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Leaders from CUPE’s Aboriginal Council as well as CUPE Manitoba attended a reception for Aboriginal leaders and First Nations organizations interested in economic development in Winnipeg, Jan 31.

The event, sponsored by the Assembly of First Nations and the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs gave Brian Barron, CUPE National Diversity Vice President, CUPE Manitoba Aboriginal Council member Shirley Langan, CUPE Manitoba President Kevin Rebeck, CUPE Manitoba Secretary-Treasurer, Gale Morton, CUPE 500 President Mike Davidson, and national staff Denise Harder and Don Moran, a chance to network with others working on First Nations economic development in an informal atmosphere.

“Many of the parties have different opinions regarding economic development and social conditions,” said Langan. “An event such as this gives the opportunity to identify common grounds through dialogue.”

CUPE members met Assembly of First Nations Grand Chief Phil Fontaine and exchanged invitations to future events.

Langan said the event helped Aboriginal business and political leaders understand each other better which will ensure more cooperation in the future.

“Bridging the communication gap is of utmost importance,” Langan said. “It will go a long way in bringing all parties together to create jobs and eradicate poverty.”