Out On Screen acknowledges that we have existed on the unceded traditional and ancestral territory of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations since 1988. Out On Screen recognizes the governance authority of these Nations for their shared territories and seeks to abide by their time-honoured protocols.
Being predominantly settlers and immigrants to this land from many diverse backgrounds, we recognize that we have much to learn, as well as an ongoing responsibility to share our collective histories and contribute to changing the oppression perpetuated by colonialism, even today. Reconciling past injustice, and strengthening shared understanding and awareness of history, is vital to both Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities. We believe in the value of truth telling and working toward good relationships so we can be a queer arts organization that celebrates, illuminates and advances the lives of all queer people, including queer, trans and two-spirit Indigenous people.
Two-spirit people encompass the myriad of gender and sexual identities prevalent in Indigenous societies. They were once respected as fundamental and valued members of many Indigenous cultures and societies. In the wake of colonization in North America, two-spirit people and their traditional roles have often been erased, diminished, and displaced. We believe in contributing to a society where two-spirit people are honoured, respected and celebrated for their traditional and contemporary roles, which are supported by wider society.
As a queer non-profit organization whose strategic shared vision includes the values of intersectionality, anti-oppression, social justice, respect, and equitable inclusivity, Out On Screen is committed to meaningfully participating in reconciliation, decolonization, and being in right relations with two-spirit and Indigenous people of this land. We believe in contributing to a process that forges and maintains respectful relationships and makes space for the centering of Indigenous communities, knowledge, legal systems, and ways of being.
We realize this is a journey, not a destination; and it will be a journey defined and judged by our actions, not simply our words. We invite others to join us, support us and hold us accountable. We are as strong as our community.
To be explicit with our community, some of the concrete steps we will take in 2018 include: