A Statement of Solidarity with the Black Lives Matter Movement
The Nova Scotia Sea School stands in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement in the fight against anti-Black racism, state violence, and police brutality. We have been reflecting on how institutional racism impacts the field of outdoor recreation, and what role our organization needs to play in creating change here in Nova Scotia.
Access to the water and wider outdoor spaces has always meant freedom and prosperity for human populations. For centuries in North America (and abroad), white people have been stealing, dominating, and colonizing coastlines and waterways. Our own backyards are no exception. For centuries Black populations in Nova Scotia have been forced out of their rightful homes and away from coastal and water-rich areas, and denied basic necessities, inflicting traumatizing and violent experiences which echo through the generations and are still prevalent today. Historic Black Nova Scotian communities such as Africville and Shelburne (Birchtown) are examples of communities that have faced devastating environmental racism over the years.
We at Sea School acknowledge our many privileges. We acknowledge and accept our role in supporting the Black Lives Matter movement and our duty to create and provide space for Black youth to access outdoor spaces, adventure/experiential learning, and opportunities for leadership within our organization. We endeavour to do better by educating ourselves, and intentionally establishing relationships, spaces and opportunities for and with Black communities. By doing this, we hope to provide some ability to once again access the lessons, freedom, and healing that the ocea, and outdoor spaces can provide which have been violently taken from Black communities over generations of racial discrimination and institutional racism.
We understand that inaction is still action and that no action is neutral.
We will listen, stand up and work to be better allies.
We believe Black experience.
We will do better.
Sea School would also like to acknowledge that we have paid close attention to the solidarity efforts of Indigenous communities in this historic moment. We recognize that we are in ancestral and unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq and Wolastoqiyik (Maliseet) people, and we also commit to strengthening our relationships, partnerships, and inclusion efforts within our organization for Mi’kmaq youth & leadership throughout Nova Scotia.
Here are some ways you can contribute and learn more about Black Lives Matter:
Black Lives Matter Solidarity Fund, NS:
DONATE (Focus on Nova Scotia/Canada):
LEARN (resources for books, podcasts, articles, shows, movies, docs, etc):
There's Something in the Water (Netflix): based on the book by Ingrid Waldron, this 2019 documentary produced by Ellen Page examines environmental racism in Nova Scotia and its impact on Black and Indigenous communities.