Pictured: members of IPS participate in a Walk the Talk rally in favor of Bill C-262 in front of a local parliament member's office in Winnipeg, Manitoba, in 2017.
It is with great sadness that Christian Peacemaker Teams announces the closure of our full-time Indigenous Peoples Solidarity program working in Treaty 1 and Treaty 3 territories of Manitoba and northwestern Ontario.
This decision was made as part of a budget plan that ensures CPT is able to remain financially stable in a difficult funding climate. CPT considered every option with great care before concluding that the closure of a program was necessary to create a balanced budget. The decision comes alongside other budget reductions that ensure the financial health of CPT.
Although we are no longer able to maintain a full-time presence, CPT is committed to maintaining our Indigenous Peoples Solidarity work to the best of our ability, with the support of our full-time Canada Coordinator and the active Reservist community in Canada. CPT has also committed funds to develop an emergency accompaniment plan for our partners in Grassy Narrows, should our long-time partners need our presence in a time of crisis.
We will continue to commit resources to advocacy for Indigenous communities in Canada, as well as offering workshops on settler colonialism, undoing oppressions, and nonviolence to educate settler (non-Indigenous) communities, and we will aim to offer delegations to those who wish to engage directly with our partners in Treaty 1 and Treaty 3 areas.
CPT established a full-time Indigenous solidarity team after being invited by the Asubpeeschoseewagong (Grassy Narrows) First Nation in 2002, to accompany the community as they blockaded a logging road to defend their traditional land from clear cut logging. While accompaniment is ending, we deeply value our partnership with Indigenous communities and the importance of addressing settler-colonialism on Turtle Island (North America). We ask that all of the community of CPT and our supporters stand together in this important commitment, to ensure that the work continues.
We ask for prayers for the IPS team in this time, as they do the most difficult work of preparing the program for closure.
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