Reaffirming the Canadian Union of Public Employees’ commitment to reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples, Canada’s largest union is welcoming the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
“As workers, we must acknowledge the attempted cultural genocide of Indigenous peoples. This is a dark part of our history shared amongst all Canadians,” says Paul Moist, national president of CUPE. “We stand strong as an ally with Indigenous Peoples, and we are committed to working together with First Nations, Inuit and Metis peoples on the journey towards true reconciliation.”
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission issued a series of recommendations and a summary of its final report, to be released in the Fall. The 94 recommendations seek to reduce and repair the damage inflected on First Nations, Inuit and Metis peoples by the Indian Residential School System.
“This report by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission isn’t an end but a beginning to reconciliation. It is a call to action for all Canadians to build and re-build trust,” says Charles Fleury, national secretary-treasurer of CUPE. “CUPE will be advocating for Canadian governments to implement these recommendations, and we are committed to applying them to the work we do every day as a trade union.”
The Commission’s recommendations range from increased funding for post-secondary education, improvements to the child welfare systems, improved education systems for Aboriginal communities, and calls for a national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women. The complete report, including testimony from over 6,000 residential school Survivors, will be released in the September 2015.