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.

In 2019, CUPE released “Walking the talk: A practical guide to reconciliation for CUPE locals”. This guide provides CUPE members with key resources to better acknowledge and include Indigenous members in our union, and to help locals take concrete action towards reconciliation with 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 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.

We know that the current COVID-19 pandemic has drastically altered the ways people interact but, it is now even easier to attend events related to National Indigenous Peoples Day through virtual platforms.

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 virtual 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 the 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: