An Indigenous Abolitionist Study Guide

IN MAY 2020, organizers in Toronto had planned to host the Abolition Convergence under the theme: Imagining Decolonizing and Abolitionist Futures. It was canceled when the pandemic hit; but the work of abolition continued and on-the-ground rebellion placed these themes into the public imagination. 

Our local organizing committee is a collaboration of artists, activists, academics, and people with direct experience with the carceral system. Our group includes Indigenous people, Black people, people of colour, white people, queer/trans* and 2-spirit people, younger and older people, people who have been incarcerated and people who have worked and struggled against incarceration, detention, deportation, and settler colonialism in various ways.

In putting this event together we were inspired by the knowledge and teachings that Black, Indigenous, and other peoples have shared about the relationship between trees and mushrooms, where we see nature selecting the healthy relationships needed to bring about a mutually beneficial future across difference. Abolition is happening now, all around us.  We developed this guide for Prisoners Justice Day (August 10) to highlight the abolitionist relationships and analysis we see as interconnected with processes of decolonizing, while continuing to be inspired by how mushrooms play a restorative role in rebuilding all the root systems that have been damaged. –Shiri Pasternak 

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