Filipinx community fundraises for Heiltsuk Nation!

We would like to give a special thanks to Pinay Collection for raising $400 for Heiltsuk Nation!

On January 30th, Pinay Collection hosted Usap Tayo pod – a space where community gathers to learn skills, share stories, reflect on their experiences as Pina/xys and (re/un)learn about Black and Indigenous solidarity building. They engaged virtually on important conversations of Land & Justice and tackled the question: How can Filipino Settlers be better Kin with Indigenous Communities?

“We host Usap Tayo pods approximately once every two months,” says organizer Ashley Morford. “These gatherings are meant to be spaces where non-Black and non-Indigenous Filipinos in particular can learn to be better kin to Black and Indigenous communities within Turtle Island (North America), as well as within the context of the Philippines. Usap Tayo fights back against colonialism in that it is an active space to unlearn colonial mentality, to confront colonial structures and processes, to heal our community from colonial traumas, and to gain the tools to actively challenge colonial systems.”

We are uninvited visitors in currently colonially occupied lands, and there are important responsibilities that come with that, which all too often settlers of colour are not aware of. Many of us leave our homelands due to ongoing legacies of colonialism and colonization in our homelands, and, because of this, we often think that we cannot also be complicit in processes of colonial violence and harm. But this is a misconception. As settlers, we benefit from settler colonialism. Our ability to come to Turtle Island and make nourishing homes for ourselves within these stolen Indigenous lands is one way that we benefit. Further, as we navigate — and, indeed, assimilate into — settler colonial systems, we become complicit in perpetuating and legitimizing the settler colonial systems and the ongoing processes of dispossession that these systems enact.” – Pinay Collection

The space was joined by RAVEN’s Digital Content Coordinator Karissa Chandrakate, who discussed the work that RAVEN does, as well as the the importance for People of Colour to be having these conversations and challenging anti-Black and anti-Indigenous narratives in their communities. This was followed by a screening of Raven People Rising, a  film chronicling the efforts of Heiltsuk Nation to chart a sustainable and just course through the troubled waters of the Great Bear Sea.

“While there are many community spaces where Filipinos can come together to learn about our histories, to discuss the ways in which colonialism in the context of the Philippines has caused intergenerational trauma in our community, and to celebrate our diverse cultures, we feel that there needs to be more ongoing community spaces for Filipinos to understand the harms we enact on other communities, as well as towards our own community, including towards Black-Filipinos and Indigenous Peoples from/in the Philippines. There is an ongoing history of anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism within our own community, and we hope that our workshops can help in some small way to challenge and, ultimately, to end this racism. We hope the Usap Tayo pods provide an ongoing space where non-Black and non-Indigenous Filipinos can be accountable, can find and offer accountability, and can learn together as a community about how we can and must do better.”

We are honoured that this dynamic organization fundraised for RAVEN.  Profits from the webinar will go towards supporting Heiltsuk’s legal challenges. If you would like to get involved with the Pinay Collection’s  work,  updates about the Usap Tayo Pod can be found here.  They also have a library of resources about anti-Black and anti- Indigenous racism here. Additionally, you can email if you have any questions.

Be sure to follow them on Instagram, and Facebook also!

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