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CUPE Saskatchewan’s Aboriginal Council is taking a canoe trip to Batoche this week to raise awareness of the union among Aboriginal workers.

The trip began July 21 at the Hague Ferry Crossing, 50 km northeast of Saskatoon.

About 25 CUPE members, staff and Aboriginal youth will travel in 12 canoes for the 35 kilometer trip to Batoche. After camping overnight, the canoeists planned to be in Batoche July 22 for the opening ceremonies of “Back to Batoche Days” which celebrate Métis history and culture.

“We have undertaken this canoe trip to help raise CUPE’s profile and highlight the role the union has played in helping Aboriginal workers,” says Geraldine Harris, senator for CUPE Saskatchewan’s Aboriginal Council.

Harris says CUPE has been at the forefront in signing partnership agreements with employers and government to promote a representative workforce. The union has also helped deliver Aboriginal awareness training to thousands of members, organized workers at the First Nations University and friendship centres, and established an Aboriginal Council in 2001.

“As a result of these initiatives, Aboriginal workers are getting more involved in our union,” she says. “CUPE is the union that stands for Aboriginal workers.”