Restitution and Reconciliation

Through our work we are in frequent tension with oppressive systems that are our collective legacy of the colonialization. We exist within these oppressive systems, we are sometimes oppressed by them, we are sometimes made complicit by them.    


The colonization of land, water, life and people. Our commitment to impact those systems was sponsoring of a play “In The Penal Colony” by Franz Kafka, performed by the local actor Keving white at the Registry Theater. The reverberation of the conversations it started will last for a long time.   In November, we invited you into a former land registry office, now the Registry Theater - a key cog in this machine of colonization, dispossessing the land from the Chononton, Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee (Chon-non-ton, Ah-Nish-Naw-Bay, Ho-Den-No-Show-Nee) and repossessing it in the settler communities of Waterloo Region. These indigenous communities continue to resist this system and we encourage you all to incorporate their calls to action into your life and work.  


SDC promotes the Moratorium on Developments by both the elected and hereditary Chiefs of the Six Nations of the Grand River across the Haldimand Tract treaty lands. The moratorium calls for Haudensaunee consent to be provided prior to all development on these lands. As we navigate this tension in our advocacy, we ask you to hold us accountable to centre indigenous sovereignty and consent into future housing solutions.   


At the SDC we have been able to leverage our status as a charitable organization to provide financial infrastructure for Land Back Camp. They are still seeking a permanent location to run programming for 2 spirit and indigiqueer youth. They have also been advocating for an Indigenous Communities Hub at the former Charles Street Bus Terminal. Similarly, there is a campaign to remove the Daughters of the Empire statue and rename Victoria Park as Willow River Park. With the city running consultations as we speak, there are plenty of opportunities to amplify these campaigns.  


Whether it be giving land back or repaying rents, there is a deep need for us to participate in the unraveling of the violent systems of colonization and to participate in the restoration of relations with the land.   


We hope this piece resonates deeper in relation to our local context of colonization and indigenous resistance. And we hope you will join us at the SDC as we work in these tensions.


November 8, 2022


In the Penal Colony