Zen Nova Scotia's Statement Condemning Police Brutality Against Black and Indigenous People

Immeasurable harms have been done by white North Americans to North Americans of colour over the course of our chequered history.

Zen Nova Scotia joins the United States and the world in mourning the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Rayshard Brooks, and countless other black Americans who have died as a result of police brutality.

We also mourn the recent deaths of Chantel Moore and Rodney Levi by police in Canada, which adds to a history of police brutality against Indigenous Canadians. We continue to be devastated both by the uncountable numbers of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQIA people in Canada and by the knowledge that infant morality is disproportionately high among Inuit, First Nations, and Metis communities.

As Buddhists, we recognize that we are all interconnected. Not one of us can be free unless we all are. Black and Indigenous lives matter.

Zen Nova Scotia welcomes people of all races, cultures, ethnicities, sexual orientations, gender identities, classes, religions, abilities, and ages; we are a community committed to providing authentic Zen Buddhist practice and teachings to all. However, we acknowledge that our passive intention to welcome people from all backgrounds is insufficient to battle the systemic racism that is the hallmark of a history of slavery and colonization.

ZNS resolves to amplify the teaching of Buddhists of colour, to speak about anti-racism openly in our community, and to explore Zen practice as a path of recognizing unconscious bias and the harms it perpetuates.

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