Out On Screen acknowledges that we have been existing on the unceded traditional 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 reconciling our 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 are common in today’s society and encompass the myriad of gender and sexual identities prevalent in Indigenous societies. They were once respected as fundamental and valued components 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 and lost. 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.

Steps in our Journey

To be explicit with our community, some of the concrete steps we will take in 2016 include:

  • Continuing education for all staff and board of directors. Topics to include: Historical and contemporary role of two-spirit people in society, impacts of colonization and allyship
  • Making a collective commitment to a direction and workplan for our organization and our people as it relates to our relationship with local Indigenous communities and our role in decolonization and reconciliation. Reviewing it annually.
  • Seeking out Indigenous and/or two-spirit representation at our staff and board of directors level with the intention of creating a board that better reflects the communities it wishes to serve.
  • Being in compliance with Indigenous law by establishing relations with the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil Waututh First Nations and seeking to know and follow their protocols for being on their territories.
  • Following local protocol by requesting permission from territory holders to convene the film festival in Vancouver.
  • Recognizing the unceded territory holders wherever possible in the public fora.
  • Co-curating a two-spirit / indigeneity spotlight at our film festival with an Indigenous community partner to foreground and center the voices of Indigenous people.
  • Build relationships and center Indigenous culture and ways of knowing by seeking out community partnerships with indigenous organizations for our film festival..
  • Reviewing and updating our Out in Schools workshops to more accurately reflect and center two-spirit people.
  • Making our Out in Schools workshops better known and available to Indigenous groups, people and communities.

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