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Ontario Tech acknowledges the lands and people of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.

We are thankful to be welcome on these lands in friendship. The lands we are situated on are covered by the Williams Treaties and are the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation, including Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi. These lands remain home to many Indigenous nations and peoples.

We acknowledge this land out of respect for the Indigenous nations who have cared for Turtle Island, also called North America, from before the arrival of settler peoples until this day. Most importantly, we acknowledge that the history of these lands has been tainted by poor treatment and a lack of friendship with the First Nations who call them home.

This history is something we are all affected by because we are all treaty people in Canada. We all have a shared history to reflect on, and each of us is affected by this history in different ways. Our past defines our present, but if we move forward as friends and allies, then it does not have to define our future.

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Current Commentaries

  • CHBE Statement on Violence Against Mi’kmaq Lobster Fishers

    In the midst of the broader attention to ongoing patterns of systemic racism across core institutions in Canada, we are forcefully reminded that this same environment lays the foundation for violence and intimidation. The recent assaults on Mi’kmaq lobster fishers in Nova Scotia must not go unnoted or unchallenged. These acts of violence perpetrated by non-Indigenous fishers are but the latest in decades of periodic eruptions of anti-Indigenous activity in the Maritime provinces. The current activity is sadly reminiscent of similar anti-Indigenous violence in the Burnt Church area shortly after the 1999 Supreme Court decision that is at the root of the ongoing “conflict.” Then, like now, federal authorities were slow to intervene to protect Indigenous people and property. In fact, then as now, federal authorities were complicit if not explicit in constricting Indigenous fishing rights. In the earlier round of violence – in the early 2000s – non-Indigenous lobsters fishers were allowed free rein in ramming Mi’kmaq boats, firing on them, and stealing stock. More than standing by, DoF seized Indigenous traps and stock, and were themselves seen ramming Indigenous boats. Twenty years later, RCMP stood by while non-Indigenous lobster fishers intimidated, threatened and attacked Indigenous people and their property – including burning down a storage facility. And again DoF have seized Indigenous traps.

    The Mi’kmaq community’s tenacity in exercising their rights to the shellfish have been met with equal obstinacy on the part of non-Native lobstermen who fear the loss of livelihood. Unfortunately, the posture of entitlement – rightly - assumed by Indigenous activists are often seen as an affront to white dominance, in that they are perceived to be violating the anticipated rules of behavior. When they challenge white privilege, and assert their treaty rights, they are victimized to silence their “non-authoritative” claims. Efforts on the part of Indigenous peoples to challenge the varied forms of oppression to which they have been subject have elicited remarkably consistent patterns of white reactionism.  Historically, Indigenous nations and individuals who have resisted white encroachment have been exterminated, relocated, persecuted and prosecuted, harassed,  and even murdered.  The politics of recognition has been a dangerous game for them since the time of first contact. Traditional ways of living and interacting with the world are challenged legally, and as frequently, extralegally through violence.

    Having discounted traditional Indigenous knowledge, what anti-treaty/anti-Indigenous actors fail to realize is the importance of Indigenous people to conserving the natural environment that has been part of their culture since the beginning of time.  Careful and strict fishing regulations are practiced by Indigenous communities, but not taken into consideration by most of the general public.  These careful and strict regulations practiced by the Mi’kmaq ensure that their ancient relationship with the environment of the land and water will continue for future generations of all people.

    We call on the federal government to intervene to protect Indigenous lives and property. In the short term, this means holding to account those who have already perpetrated violence against the community and preventing additional violence. In the long term, it means ensuring that the treaty rights of Indigenous communities are defined and operationalized through nation to nation dialogue. It must also include authentic and constructive dialogue to ensure that both communities can freely pursue their livelihoods in ways that are appropriate to their respective contexts.

  • CHBE Statement on the Recovery of the Remains of Hundreds of Indigenous Children in Saskatchewan

    More heart-break for Indigenous communities

    We find ourselves once again offering our thoughts and our support to Indigenous communities as reports come in of hundreds of Indigenous children buried in unmarked graves in Saskatchewan. Community leaders told us there would be more. Family members knew there were more. And, sadly, as communities across the country search the grounds of former residential schools, there will no doubt be hundreds more tiny bodies located.

    The pain this is causing families who lost their children years ago with no words of sympathy or explanation is unimaginable. The intergenerational trauma flowing from the horrific experiences of the residential schools continues to leave Indigenous communities struggling with individual and collective grief.

    The colonial structures that enabled the violence of residential schools today resonates in our prisons and jails, in our educational systems and curricula, and in our abandonment of remote communities who still live without clean water or basic utilities. The patterns are not a closed historical chapter but an ongoing one. Until each and every recommendation of the Truth and Reconciliation Committee report has been enacted, in a partnership between Indigenous communities and federal and provincial governments, the book remains open.

    Join us in demanding that we continue to seek truth while working – authentically – toward reconciliation.

  • CHBE Statement on the Recovery of the Remains of 215 Indigenous Children

    CHBE Statement on the Recovery of the Remains of 215 Indigenous Children

    We at the Centre on Hate, Bias and Extremism are saddened and angered by the news of the discovery of the remains of 215 children at the former residential school in Kamloops BC. The CHBE stands with the people of the Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation in recognition of the loss of 215 children. These tiny bodies represent a legacy of systemic and systematic oppression that continues today, especially but not only on remote reserves. 

    The CHBE issues a call for further truths surrounding this tragedy and suggests the following immediate actions, initially called for by the Truth and Reconciliation Committee. 

    • Registry of gravesites
    • Identification of children who died
    • Appropriate markers
    • National day of mourning/recognition

    The Centre also supports the inquiry into the countless other former residential schools to expose further wrongdoings, so that the many First Nations communities can begin to heal from the decades of horrific tragedy that were imposed on their communities.

    These are but first steps to recognize and honour the children. We must also move beyond this to redress generations of harms and inequality experiences by Indigenous peoples across the country.

    We ask that Canadians take a moment to reflect on the 215 children's lives that were lost and the burden that their families have been forced to endure, and to join us in demanding meaningful systemic change that enables the many Indigenous peoples in Canada to enjoy the rights that are theirs. 

  • CHBE Statement on Holocaust Remembrance Day
    The Centre on Hate, Bias, and Extremism, along with Jewish people in Canada and around the world, commemorates Yom HaShoa, or Holocaust Remembrance Day, today at sunset. We solemnly remember the genocide of over six million Jews at the hands of the Nazi regime and its collaborators. We remember the heroism, strength, and courage of those who survived, resisted, and helped their fellow human beings. The Centre on Hate, Bias, and Extremism is dedicated to working towards a just and equitable society. In the face of persisting antisemitism, especially as COVID-19 facilitates discrimination and provides new and amplified platforms for hate, bias, and prejudice, we pledge to continue to denounce and challenge antisemitism in all of its manifestations.
  • CHBE Statemnent on the Murder of Muslim Family in London, Ontario

    CHBE Statemnent on the Murder of Muslim Family in London, Ontario

    We at the Centre on Hate, Bias and Extremism stand with the the Muslim community in London and across the nation in mourning the loss of 4 Muslim family members, and the injuries of their remaining child. Three generations of what is described as a loving family have been wrenched away from their loved ones by a vicious act of hatred and terror.

     We are shocked, but sadly not surprised by this latest act, perpetrated by a 20 year old male. It rekindles memories of the mosque murders in Quebec City in 2017. It is the culmination of several years of escalating hatred directed toward Muslims online and offline. It was the predictable end of this pattern. A journalist asked the night after the murders “what will it take?” How many more lives will be lost before we collectively take action to stem the hatred and violence? It is time politicians follow up on the platitudes – “hate has no place in our country,” “this is not our Canada” – and assume real leadership. Fund community initiatives to counter hate and support affected communities. Enhance the capacity of law enforcement to respond consistently and effectively to hate crime and far right extremism. Make Canada’s Action Plan Against Racism more about “action” than “planning.”

     But the response must not only come from the government. We all have a role to play in countering Islamophobia where we see it. As the Ontario Human Rights Commission said in their statement on the murders, “It is essential that we all take steps and stand in solidarity, as individuals and through our organizations, to call out Islamophobia and racism and reject the hatred and the violence it begets.”

  • Remembrance: CHBE Statement on the Norway Attacks, Remembering the Victims.
    On July 22nd, 2011 77 people lost their lives and countless families were affected by the actions of a far right terrorist. The international community has also mourned with survivors and communities in Oslo and Utoya. Among the victims the majority were young people with the average age being 20. The attack was a deliberate onslaught against innocent civilians, and was carried out with extreme cowardice. As it has been 10 years since this attack the world has faced an unprecedented amount of attacks from individuals and groups identifying or associateed with the violent extreme right movement. Today we think of the victims and all those affected by this event and seek to build stronger and more resilient communities against the forces of hate, bias and extremism.
  • CHBE Statement on the 20th Anniversary of the September 11th Attacks

    The Centre on Hate, Bias and Extremism’s statement, recognizing the 9/11 terrorist attack, and the lasting effect that it has had on communities worldwide.

    The CHBE recognizes the 9/11 terrorist attack and the lives lost, as well as the ongoing effect that it has on communities, governments, and society at large. The CHBE condemns the actions of international terrorist and extremist movements and their rhetoric. 9/11 initiated a massive change in how we approach our lives. However, resilience, perseverance and strength will continue to guide us through this and provide hope for those who have endured the pain and loss from this event.

    Additionally, the CHBE recognizes that hatemongers, including extremist groups and political leaders continue to demonize cultures, crafting model of “Us vs. Them” that pits communities against one another. We note these strategies and continue to plan and organize responses and supports to communities and individuals that have been adversely affected by such narratives.

    The CHBE recognizes that violent far right organizations and ideologues continue to demonize the entire Muslim culture and faith, and ultimately use it as a recruitment tool towards their violent movements. These movements often base their group ideology on Islamophobic rhetoric that invokes the events of 9/11, and blames Muslims across the globe for the attacks.

    We reject this idea wholeheartedly and stand with Canadian and international Muslim communities in opposition to this type of rhetoric and fear mongering.

    Today we remember the 2996 people who lost their lives on September 11, 2001, and acknowledge those who continue to be affected by this event. We commit ourselves to ongoing work to educate on the realities and dangers of hate, bias and extremism.

    Centre on Hate, Bias & Extremism, 2021.

  • Colorado Springs- Club Q Attack Statement

    The team at the Centre on Hate, Bias and Extremism were shocked and saddened by the weekend’s attack at Club Q in Colorado Springs. This was a manifestation the continued rise in hate fuelled violence targeting members of the 2SLGBTQ+ communities globally. We condemn the popular and political narratives that have shaped a climate wherein it is possible to viciously attack and murder community in what should be one of their few safe spaces. It is perhaps not a coincidence that the attack occurred on a Saturday, the night when Club Q regularly hosts the Drag Diva Drag Show. Politicians across the US have recently launched legislative campaigns against both the wider queer community and the trans community, in particular, thereby setting the stage for homophobic and transphobic violence. Several states have imposed legislation that impedes the freedoms of 2SLGBTQ+ communities which has clearly impacted the overall safety within these communities. Attacks of this type affect global 2SLGBTQ+ communities and should be condemned widely, as should the hateful narratives that allow them to happen. In the short term, it is also clear that support systems must be created to facilitate healing throughout these communities.

  • CHBE Statement on University of Waterloo Hate Motivated Attack
    CHBE Statement on University of Waterloo Hate Motivated Attack
    The CHBE condemns the recent hate motivated attack that occurred on the University of Waterloo Campus in a gender studies class. This attack targeted the LGBTQ2S community and women, at a time when misogynistic and transphobic narratives are all too common. The CHBE commits itself to standing with the victims and their communities as well as speaking out against hate motivated attacks and violent extremism. The CHBE also believes in creating safe and inclusive campuses for all people. Our hope is that this cowardly attack does not silence important conversations around gender identity, but instead evokes more dialogue and anti-hate activism
  • CHBE Statement on the Jacksonville Racially Motivated Attack
    Centre on Hate, Bias & Extremism Statement on the Jacksonville Racially Motivated Attack
    The Centre on Hate, Bias & Extremism condemns the recent racially motivated attack against the black community in Jacksonville, Florida. The Centre also recognizes that marginalized communities globally have been the targets of countless cowardly attacks by violent far right groups and individuals, and we stand with the victims and their communities. The intentional targeting of black communities by violent far right actors has been an all too common occurrence, we must work together to provide a safer environment for BIPOC and other marginalized groups by acknowledging the need to take concrete action agains hate fuelled action immediately.