CUPE in solidarity on National Aboriginal Day


National Aboriginal Day

CUPE newsletter: CUPE is proud to celebrate National Aboriginal Day on June 21 with our Aboriginal brothers and sisters across the country. The important date celebrates the cultures and contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples.

CUPE has worked hard to build and strengthen relationships with Aboriginal communities. Some of the highlights of our ongoing work include:

  • The CUPE-Métis Nation Partnership Agreement signed at last year's Back to Batoche Celebrations, following the annual canoe trip.
  • The production of a new film, River of Unity, documenting CUPE's annual canoe trip to the Back to Batoche celebrations put on by Métis Nation—Saskatchewan, where the partnership agreement was signed.
  • Support for the Barriere Lake community in their fight with Aboriginal affairs. Check out this website explaining the situation, then circulate and sign the petition.
  • Continued support for Native Women's Association of Canada and their Sisters In Spirit project, designed to raise awareness of the high rates of violence against Aboriginal women and girls in Canada.
  • Support for the Assembly of First Nations and the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada's I am a witness campaign. Together, these organizations took the historic step of holding Canada accountable before the Canadian Human Rights Commission for its current treatment of First Nations children.

While June 21 is a day of celebration, it is important to note that Aboriginal communities face enormous challenges while the Harper Conservative government continues to look the other way.

In a letter to all CUPE organizations, National President Paul Moist and National Secretary-Treasurer Claude Généreux describe the dismal record of inaction from the Harper government, including:

  • Putting a stop to the Kelowna Accord which represented a national consensus to end the persistence of poverty and shameful conditions of overcrowding, unsafe housing, crumbling infrastructure, and lack of access to safe, clean drinking water for Aboriginal peoples.
  • Lack of meaningful action to deal with the crisis of no access to clean water for many of Canada’s First Nations communities.
  • Ignoring pleas to change the formula for funding First Nations schools, which are at a severe disadvantage when compared to other schools in the country.
  • Continuing to discriminate against First nations children by providing less child welfare benefits to those children living on reserves than to those living off reserves.

Moist and Généreux state that "CUPE National reaffirms its commitment to fight for equality, justice, full inclusion and the right to self-government for all Aboriginal peoples and we encourage all members to celebrate National Aboriginal Day on June 21 and participate in other activities during that week."

Contact your regional office for information on events taking place in your community, then get out and show your support on National Aboriginal Day! 

Read the letter from Moist and Généreux on National Aboriginal Day.