Thursday May 2nd 2024

Seeking Allies Committed to Ending Anti-Indigenous Violence

This is a formal request for the support of individual allies and organizations committed to improving the lives of Indigenous women, girls, and two-spirit/gender-diverse people.

This vulnerable population bears the brunt of colonial violence. We are 12 times more likely to go missing or be killed and despite these shocking numbers, the colonial government has failed to take meaningful action. That’s why The XAXE TEṈEW̱ Sacred Land Society is working hard to create safe spaces for Indigenous women, girls, and two-spirit/gender-diverse people. Join us in creating a better future. We are stronger together.

About us:

The XAXE TEṈEW̱ Sacred Land Society (the Society) is a Saltwater Salish women-led charitable society located on so-called Southern Vancouver Island. The Society is composed of a group of Matriarchs committed to reducing violence by reestablishing traditional, matriarchy-centered ways of living. The Society’s current project – the one for which we are asking your assistance – is called the Rematriate Stewardship Project.

Our initiative:

Through the Rematriate Stewardship Project, the Society will purchase a large plot of land and build housing where Indigenous women, girls, and two-spirit people can live and thrive. Yet, the project involves much more than housing: it will become a matriarchy-led center to empower and rebuild respect for Indigenous women, girls, and two-spirit people from the ground up.

On the land of the Rematriate Stewardship Project, women, girls, and two-spirit people will resume active stewardship, creating plentiful access to traditional foods, plants, and medicines for all who live and visit there. This will not only restore the health of the people living on and visiting the land, but will also restore the health of the land itself: a small step towards mitigating the impacts of colonial land-practices and climate change.

Our vision:

When not tending to the land, those involved in the Rematriate Stewardship Project will engage in educational classes to ensure their own safety and the safety of the land. The Society envisions a full schedule of classes for personal care— such as self-defense classes, classes on healthy relationship building and avoiding abusive relationships, support for creating safe homes for youth, and lessons in boundary setting  -- and classes for care of the land – such as classes on recycling practices and traditional land stewardship.  In this way, the Project is an example of the reality that, as the land heals, so too do the people.

The Rematriate Stewardship Project will also provide abundant opportunities to reconnect with Coast Salish culture. It will be a space where generations of women, girls, and two-spirit people can learn from one another, study traditional languages, connect with the land, and collectively build towards the way things were before settlers occupied Coast Salish lands.

Restoring this sense of safety and cultural connection for the current generation is powerful in its own right. And yet, the promise of the Rematriate Stewardship Project is that it will change conditions for many generations of women, girls, and two-spirit people to come. By putting land in the hands of matriarchs and empowering them to heal both themselves and the land, the Project creates enduring wealth, safety, and empowerment that can change the trajectory of Indigenous women, girls, and two-spirit people for generations to come.

Fundraising goal:

To put a downpayment on the land at the core of the Rematriate Stewardship Project, the Society must raise $400,000 through its “Heal the Caretakers, Heal the Land” fundraising campaign by August 5th, 2024.

While fundraising this amount may feel insurmountable, the Society knows many hands make for light work. Thus, the Society is urgently calling upon all aligned individual allies and organizations to help make this groundbreaking project possible.

We are seeking three types of support:

1)      Fundraising support.

We encourage all aligned allies to self-set fundraising goals of $10-20,000 each to help us collectively raise $400,000.

2)      Awareness support.

We understand every individual and organization has its own network of donors and other contacts. We humbly request support in sharing the message about this important project.

3)      Privilege leveraging.

The Society is led by three Indigenous women who do not have the same experience of privilege as many other non-Indigenous people. Thus, we are seeking allies in more privileged positions to help us access people and spaces that would otherwise be inaccessible to us.

If you are an aligned individual or organization and you are willing to stand by us as we work to bring the Rematriate Stewardship Project to life, we ask that you email to express your commitment to support this project.

The Society looks forward to working alongside each of you to change the trajectory of many vulnerable Indigenous lives. In the words of Georgina Underwood, Matriarch and Board Member of the Society, 

“I want to impress upon this nation that this initiative is us taking responsibility for our children’s and our grandchildren’s futures. It is us making sure that women have voices. That women will rise up to speak on their own behalf, and that they will find their identity. I hope all of you will join us.”

Donate to the Rematriate Stewardship Project