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From Askiy to the Sea

A Solidarity Reading List on Settler Colonial Contexts

“From the River to the Sea, Palestine Will be Free,” has become a popular rallying call, imagining the liberation of Palestine from Israeli occupation.

These six words have also stirred debate and even been outlawed in the U.S., U.K and Germany. But for Indigenous people outside of Palestine, the call resonates and has even been adapted. “From Askiy to the Sea” is one that links our struggles and offers solidarity in the face of settler colonialism. Askiy is a Cree word that roughly translates as ‘earth’ or ‘land’ and like “From the River to the Sea” affirms Indigenous peoples’ inviolable relation to our homelands and offers a promise of liberation.

This Reading List is one modest reflection of that shared struggle and desire for solidarity, meant to make links between Palestine and other settler colonial contexts in order to understand and explain this relationship better. By no means is this reading list exhaustive or comprehensive, this offering curates some texts and media by Palestinian and Indigenous peoples from what is sometimes called Turtle Island – along with a few allied writers – conversing with one another about land and identity, settler colonialism, solidarity, poetry and liberation.

At the core of all Indigenous resistance is the inextinguishable desire to live on and with our homelands, as Indigenous people. 

But settler colonialism flattens this collective identity and relationship to land in order to facilitate conquest and domination. Dian Million (2013) describes the racialization of distinct Indigenous polities to more easily categorize and contain as a settler mechanism of surveillance and control. Steven Salaita (2016) adds that Indigeneity is a political category determined by pre-colonial inhabitancy and emerges in the context of settler colonialism. “Indigenous” is a useful term for organizing a critical mass of distinct peoples who share conditions of displacement, dispossession, and domination under settler occupation. 

Before we were named Indians, First Nations, Métis, Inuit, Aboriginal, Native American, or Arab Israeli, we named ourselves in accordance with our own cosmologies and ontologies. Our identities and relationships to our homelands are older than settler colonialism and, no doubt as J. Kēhaulani Kauanui (2018) maintains, will withstand and endure beyond settler colonialism.


Deleuze, Gilles and Sandbar, Elias. 1998. The Indians of Palestine (Timothy S. Murphy, Translation). Discourse 20(3), 25-29. (Original work published 1982).

Maile, Uahikea. 2023 November 18. Let Gaza Change You. The Red Nation.

Nanibush, Wanda. 2016. About Land. Canadian Art, Fall Issue.

Simpson, Leanne Betasamosake. 2023 December 1. A Blow to the Snake Here. The Red Nation.

Palestinians repeatedly state that Israel’s genocide on Gaza did not begin on October 7, 2023.

Rather, Israel’s latest aggression is part of an ongoing Nakba, a catastrophe that led to the violent expulsion of 750,000 Palestinians and the death of 15,000 more as part of the creation of the Israel. The formation of this settler nation-state can be traced back even further still to Britain’s Balfour Declaration, which claimed Palestinian territories for its establishment in 1917. Palestinians living under Israeli occupation face ongoing settler encroachment, displacement, control, and terror. 

This history of conquest and domination is familiar to Indigenous peoples living under Canadian and United States settler colonialism. All three settler states have been assembled through a steady encroachment of white settlers, displacement of Indigenous peoples, bureaucratic and militarized elimination tactics and techniques, and the establishment of settler institutions.


Hayes, Kelly (Host). 2023 October. Israel’s Tools of Occupation Are Tested on Palestine and Exported Globally [Audio]. In Movement Memos. A Truthout Podcast.

El-Sherif, L. 2023. A Brief History of Canada’s Role in the Colonization of Palestine. Yellowhead Institute.

Kanji, Azeezah. 2023 October 25. The Architecture of Anti-Palestinian Elimination: Legal Fallacies, False Analogies, and Inverted Realities. Yellowhead Institute.

Scribe, Megan. 2023 November 14. Settler Moves to Indigeneity: From Canada to Israel. Yellowhead Institute.

Warrior, Robert. 1989. Canaanites, Cowboys, and Indians: Deliverance, Conquest, and Liberation Theology Today. Christianity and Crisis.

Waziyatawin. 2012. Malice Enough in their Hearts and Courage Enough in Ours: Reflections on US Indigenous and Palestine Experiences under Occupation. Settler Colonial Studies, 2(1), 172-189. 

Wildeman, Jeremy and Ayyash, Muhannad M. (Ed.). 2023. Canada as a Settler Colony on the Question of Palestine. Edmonton: University of Alberta Press.

See additional relevant Yellowhead Briefs here

When solidarity between Palestinian and Indigenous peoples in Canada and the United States emerges to respond to the dynamics of settler colonialism, it is grounded by deep respect, reciprocity, inspiration, and collaboration. 

While there were historic attempts at solidarity, those efforts were blocked by colonial states and a more concrete commitment to a shared struggle emerged in the 1970s during the nascent years of the American Indian Movement (AIM) and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). The PLO offered support to AIM’s armed occupation of Wounded Knee in 1974. Palestinians protested in solidarity with the Mohawk people during the 1990 siege of Kanehsatà:ke and Kahnawake — that seventy-eight day standoff between Mohawks, provincial and federal law enforcement, and the Canadian armed forces. The late Lee Maracle, in an open letter protesting the Assembly of First Nation-Israel delegation, wrote, “I have been a consistent and clear supporter of the rights of the Palestinian people to their homeland free of Israeli occupation and annihilation since 1972…It does not take too much historical digging to find out that Israel is the newest colonizing settler state in the world.” Indigenous and Palestinian solidarity has only strengthened since October 7, 2023, as collective, grassroots movements to end Israel’s genocide continue to grow.


Assaly, Richie. 2024 May 6.  Why Some Indigenous Advocates and Palestinians Feel They’re ‘Natural Allies.’ Toronto Star.

Gabriel, Katsi’tsakwas Ellen. 2023 October 23. From Kanien’kehà:ka to Palestine: The Familiar Refrain of Colonial Violence and the Cost of Silence. Ricochet Media

Rabble Rousers’ Cooperative (Host). 2024 May 9. Blockades and Bail Conditions [Audio]. In Blueprints of Disruption

Indigenous Solidarity with Palestine.

Hayes, Kelly (Host). 2023 November. Vigil for Palestine: We Mourn and Consider What Solidarity Demands of Us [Audio]. In Movement Memos. A Truthout Podcast.

Kauanui, J. Kēhaulani. 2012. One Occupation. Social Text

Krebs, Mike and Olwan, Dana M. 2012. ‘From Jerusalem to the Grand River, Our Struggles are One’: Challenging Canadian and Israeli Settler Colonialism. Settler Colonial Studies, 2(2), 138-164.  

Maracle, Lee. 2006 January 1. Lee Maracle to AFN. Canadian Palestine Association.

The Red Nation Podcast – Palestine Playlist

Yazzie, Melanie K. 2015. Solidarity with Palestine from Diné Bikéyah. American Quarterly, 67(4), 1007-1015.

A common Zionist retort to women and 2SLGBTQQIA+ solidarity with Palestine is, “Hamas would kill you in Palestine.”

This is a not-so-subtle suggestion that women and 2SLGBTQQIA+ solidarity is misplaced with Palestinians uniformly labeled sexist, misogynistic, homophobic, and transphobic. But this assertion relies on Orientalist stereotypes depicting Palestinian women and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people as victims who need to be rescued from their barbaric hypermasculine men (Razack 2004). The selective and highly suspect concern about gender and sexuality is a discursive tactic meant to discourage solidarity and even justify genocide (i.e. “these people are savages”). 

Further, the claim that Palestine isn’t a safe place for 2SLGBTQQIA+ peoples belies the recent history and contemporary criminalization of queer and trans identity in Israel, Canada, the United States, and other Western nation-states. In the U.S. and Canada, the aggressive suppression of sexual expression and gender diversity is foundational to the formation of the two white settler societies. Israel’s pink-washing campaign, Brand Israel, for instance, is a multi-million dollar campaign intended to revitalize Israel’s international reputation through selective engagement with queer and transgender communities. This homonational strategy simultaneously asserts Israel’s progressiveness while depicting Palestinians as backwards.


Abdulhadi, Rabab, Chenzira, Ayoka, Davis, Angela Y., Dent, Gina, Garcia, G. Melissa, Guevarra, Anna Romina, Guy-Sheftall, Beverly, Nadasen, Premilla, Talpade, Chandra, and Waziyatawin. 2011 July 13. Justice for Palestine: A Call to Action from Indigenous and Women of Color Feminists. Jadaliyya.

Gentile, Patrizia and Kinsman, Gary. 2015. National Security and Homonationalism: The QuAIA Wars and the Making of the Neoliberal Queer. In O. H. Dryden & S. Lenon (Eds.), Disrupting Queer Inclusion: Canadian Homonationalisms and the Politics of Belonging (pp. 133-149). Vancouver: UBC Press.

Ihmoud, Sarah. 2022 May 25. Decolonizing Peace: Notes Towards a Palestinian Feminist Critique. Peace Policy

Morgensen, Scott Lauria. 2012. Queer Settler Colonialism in Canada and Israel: Articulating Two-Spirit and Palestinian Critiques. Settler Colonial Studies, 2(2), 167-190. 

In 1976, Mahmoud Darwish and Lee Maracle each recited their poetry during Darwish’s visit for the UN Habitat Conference in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Maracle read an English translation of Darwish’s poem “Write Down, I am an Arab.” In 2015, in memoriam of the great Palestinian poet, Maracle dedicated “Talking to the Diaspora” to Mahmoud and the children of Gaza. The collection contains a poem entitled “Remembering Mahmoud.”

Palestinian and Indigenous artists and writers continue to find inspiration in one another and use their creative works as vehicles for freedom dreaming and social transformation.*

*Freedom Dreaming was coined by Robin D. G. Kelley


The Bearhead Sisters. 2023 November 13. O Canada [Video]. Facebook.

Diaz, Natalie. 2017 August 4. A Native American Poet Excavates the Language of Occupation. New York Times.

Maracle, Lee. 2000. Bent Box. Penticton: Theytus Books.

Maracle, Lee. 2015. Talking to the Diaspora. Winnipeg: ARP Books.

Long Soldier, Layli. 2017. Whereas. Minneapolis: Graywolf Press.

Waln, Frank. [Frank Waln]. 2023 November 11. Hope [Video]. Youtube.

Wood, Carrie. 2024 May. The entire time I worked on my collection for Native Fashion Week, Gaza was under attack [Photograph]. Instagram.  

Indigenous and Palestinian intellectual traditions are crucial to our respective resistance movements and solidarity.

While we can’t think our way free without corresponding activism and active resistance, thinking alongside one another can help break the path to liberation.  

In 2016, Steven Salaita offered inter/nationalism, an interdisciplinary approach aimed to bring Indigenous and Palestinian scholars into conversation. He explains inter/nationalism less interested in comparative analyses and more so interested in establishing critical dialogue and collaborative analyses of settler colonialism and decolonization with the view of shared liberation. He powerfully concludes, “The first order of business is the acknowledgement that all peoples of American and Palestine must, of geopolitical necessity, be liberated together, and that our scholarship should be an asset toward that goal” (p. xix).


Barakat, Rana. 2018. Writing/Righting Palestine Studies: Settler Colonialism, Indigenous Sovereignty and Resisting the Ghost(s) of History. Settler Colonial Studies, 8(3), 349-363.

Lubin, Alex, Field, Les W., Yazzie, Melanie K., and Schiller, Jakob. 2013. The Israel/Palestine Field School: Decoloniality and the Geopolitics of Knowledge. Social Text, 31(117), 79-97.

Salaita, Steven. 2016. Inter/nationalism: Decolonizing Native America and Palestine. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Toensing, Gale Courey. 2018 September 12. ‘Redwashing’ Panel Follows Academic Associations’ Boycott of Israel. ICT News.

Palestinian and Indigenous peoples turn to one another in mutual recognition.

Sometimes Indigenous people regard Israeli military occupation as if witnessing our ancestral history; sometimes Palestinians look upon Indigenous conditions as one possible outcome. The reality is that our struggles are in many ways distinct and occuring along different settler colonial time horizons. But nonetheless, this Reading List is a reflection that we see ourselves in one another and that has also meant that we increasingly turn toward each other to find our liberated futures.


Hayes, Kelly (Host). 2023 May. Palestinian Organizers: We Honor Our Grief by Practicing Hope [Audio]. In Movement Memos. A Truthout Podcast.

Hayes, Kelly (Host). 2023 May. Palestinian Organizers: We Honor Our Grief by Practicing Hope [Audio]. In Movement Memos. A Truthout Podcast.

Citation: Yellowhead Institute. “From Askiy to the Sea: A Solidarity Reading List on Settler Colonial Contexts.” Yellowhead Institute, 30 May 2024,

Feature Image provided by Tania E. Tabar