Our Statement on Racism

VIDEA denounces all forms of racism, racial discrimination, and oppression. Racism, discrimination and oppression limit opportunities, cause harm to individuals and communities, and wreck lives. Racism, discrimination and oppression are wrong. We recognize no grey areas. These issues will not be debated within VIDEA.

We will work with Indigenous youth, Elders, and others in Canadian society, especially vulnerable and racialised youth, to oppose and dismantle the Canadian systems and institutions that perpetuate systemic racism, discrimination, and oppression. We will speak loudly, we will collaborate widely, we will stand alone, we will turn up for those who experience racism and oppression where they are – in demonstrations, on the streets and in the policy rooms.

Within VIDEA every staff and Board member will be supported to speak out against racism, discrimination and oppression – it takes everyone’s voice. The voices of Indigenous and racialized staff, youth, and Board members shall always be prioritized on these issues, they will have the right to speak first, and they will have the right to speak last. The role of non-Indigenous and non-racialised staff, youth and Board members is to make space for the voices of their racialized and Indigenous colleagues to be heard, to speak when it is not safe for others to speak, and to amplify and back up the voices of their colleagues.

We recognize that the legacy of colonial systems of oppression and harm in Canada, including the genocide of residential schools, not only continue to actively oppress and discriminate today, but also continue to disproportionately affect Indigenous women and girls. VIDEA seeks to speak loudly in efforts to decolonize Canadian society and to dismantle systemic racism in Canada. As a country, we need to develop the self-awareness, knowledge, political will, and skills, to bring about widescale systemic change. We do not believe that Canada has met any of these benchmarks to date.

We also recognize that issues of racism, discrimination and oppression have their roots in systems of colonial oppression and that through international instruments and unfair trade relationships, these same neo-colonial systems continue to oppress and limit countries today. In order to address these issues overseas we must first recognize the role that we played in creating them, and the role that we continue to play in perpetuating them.