Inuit Circumpolar Council backs Black Lives Matter movement

“We firmly share our voice to achieve ‘a world free of anti-Blackness.'”

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Holding signs and banners, participants in a Black Lives Matter rally, which took place on June 5 in Iqaluit, march from the city’s Four Corners intersection to the legislative assembly to the RCMP detachment. (Nunatsiaq News file photo)

The Inuit Circumpolar Council, which represents more than 150,000 Inuit in Chukotka, Alaska, Canada and Greenland, said it stands in solidarity with all Black and racialized people.

“We firmly share our voice to achieve ‘a world free of anti-Blackness, where every Black person has the social, economic, and political power to thrive’ as outlined by the Black Lives Matter national and international movement,” the ICC said in a news release, issued after more than 200 gathered last week in Iqaluit for a Black Lives Matter rally.

In the release, ICC said it “denounces the racist and discriminatory actions that have triggered the social revolt, calling for an end to police brutality, systemic racism, and discrimination in the U.S. and throughout societies across the globe.”

The ICC called on the United States, Canada, Russia and Greenland to work with Inuit to undertake law and policy reforms to bring about accountability “in every realm of our society, including within the courts, enforcement, corrections, and law.”

Inuit have also struggled against systemic racism and discrimination in the societies and countries in which they live, the ICC said: “Inuit have been the subjects of racist actions and attacks for centuries, from forced relocations, to boarding schools, assimilationist policies, and waves of colonialism, to racial disparities in access to justice for women, children, and other vulnerable members of our society.”

Systemic racism and discrimination remain barriers to securing Inuit rights and achieving social and economic equity, the ICC said.

Although the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination was adopted in 1965 and the United Nations has twice declared a Decade for Action to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination, “little in the way of concrete action has been taken by governments to end the brutal reality of racism and discrimination for Black and other racialized peoples, including Indigenous peoples,” the ICC said.