The Alberta Rural Development Network Stands in Solidarity With the Black Lives Matter Movement

The ARDN stands in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.

We want to recognize the outstanding individuals and communities that we work with that have been directly impacted by anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism in Canada. As an organization that supports rural communities across the country, we are continuously reflecting, learning, and reexamining the ingrained habits we default on. This pivotal moment is no exception: we would like to acknowledge issues of systemic racism in rural communities and the importance of not only recognizing the existence of these issues, but also supporting those most impacted and working to deconstruct systems of oppression.

Our partners at ActionDignity have compiled a list of organizations doing anti-racism work here in Alberta and have provided insightful notes for community members supporting the BLM movement. For their full statement, please visit their website.

ActionDignity, the Alberta Association of Immigrant Serving Agencies (AAISA), and ARDN came together on June 8th, 2020 to deliver an anti-discriminationwebinarWe encourage you to view the webinar, where we cover anti-discrimination practices and how they can be applied on multiple levels, and share strategies for engaging in difficult conversations and safe care.

During times of great change, we understand that difficult conversations are inevitable, but more necessary than ever. Here are some rural-based articles and general resources that can help inform discussions and possible approaches to broaching these issues:

Now is the time to hear the truth and inspire people to share stories, learn and make right relations that have been damaged by Canada’s systemic racism” - Cochrane BLM Rally Draws Hundreds

If people aren’t surprised that racism and bigotry exists here on an intense level, then that's a conversation we need to have,Innisfail Black Lives Matter rally postponed due to online hostility will now go ahead: Organizers

Calling in as a practice of loving each other enough to allow each other to make mistakes, a practice of loving ourselves enough to know that what we’re trying to do here is a radical unlearning of everything we have been configured to believe is normal.” -Calling In: A Quick Guide on When and How

"Addressing harmful behavior is important, but so is understanding that everyone is on a different step of their journey, so we all make mistakes" - What Does Call-In Mean? When Call-Out Culture Feels Toxic, This Method Can Be Used Instead

Many nonprofit organizations talk about the importance of diversity, inclusion, and equity, but many find it difficult to truly integrate these concepts into their work and how they operate.Community Wise’s resource on creating Anti-Racist Organizational Change.

Systemic racism, including anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism, has gravely increased the risks associated with experiencing a mental health crisis.” - CMHA Statement on police and wellness checks

An ally will mostly engage in activism by standing with an individual or group in a marginalized community. An accomplice will focus more on dismantling the structures that oppress that individual or group—and such work will be directed by the stakeholders in the marginalized group.” - Ally or Accomplice? The Language of Activism

According to Homeless Hub, homelessness among Indigenous people today is a consequence not only of contemporary racism, discrimination and oppression, but has its roots in other factors, too.The Back Streeters and the White Boys: Racism in rural Canada

ARDN will continue to collaborate with organizations that work tirelessly to deliver the best possible services to those in greatest need, even when resources are tight and hard to come by. We hope these resources can inspire you in the same way they’ve inspired us.

Your friends at the ARDN