Pinay Power II: Celebrating Peminisms in the Diaspora is being held in Tiohtià:ke, on greater Turtle Island. Both Canada and the Philippines share a long history of colonization, but also long HERstories of resistance such as Idle No More. We refuse the settler colonial lie by acknowledging that Columbus did not “discover” the Americas and Cartier did not “claim” Canada for France; but both happened upon well established and culturally rich Native societies. Similarly, Magellan did not discover what we understand today as the Philippines. The Tao*, the Philippines’ indigenous peoples, were a highly complex society with deeply instituted communities, ways of life, languages, governments, and spiritualities. During these periods of forced occupation continuing to the present day, many of our peoples have experienced a loss of land, culture, and identity, as well as forced displacement within the islands and across the diaspora, for reasons economic, political, and otherwise.
As we bear this in our hearts, minds, and spirits, we wish to acknowledge, show respect, and support the empowerment of the Indigenous people that are native to the land and waters on which our gathering will be taking place. The traditional stewards of this land are the Kanien’kehá:ka people, also honourably bestowed with the title of Keepers of the Eastern Door. The Pinay Power II team has asked for permission from these elders of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy to host this conference, and we are honoured that they have welcomed us on their territory and agreed to partake in our opening ceremonies to connect our communities, welcome visitors from across the diaspora, and share offerings and gifts. We express our humble gratitude to this land and its people.
*David, E.J.R. (2013). Brown skin, white minds: Filipino -/ American postcolonial psychology. Charlotte: Information Age Publishing Inc.