What does it mean to be an ally?

Carol Clutesi gave us permission to share this. She is Nuuchahnulth Tseshaht, a grandmother and wedding celebrant living here in Lil’wat territory, along with family.

In early June, she shared posts that she’d written in her hand, because she didn’t know how to copy paste the info. But it slowed me down, inviting me to experience her hand-writing, and the words landed in a deeper way.

The absence of allyship from many residents of Canada, she commented, resulted in more victimhood.

But this invitation felt powerful to me:

Allyship is an active consistent and arduous practise of unlearning and re-evaluating, in which a person holding systemic power seeks to end oppression in solidarity with a group of people who are systemically disempowered.

Carol Clutesi

If the recent orange wave/awakening across Canada has galvanized you to “do something to help,” this might provide a good north star. One gesture is a start. Buying an orange t-shirt, making a donation, sharing a Facebook story, changing your profile frame… AND keep going. Allyship is an active consistent and arduous practise of unlearning and re-evaluating… Stay humble. Work hard. It matters. Our systems perpetuate harm. We need to re-imagine them, and strive to ensure they work for everyone.

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