At EndPovertyEdmonton, we see ending poverty as a profound act of Reconciliation. Therefore, it is critical that Indigenization permeates everything we do.
Echoing the knowledge of Cole Buhler and Shani Gwin through Sarah Liebetrau’s words: “Decolonization is about connecting with the land under our feet, restoring our human dignity. It is a process rather than a goal. (...) As part of decolonizing we must allow ourselves to feel and get emotional, to connect to the stories and histories of others, to let go of the notion of impartiality, which does not exist.”
Historically, Indigenous Peoples’ worldviews and perspectives have been discredited in favour of colonized viewpoints and ways of doing. Little by little, the languages, customs, cultures and protocols of Indigenous Peoples are being reclaimed and celebrated. EndPovertyEdmonton is committed to partnering with and following the lead of Indigenous Peoples to bring Indigenous ways of knowing and doing into our strategies and processes and allowing it to guide our work. We are committed to integrating Indigenous methods into all our work. The way we think, the way we communicate, and the way we do things.
Karen Bruno and Kourtney Boucher, our Directors of Indigenization, actively work with our team to provide us with teachings and Indigenous knowledge to apply to both our personal lives as well as our professional ones. Our Indigenization team is also working with our Anti-Racism and Lived Experience teams to create several anti-oppression frameworks to guide all of EndPovertyEdmonton's work. They are also working with governments, agencies, and organizations to ensure they:
Recognize the validity of Indigenous worldviews, knowledge and perspectives
Identify opportunities for indigeneity to be expressed
Incorporate Indigenous ways of knowing and doing
Most importantly, at EndPovertyEdmonton, we are focused and committed to including Indigenous communities of Edmonton in our work to end poverty. Not talking to them, but talking with them. Not working for them, but working with them. We want to lead everything we do with a community-centred focus; in a way that is true to the knowledge of Indigenous Elders and communities. In the process of Reconciliation and Decolonization we are making the effort of not imposing colonized viewpoints. We are committed to listening to Indigenous voices and amplifying those voices.