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How To Be An Ally To Indigenous Peoples

How to be an Ally

There are many ways to be an ally to Indigenous peoples. The term ally means that YOU recognize the privilege that settler cultures have and take for granted. It also implies that you challenge and work towards breaking down those barriers that continue to violate Indigenous communities. Being an ally requires social action, strength, courage, humility and a support network. The resources below are focused on this topic and are a good place to start.

Indigenous Works

The enterprise-wide Workplace Inclusion System designed by Indigenous Works helps companies climb the seven-stage Inclusion Continuum by diagnosing the organizational competencies needed to achieve increased engagements and relationships with Indigenous people, businesses and communities.


What is an Ally?

This website gives the definition of an Ally, how to become an ally, how to get started and what it takes to become an Ally.


Indigenous Corporate Training INC.

Provides training courses on-site or online to a team organizing or individuals. Offers Courses in Indigenous Awareness, Working Effectively with Indigenous Peoples, Indigenous Consultation and Engagement, Creating an Indigenous Engagement Plan, How to Negotiate with Indigenous Peoples.  

Working Effectively with Indigenous Peoples


Indigenous Canada

Indigenous Canada is a 12-lesson Massive Open Online Course that explores Indigenous histories and contemporary issues in Canada. From an Indigenous perspective, this course explores key issues facing indigenous peoples today from a historical and critical perspective highlighting national and local indigenous-settler relations.


Allyship and Inclusion at the Faculty of Medicine (University of Toronto)

The University of Toronto describes what it means to be an ally.

Research, Ethnic Fraud, and the Academy: A Protocol for Working with Indigenous Communities and Peoples

In our current colonial moment, research on Indigenous peoples – and the university itself – is deeply implicated in the direction of every conceivable facet ensnared by settler public policy, running the gamut of the social, economic, and cultural. As is well known, the history of Indigenous public policy has been impelled by non-Indigenous priorities and conducted by non-Indigenous sources with the purposes of civilization, assimilation, or death. We are committed to the continuation of Indigenous life as determined by Indigenous Peoples.


10 ways to be an ally to Indigenous People

Article dating March 12, 2018 by Loose Lips Mag. With the guidance of a workshop run by Carol Bilson, Siku Allooloo and Nikki Sanchez, a PhD Student in Indigenous Governance at UVIC, they’ve rounded up 10 ways settlers can be better allies for Indigenous people.


How to Be an Informed Aboriginal Ally

This article explores what it means to be a strong ally to Canada’s Indigenous peoples.


10 Ways to Be a Genuine Ally to Indigenous Communities

This article explains what it means to be a genuine ally and some suggestions that will help you get started.


Faculty developers as allies (not experts) in supporting Indigenous perspectives

Kathleen Bortolin produces an article for University Affairs that discusses how many of us have some idea of where we are supposed to go, but have a less clear sense of how to get there.


How I am learning to include Indigenous knowledge in the classroom

Kathleen Gallagher produces an article for University Affairs that brings forward the new duty felt by teachers at all levels of our education system to make good on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission calls to action, creating both a critically important opportunity and an unease about our preparedness.  


Help Combat Anti-Indigenous Racism by Becoming an Ally

Terri Coles writes an article for the Huffington Post about how creating ally alliances is an important step in combating racism.


Indigenous Allyship: An overview

This document will act as a resource for non-Indigenous people seeking to become allies to Aboriginal people. To help allies understand the struggle for decolonization and nationhood and what effective Allyship to Aboriginal peoples mean.


Guide to Allyship

This guide is an ever-evolving and growing open source guide meant to provide you with the resources for becoming a more effective ally.


Building an ally: non-Indigenous people share their stories of bridge building

What does it mean to support and stand with Indigenous community? Some non-Indigenous people have been viewed as an ally, but what does it mean to them to be a cross-cultural bridge builder?

Building an ally: non-Indigenous people share their stories of bridge building

A CBC Radio Podcast discussing what it means to support and stand with the Indigenous community. Some non-indigenous people have been viewed as an ally, but what does it mean to them to be a cross-cultural bridge builder?


How to talk about Indigenous people

This YouTube video explains the proper terms when referring to Indigenous Peoples. Inuk journalist Ossie Michelin has friendly how-to guide.


What does being Indigenous mean?

CBC News shares the profiles of 18 Indigenous leaders and change makers.


New Poster: How to be an Ally to Indigenous Peoples

The Two Row campaign and Syracuse Cultural Workers have published a beautiful poster titled “How to Be an Ally to Indigenous Peoples” .

7 tips on Building Relationships with Indigenous Peoples

The Indigenous Corporate Training Inc. shares 7 tips on how to build relationships with Indigenous Peoples.


Working Effectively with Indigenous Peoples-Blog

The Indigenous Corporate Training Inc. Blog shares articles on working effectively with Indigenous Peoples.


7 First Nation Facts You Should know

A blog that serves as a guide to Working Effectively with Indigenous Peoples.  

Working Effectively with Indigenous Peoples-Book

Whether you're just starting out or want to increase your knowledge, Working Effectively with Indigenous Peoples® is written to support people in their Indigenous relations endeavors. The fourth edition has additional content and a fresh look inside and out.

Indigenous and Decolonizing Studies in Education

Indigenous and decolonizing perspectives on education have long persisted alongside colonial models of education, yet too often have been subsumed within the fields of multiculturalism, critical race theory, and progressive education. Timely and compelling, Indigenous and Decolonizing Studies in Education features research, theory, and dynamic foundational readings for educators and educational researchers who are looking for possibilities beyond the limits of liberal democratic schooling.

Settler Identity and Colonialism in the 21st Century Canada 

Through an engaging, and sometimes enraging, look at the relationships between Canada and Indigenous nations, Settler: Identity and Colonialism in 21st Century Canada explains what it means to be Settler and argues that accepting this identity is an important first step towards changing those relationships. Being Settler means understanding that Canada is deeply entangled in the violence of colonialism, and that this colonialism and pervasive violence continue to define contemporary political, economic and cultural life in Canada. It also means accepting our responsibility to struggle for change. Settler offers important ways forward — ways to decolonize relationships between Settler Canadians and Indigenous peoples — so that we can find new ways of being on the land, together.

Distorted Descent: White claims to Indigenous Identity

Distorted Descent examines a social phenomenon that has taken off in the twenty-first century: otherwise white, French descendant settlers in Canada shifting into a self-defined “Indigenous” identity. This study is not about individuals who have been dispossessed by colonial policies, or the multi-generational efforts to reconnect that occur in response. Rather, it is about white, French-descendant people discovering an Indigenous ancestor born 300 to 375 years ago through genealogy and using that ancestor as the sole basis for an eventual shift into an “Indigenous” identity today.

After setting out the most common genealogical practices that facilitate race shifting, Leroux examines two of the most prominent self-identified “Indigenous” organizations currently operating in Quebec. Both organizations have their origins in committed opposition to Indigenous land and territorial negotiations, and both encourage the use of suspect genealogical practices. Distorted Descent brings to light to how these claims to an “Indigenous” identity are then used politically to oppose actual, living Indigenous peoples, exposing along the way the shifting politics of whiteness, white settler colonialism, and white supremacy.

23 Tips on What Not to Say or Do

This eBook lists 23 tips on what to say or do, and explains why.  This free eBook will give you and your team some great ideas to help readers before that next community meeting.