National Indigenous Peoples Day is an annual opportunity to honour and celebrate the diverse cultures of First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples. On June 21, Indigenous peoples will be celebrating in their communities, and graciously sharing their ceremonies, customs and heritage with people across the country.

As Canada’s largest union, we acknowledge and respect the rights of Indigenous peoples to their unceded territories, as well as to preserve and protect their cultures and languages. CUPE is committed to working with Indigenous nations, communities and organizations towards reconciliation and to respect our on-going treaty relationships.

Our union is striving to educate CUPE members on the legacy of the residential school system, and the ongoing harm Canada’s assimilationist policies and laws have on Indigenous peoples.

As part of our ongoing efforts to foster reconciliation in our workplaces and communities, we encourage all members to celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day by sharing in the rich and proud cultures of Indigenous  peoples. But we can do more, so CUPE encourages members to take some time to learn and reflect on the ongoing harm caused by colonialism and Canada’s treatment of Indigenous peoples.

What CUPE locals and members can do:

Educate:

  • Read the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Final Report and consider how you can support the calls to action.
  • Invite a speaker to your next meeting to talk about truth and reconciliation.
  • Ask for CUPE’s Indigenous Awareness workshop and our human rights course. Find out more at cupe.ca.
  • Read CUPE’s response to Final Report by National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.

Bargain:

  • Make employment equity a bargaining priority.
  • Ensure a workplace that welcomes Indigenous workers by bargaining collective agreement language that responds to their needs.

Act:

  • Acknowledge Indigenous territory at all of your meetings, and reach out and forge partnerships with local Indigenous communities and organizations.
  • Sponsor and promote Indigenous events and advocacy.