El Jones, the Halifax author and activist, is a speaker at the teach-in, which is open to participants across Canada. She’s joined by Eriel Tchekwie Deranger, member of Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation and Indigenous rights activist. The webinar starts Wednesday, July 1 at 5:30pm Atlantic time. Sign up here to take part.
Jones says this webinar is working within the restrictions of COVID-19, and hopes to shed light on the treatment of migrant workers during the pandemic. “We have a lot migrant farmers, specifically in Nova Scotia where you have people coming in the agriculture industry and the treatment that is always terrible—but in the context of COVID is even worse, is very hidden and I think something people need to know about,” she says.
Canada Day What?” will discuss the ways in which Canada can be reimagined through changed immigration laws, defunding the police and adapted migrant worker laws. The discussion is fitting to be had on Canada Day, says Jones, due to the spike in patriotism in both Nova Scotia and Canada since the start of COVID-19. Conversations like these are interconnected with Canada itself, but often get swept under the rug.
It’s not just about Canada Day, but about how the Indigenous struggle, migrant struggle and Black struggle are all connected. “We want to connect those pieces,”says Jones. The first portion of the seminar will be directed at migrant workers in need, while the second half will be more geared to the general public.
Jones hopes that at the end of the day, guests of the webinar will walk away feeling empowered by what they learned. “Education is the weapon of the oppressed, and everybody who's ever run a revolution movement knows that educating the people is the heart of that,” she says. “Education can sound sort of a dull thing, but it's actually the most active part of any movement.”