Indigenous Rights

British Columbia is a resource colony founded on land theft, white supremacy and genocide. These policies unlocked enormous wealth for corporations, but also laid the foundation for the social, economic and environmental problems we face today.

Confronting the overlapping crises of our time requires that we decolonize the place we call home. This is both an urgent necessity and a process that could take many generations. At Dogwood we approach this work in three ways:

1. Education: Learning about history, geography and the proper names for things, while trying to unlearn the ideology of colonialism in our organization and ourselves.

2. Solidarity: Directing time, equipment and resources to Indigenous friends and neighbours working to defend their rights and reassert control of their land.

3. Action: Working with allies to mobilize the public to resist ongoing acts of colonialism by corporations and our government institutions.

In the fall of 2021, Dogwood applied with researchers from the University of Victoria for a Partnership Engage Grant, “Embracing Indigenous Ecological Knowledge, Overcoming Environmental Racism.” The goal was to bring Dogwood together with members of the W̱SÁNEĆ Nation to better understand how settler culture has limited the work of environmental and climate organizations, and too often has ignored or undermined the work of Indigenous people to reclaim their land and cultures. This report shares some of our lessons learned.

Free to stream online, this highly watchable four-piece miniseries is packed full of stories you never learned in school. The show also comes paired with an interactive timeline that adds another layer of learning.

Another rich multimedia resource that helps dispel the colonial amnesia cultivated by our province. You can download the 80-page textbook for free, or access an enhanced digital version with videos, links to primary sources and learning activities for educators. 

Video archive of a public conference held on Cas Yikh territory to address state violence toward land defenders, and highlight youth and Indigenous communities asserting control of their resources and territories.

A short summary of the 94 calls to action issued by Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission after its seven-year investigation found the country’s Indian Residential Schools had carried out a ‘cultural genocide’ against hundreds of Indigenous nations.

This short, readable document provides the backbone of Canada and B.C.’s recently adopted legislation on the rights of Indigenous peoples.

Co-developed with the province’s First Nations Leadership Council, this is the B.C. government’s five-year plan to harmonize its laws and operations with the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Developed by the First Nations Leadership Council, this strategy document tackles the climate crisis through a different set of values than the provincial government’s industry-first emissions reduction plan. 

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