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In the wake of her parents’ arrest, and after neighbourhood bullies stole her pet dog, eleven-year-old Kathleen Beardy took her own life.

The Winnpeg girl’s story moved delegates at the national convention to action. Delegates observed a minute of silence in her memory and pledged to support the Beardy family and aboriginal youth in Winnipeg.

After consulting with a community agency collecting donations for the family, CUPE has made a direct donation of $1,250 to the Beardy family and another $1,250 to the Ndinawe Youth Resource Centre which provides services to aboriginal youth in Winnipeg’s North End.

The centre’s executive director, Ms. Sonia Prevost-Derbecker, thanked CUPE members. She said the agency and the family were deeply touched.

“While our national convention had many important issues to debate and seemed to always be pressed for time, we were incredibly proud of all delegates in discussing this tragedy, in observing a minute of silence, and in supporting that our union offer direct assistance to the Beardy family,” said CUPE National President Paul Moist.