In our drug policy work, the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition (CDPC) acknowledges the colonial ideologies, systems, and processes in which we operate within.
We strongly feel that we must emphasize that colonial systems continue to cause harm and that our work is embedded within these systems. CDPC is a part of Simon Fraser University—and large institutions such as these move in ways that are often rigid, culturally insensitive, and uncreative when it comes to working with Indigenous peoples. This is evident when it comes to paying Indigenous people in ways that are culturally respectful. The protocol of requesting receipts and invoices, and sometimes waiting for weeks to get paid, is a huge barrier to many—and a disincentive to collaboration processes that must be meaningfully addressed.
We feel it is important to acknowledge that there have been times when we acted insensitively and are grateful to those who have taken the time to educate us on how these processes may not best serve key groups that we truly wish to serve efficiently and compassionately. We are moved by these relationships and would like to honour them by striving to improve how we ensure our Indigenous allies are paid in a way that works best for them.