Mark Hancock, CUPE National President joined frontline child care workers, trade activists, First Nations representatives, child care providers and researchers in the child care field from across Canada in Ottawa on Tuesday to launch a two-day national child care round table. The launch of the event was marked by Aboriginal elder Karen McKinnon asking all to join hands and reflect on the importance of working together to understand what our children need.

“We welcome this opportunity to be true allies to Indigenous peoples,” said CUPE National President Mark Hancock in his opening address to a full room of child care workers and activists. “Your thoughts and reflection will help us pressure governments in Canada to work with Indigenous peoples in implementing child care and early childhood learning programs that meet the needs of Indigenous families and communities.”

Following Hancock’s address, the first panel began examining ways in which CUPE’s child care policy can support the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Call to Action to develop culturally appropriate early childhood education programs for Aboriginal families.