National Aboriginal Day is time to celebrate the vibrant and unique cultures of Indigenous peoples, as First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities graciously share their ceremonies, customs and heritage with us all.

It is also a time for us to recommit ourselves to promoting truth and reconciliation. Canadians must fully and openly recognize the historical and ongoing harm Canada has inflicted through its failed policies and laws to assimilate Indigenous peoples. We must respect the rights of Indigenous peoples to their traditional and unceded territories, and we must acknowledge their histories on these lands – histories that date back far beyond 150 years.

CUPE is committed to working with Indigenous nations, communities and organizations towards reconciliation. We call upon governments in Canada to ensure the implementation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action. Our union is striving to educate our members on the legacy of the residential school system and the attempted genocide of Indigenous peoples in Canada.

What can you do?

This National Aboriginal Day we encourage you to reflect upon and act for truth and reconciliation.

  • Read the TRC Final Report and consider how you can support its calls to action.
  • Invite a speaker to your next meeting to talk about truth and reconciliation.
  • Ask for CUPE’s Indigenous Awareness workshop and our human rights course.
  • Make employment equity a bargaining priority. Ensure a workplace that welcomes Indigenous workers by bargaining collective agreement language that responds to their needs.
  • Acknowledge Indigenous territory at all of your meetings, and reach out and forge partnerships with local Indigenous communities and organizations.
  • Sponsor and promote Indigenous events and advocacy.