Respect for treaty rights

The collective where I work was recently invited to bid on a contract for the 1 Law 4 All political party of New Zealand. We declined their invitation; here’s the message we sent in response. Also, I love my job.

Hi, [redacted]. Greetings in Aotearoa! Thanks for contacting us regarding our CiviCRM services.

As you might have noticed on our website, Koumbit is a non-profit organisation of progressive-minded autonomous IT workers and design professionals which works with community groups in Quebec, Canada and abroad. By “progressive minded” we mean (among other things) that we work to dismantle systemic oppression based on class, race, and gender, and otherwise work for what we perceive as a more just world. For us as citizens of a settler state this includes working in solidarity with First Nations communities who have faced generations of policies of assimilation and genocide, and who are fighting to force our federal government to respect legally binding treaties which give settler peoples like myself the right to live on this land in return for various considerations and obligations which have for the most part been ignored for centuries.

Our First Nations allies tell us that respect for the terms of these treaties is primordial to their struggles to exercise sovereign control over their land, to break the cycles of poverty and oppression imposed on them by the Canadian reservation system, and to preserve their culture and way of life. As a result it is not our intention to work with a political party formed to contest the validity of the Treaty of Waitangi, and you will need to find yourselves a different service provider.

Sincerely, Matt Corks, for Réseau Koumbit, in Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk) territories, Montréal, Québec

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