Breaking the Silence is a network of people who have been organizing since 1988 to support the efforts of indigenous Maya and other communities in Guatemala struggling for political, social and economic justice. BTS recognizes the structural inequalities that exist in Canada, Guatemala and other places as one of the many effects of colonization, and is committed to working towards more equitable relations. In this light, we acknowledge the numerous treaties signed between the Crown and Indigenous Nations to peacefully share the land, as well as the existence of large areas of unceded territory. We also acknowledge the repeated violation of these treaties, and Indigenous rights, and are particularly appalled by the recent passing of Bill C-45 and its implications for Indigenous rights and the protection of natural resources.

Breaking the Silence stands in solidarity with Indigenous communities and with their requests voiced through the Idle No More movement. We condemn the Canadian government’s failure to respect and adhere to the Aboriginal and Treaty rights of Indigenous communities in Canada. We call on the Canadian government to urgently engage in fair and meaningful dialogue with Indigenous communities and leaders, as called for by Chief Theresa Spence, and uphold the treaties signed between the Crown and Indigenous Nations.