The Land We Call Home
'Harmony' Mural Design, Shianna Allison - 2022
With deep respect and humility we acknowledge that the land on which we stand is the traditional, stolen territory of the Syilx Okanagan Nation. We recognize and honor the Syilx people as the rightful stewards of this land since time immemorial.
We must acknowledge the profound impact of colonization which has resulted in the loss of Indigenous lands, culture, language, and autonomy. The historical injustices, including forced relocation, residential schools, and cultural suppression, have had lasting effects on their communities, their ways of life, and their spiritual connections to the land.
As a Pride Society, we understand the importance of intersectionality and the interconnectedness of different struggles for justice. We stand in solidarity with Indigenous peoples and recognize that LGBTQIA+ rights are intertwined with the rights of Indigenous communities. We acknowledge the experiences of Two-Spirit and LGBTQIA+ Indigenous individuals who have faced unique challenges due to both colonial and heteronormative forces.
We must strive to decolonize our hearts, minds, and actions. This involves actively challenging and dismantling the structures of oppression and colonization embedded in our society. We commit to engaging in continuous learning about the history and traditions of the Syilx people and other Indigenous nations to foster understanding and mutual respect.
As we celebrate and advocate for 2SLGBTQIA+ rights, we must always remember that true justice cannot be achieved unless it includes the full recognition and restitution of the rights of Indigenous peoples. We pledge to amplify Indigenous voices and support their struggles for self-determination, land rights, and cultural revitalization.
In acknowledging the land and the rights of Indigenous people, we commit ourselves to the ongoing process of reconciliation. We recognize that reconciliation is not a one-time event but a journey that requires consistent efforts to build meaningful relationships and address the legacies of colonialism.
As we continue to organize and celebrate Pride events in the South Okanagan and Similkameen we honor the land and the Syilx people. We acknowledge the strength, resilience, and wisdom of the Indigenous communities that have preserved their culture and heritage despite the challenges they have faced.
Let us move forward together, guided by principles of equity, inclusion, and justice for all.
May the South Okanagan Similkameen Pride Society serve as a platform for building bridges, fostering understanding, and working collectively towards a more just and inclusive future for everyone.
- The Board of SOS Pride