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AFN 2015CUPE members took part in the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) 36th Annual General Assembly (AGA) on the Mohawks of Kahnawà:ke traditional territory in Montreal, July 7 to 9.

The federal election, support for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s recommendations, and issues surrounding missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls were some of the key topics of discussion at the meeting.

CUPE members Nathalie Claveau, Chérie Thomas, and Ebonie Johnson Clyke from CUPE 3550, NEB member Brian Barron, and CUPE staff member Don Moran were at the event representing the union.

The first day of the three-day conference focused specifically on the federal election, with National Chief Perry Belgrade encouraging pariticpants to register to vote, and oust the Harper-Conservative government in the next election.

Days two and three of the event continued the discussion and featured a trade show, where CUPE promoted our work in support of Indigenous communities.

The trade show table was highly successful as it provided an opportunity to introduce CUPE to many First Nations across Canada. CUPE held a draw for a framed poster on Aboriginal struggles and provided promotional material which drew many delegates to the table. Many delegates were impressed that CUPE takes an active role in addressing social justice issues valued by their communities.

In addition to promotional material, we provided booth visitors with a factsheet on our work on a representative workforce for Aboriginal workers which supports the hiring and retention of new Indigenous members in our workforces.

AFN Tom MulcairCUPE’s participation in the AFN AGA was an important aspect of implementing our 2013-2015 Strategic Directions and 2011 national resolutions including our 2007 Native People and Aboriginal Rights policy paper.