UPlift Black stands with Krystal Brooks and against all forms of hate
With heavy hearts, we once again release a statement condemning hatred. Krystal Brooks, an Indigenous woman and Ontario Green Party candidate for North Simcoe, was the victim of a targeted attack when her election sign on her yard was vandalized this week.
This incident is a local reminder of why we called for continued vigilance and support following the terrorist attack in Buffalo. And if we are to create change, we need voices like Krystal’s in politics—at all levels—to challenge the very systems and policies that have allowed hate to spread in our communities.
Our Indigenous Relations Coordinator Shaneeka Forrester shared her reflections after hearing the news of the incident.
“The targeted attacks of racism against political candidate Krystal Brooks are a reminder for me that toxic and harmful perceptions towards Indigenous people are still thriving in 2022. When I initially read about the incident my heart felt deeply hurt for my Indigenous sister. On May 5th, I spoke about the feelings of being undervalued as an Indigenous woman, that our existence is an act of defiance against a country that has tried to erase us. For me, this incident was a reminder of those feelings. It is with a heavy heart that I stand in solidarity with Krystal Brooks and wish her healing from the hatred bestowed upon her. You are valued and seen by your community.”
We were heartened to hear of the outpouring of support Krystal received following the incident, but we are calling on all Simcoe County residents to do more to prevent these incidents in the first place. As we shared in December, following the attack on Shak Edwards in Barrie, Ontario, these are not isolated incidents.
We will continue to stand with love and be ready to help. We will meet individuals and organizations where they are so we can move forward together. We must remember that progress isn’t linear — and as we are working to move forward, those who aim to hold society back may get louder and more hateful. We invite you to be on the right side of history. Show up, share, support — don’t stay silent, for there is no neutral.
Recommended actions for leaders and allies
Educate yourself on the final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
Ask for or organize comprehensive anti-racism training for your workplace.
Speak out against hate on your social media and other channels.
Address racist comments when you hear them at your workplace, school, and in social interactions. Speak up against it. Report it and follow up. And continue the work to dismantle racism. It starts with your own learning.
If you’re able, financially support organizations working to create an equitable society locally and beyond. You can make a donation to UPlift Black on our website.
Support Black, Indigenous and people of colour-owned businesses.
For media: Be aware of the language used in stories and help the public understand the connection between racist events. Consider reviewing A Field Guide to White Supremacy.
Design your own learning/unlearning journey. Here are some resources to consider:
- 21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act by Bob Joseph
- An Army of Problem Solvers (Reconciliation and the Solution Economy) by Shaun Luney
- Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer
- From Where I Stand: Rebuilding Indigenous Nations for a Stronger Canada by Jody Wilson-Raybould
- Indigenomics: Taking a Seat at the Economic Table by Carol Anne Hilton
- Indigenous Writes: A Guide to First Nations, Metis, and Inuit Issues in Canada by Chelsea Vowel
- Our Story: Aboriginal Voices on Canada’s Past (Collection)
- Resource Rulers by Bill Gallagher
- Seven Fallen Feathers by Tanya Talaga
- The Inconvenient Indian by Thomas King
- Unsettling Canada: A National Wake-Up Call by Arthur Manual and Grand Chief Ronald M. Derrickson
- Final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission
- Indigenous Canada – Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) from the Faculty of Native Studies at the University of Alberta that explores Indigenous histories and contemporary issues in Canada
- Working Effectively with Indigenous Peoples
- Suncor Energy’s Aboriginal Awareness Web-Based Training
About UPlift Black
UPlift Black is a Black-led not-for-profit based in Simcoe County, Ontario working to UPlift the wellbeing of Black people locally and educate nationally about anti-Black racism and gender-based discrimination in Canada. Our work is anchored in 2SLGBTQIA+ inclusivity and in solidarity with Indigenous peoples. Our ultimate goal is true equity through a conscious and UPlifted community.
Media contact: UPlift Black’s Advocacy and Accountability Council firstname.lastname@example.org