The Reparations Funds collect resources and redistribute them to people and projects that use an Indigenist or decolonization framework to tackle the legacies of colonization, such as loss of land, resulting poverty, illness and disease, loss of traditions and so on. Organizations or initiatives with an Indigenist or decolonization framework are grounded in Indigenous spiritualities, knowledge systems, and economic praxis, and use these as a basis for rebuilding healthy, self-sustaining and sustainable societies. In addition to being Indigenist, the initiatives selected are those which incorporate anti-oppression principles to protect the interests of women, children, queer people, people with disabilities, and all people disadvantaged by societal inequities. We use the term ‘Reparations’ to honour the fact that any resources provided to the Indigenous peoples of North America and Africa represent a small fraction of what is owed to these people, rather than charity.
The Turtle Island Reparations Fund and the African Reparations Fund are run by Seven Directions and Moyo Wa Africa respectively for the purpose of channelling funds to support decolonization work in Turtle Island (North America) and Africa. The Turtle Island Reparations Fund (TIRF) has supported and will continue to support Indigenous land rights struggles going on in Six Nations, Grassy Narrows, and the Seven Directions land reclamation project. The African Reparations Fund (ARF) will support the Moyo WeKubtana Project in Gutu Zimbabwe, as well as Isese Lagba- Cultural Preservation initiative in Nigeria.
GROUPS SUPPORTED BY RERATIONS FUNDS
THE TURTLE ISLAND REPARATIONS FUND
“On February 28, 2006, members of the Iroquois Confederacy (the Haudenosaunee) set up a blockade
on a highway near Caledonia, Ontario to prevent a housing development from going ahead on their
traditional land. The ensuing confrontation made national headlines for months. However, while most Canadians have watched television news footage of First Nations “protesters” blocking roads and angry non-Aboriginal people who want to get on with business as usual, few ever get the perspective of the First Nations. And even less well known is the perspective of women and in this particular situation, the crucial role of the women of the Six Nations community — the traditional source of power in the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. In 1784, in recognition of Haudenosaunee loyalty during the American Revolution, the Crown granted a piece of land known as the Haldimand Tract to the Six Nations in perpetuity. The land stretches
nearly 10 kilometres on either side of the Grand River. Today, the Haudenosaunee possess less than five per cent of that territory. According to the Canadian government, that’s because they sold the rest. The clan mothers disagree. And for them, Caledonia is the last straw.
While this peaceful blockade was initiated by two young women, the struggle was then joined and lead by the clan mothers. With quiet determination, the women rally the community on the Six Nations of the Grand River Reserve — with a population of 20,000, the largest reserve in Canada.
During the course of the blockade, it is the clan mothers who set the rules for conduct. And when the community’s chiefs ask people to abandon the barricades, it is the clan mothers who over-rule them.”
Excerpt from the blurb of the film Six Miles deep by Sara Roque.
Here is a quote from a recent statment from Grassy Narrowns spokesperson JB Fobister:
“The flooding of their lands. The poisoning of their waters. The large-scale, clearcut logging of their traditional hunting and trapping territories. The people of Grassy Narrows, an Anishnabe First Nation in northwest Ontario, have repeatedly suffered the devastating impact of government decisions made without their consent. In 2002, community members launched a blockade to stop clearcut logging in their traditional territory.
The blockade is one of the longest running Indigenous land protests in Canadian history.
In January, 2007, the people of Grassy Narrows called for a moratorium on logging and other resource development in their traditional territory.
In 2008… AbitibiBowater announced that its Fort Frances mill would stop processing wood from
Grassy Narrows. The company also said that it wanted to give up the provincial license under which it manages all logging in the Whisky Jack forest.
While this has temporarily halted logging at Grassy Narrows, the future is uncertain. The province and the community have entered into talks about the long term management of the forest, but the province has never ruled out renewed logging, with or without the community’s consent.”
Seven Directions Land Recovery Project
Space for Reclamation, Learning and Transformation
* The seven directions teaching is a three dimensional Iroquois medicine wheel (compass) that
contains the four cardinal directions, earth, sky and self at the centre. The heart of this teaching is about regarding oneself as in relation to all other beings in creation.
The Seven Directions Land Recovery Project aims to create spaces where Indigenous peoples of
this territory can reclaim our traditional stewarship of the land for the health of our communities, the broader society and the planet. In these spaces Seven Directions will support Indigenous peoples in reclaiming cultures that stem from the land and rebuilding strong communities, while inviting non-Indigenous counter-parts to learn from local traditions, and reconnect to their own ancestral ones in order to create models for living here that are in balance with the land and her people Created by the Ontario-based organization, Seven Directions, in partnership with Schools Without Boarders, SDLRP will be networked with like-minded initiatives around the world -from organic farms and permaculture
projects to eco-centres and indigenous communities. By creating spaces for peoples to reclaim ancient and contemporary methods of sustainable living that are rooted in culture, the SDLRP will contribute to healing communities, while also contributing to the protection of the earth.
AFRICAN REPARATIONS FUND
Isese Lagba -Cultural Preservation
A Joint effort with Yoruba House Project and Moyo Wa Africa
Isese Lagba is focused on the preservation of our eroding Yoruba culture in Eko, Nigeria.
Funds are used for important work like the repairing of the shrine of Egungun (anscestors)
and Oluaye; offering of Kola, Gin, Beer, Bean Cake and Corn Starch Porridge to the Orisha
Egungun and holding a feast for the community members; buying new talking drums for an
ensemble of drummers in the village; as well as other healing, community-building cultural
activities. Please visit http://www.princebamidelebajowa.ca and http://www.MoyoWaAfrica.com for more
Kubiku village is located in Zimbabwe, close to the City of Gutu, in the province of Masvingo.
In january 2010, the people of Kubiku came together in a series of Dare’s ( community
gatherings) to discuss some of the issues that were affecting the community. Some of the main
issues raised in these meeting was Urombo ( persistent shortages of necessities for healthy
living), Nzara ( shortage of food), Mvura (water, persistent drought) Shuramatongo ( mystery
that ruins / HIV), Kudzidza (education), Nzvimbo yaanaMai (place of women in the society)
etc. The whole village, young, old, divided into groups to focus on different issues, with the
collective outcomes of the whole village to be shared equally among all.
In an effort to move away from temporary NGO-lead projects that have had no lasting impact,
the community is initiating their own projects. Some of the recent work that is being done in
the community include indigenous practices of cooperatives, where the whole village supports
a family or individual with ploughing, harvesting. Moyo we Kubatana seeks to support this
ongoing work, through initiatives that pull together community resources to support youth
education and community conversations. With the presence of elders who are experts in natural
medicines, dance, song, farming, hunting, storytelling, capentry, building etc and who are
interested in passing on this knowledge, the community intends to start structured learning
initiatives especially for the youth. The community is also interested in learning ways to deal
with persistent droughts by investing in resources for water havesting and conservation.
One of the most important needs in the community is the creation of a model of learning
that is indigenous based and allows people to rebuild relationship with their land and their
community. The current colonial education system has only perpetuated young people and old
people in rural communities to learn their way out of who they are. With the majority of them
migrating to urban areas to live and work in deplorable conditions. With this in mind, one of
the issues that we discussed was the purchase of land ( unfortunately we have to buy it), where
a demonstration centre, centered in indigenous ways of being, but also supported by other
knowledge systems from the world, could be started.