosting a free event for the public regarding the project findings. Depending on the COVID-19 situation, the event will be either online or in person.
Phase 5 – Publication of results and impact: Ally Squared seeks to clearly state our project’s impact in an online multimedia project, which will be available on our website and social media.
The goal of the CommunALLY is to explore the intersectionality of realities within these communities through discussions surrounding existing systems of oppression, colonialism, and racism. Our main focus is to amplify the voices of people within communities who regularly experience microaggressions and acknowledge the diverse realities throughout communities.
Are you part of an Indigenous, immigrant or refugee community? Have you experienced discrimination? We invite you to share your story and suggest ways you’d like to see others be allies for your community.
You choose what you want to share, how much you want to share, and the way you want to share. We will always tell you how we’re planning to share your story. We commit to respecting and validating your experience and we will actively practise allyship for you, whenever and however you need it.
Visit allysquared.com/communALLY to learn more and share your story.
Maya Whiteduck-Crawford is an Algonquin woman from the Snimikobi community within the Ottawa Valley. Her passion for her culture has guided her to the University of Ottawa as a student in Conflict Studies, Human Rights, and Indigenous Studies.