CUPE stands in solidarity with Indigenous nations, communities and organizations and is committed to continuing to work towards reconciliation, and to respect our ongoing treaty relationships.
Water is life
Over the past year, CUPE has produced resources to educate our members on what Indigenous peoples face when accessing clean water, as part of our Water is life campaign.
For National Indigenous Peoples Day we launched a new Water is life fact sheet, looking at how environmental racism and environmental disasters impact Indigenous people, and their access to safe drinking water in Canada. The fact sheet also highlights the vital community organizing work that different Indigenous communities have engaged in to prevent environmentally racist policies and projects, and to restore their communities following environmental disaster.
Check out our first fact sheet highlighting how Indigenous communities are still living without clean drinking water, as well as the stories that members of CUPE’s National Indigenous Council share in four Water is life videos, and our resource list to listen, learn and act. Find all the campaign resources at cupe.ca/water-is-life.
CUPE’s Truth and reconciliation: CUPE taking action through collective bargaining, launched in 2022, is a resource that supports locals in working towards reconciliation by bargaining language supporting Indigenous workers into collective agreements.
In 2019, CUPE released Walking the talk: A practical guide to reconciliation for CUPE locals. This guide provides CUPE members with 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 participate in National Indigenous Peoples Day by sharing in events on the day. But we can do more. CUPE encourages members to take 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:
- 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 or in person 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/union-education.
- Read CUPE’s response to the Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.
- Make employment equity a bargaining priority.
- Bargain Indigenous-inclusive language into your local’s collective agreement, using CUPE’s Truth and Reconciliation bargaining guide as a resource to help you get started.
- Acknowledge Indigenous territory at all your meetings and reach out and forge partnerships with local Indigenous communities and organizations.
- Keep pressure on the federal government to implement their action plan to address the findings of the Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act.
- Take the steps outlined in Walking the talk: A practical guide to reconciliation for CUPE locals.