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HEU member Trudy Spiller and CUPE 3967 member Gerri Harris attended an all-Americas conference of aboriginal women in Kahnawake, near Montréal in July.

The conference brought together more than 250 aboriginal women from 17 countries for the three day conference.

“We are all fighting for the same things, basic right to live, work and raise our families in a safe and accepting environment,” Harris said. The conference affirmed that and the importance of caring for the environment - both globally and personally.

“The [conference’s] main message was ‘Listen to the Teachings of the Elders and Trust their Wisdom.’ Also bring balance back into your life, learn to Love yourself,” she said. “It was a wonderful chance to meet, speak and inform women of other countries.”

The conference heard from speakers on a variety of topics, including:

  • Basic Human Rights
  • Water issues
  • Violence against women and children
  • International law and rights of indigenous people
  • Importance of returning to Herbal Native medicines
  • Mental Health –we must work on ourselves to bring about change (believe in yourself and others will too).

Conference participants agreed to work on getting their respective governments to support the U.N. Declaration of Human Rights of Indigenous People. In Canada, Stephen Harper’s tory government has backed away from the declaration which Canada had supported.