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Council members have been busy representing CUPE on numerous events and have been organizing events in their regions across the country. Following is a brief account of their activities.

Canada’s First National Literacy Forum, April 13-15, 2008, Regina, Saskatchewan - Three National Aboriginal Council (NAC) members participated in this excellent forum that showcased best practices and success stories from the First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities that promote and support Aboriginal literacy development based on Aboriginal values and ways of knowing. NAC recommends an extra day for the sub-committee to meet on furthering the CUPE National Literacy project at our next Council meeting.

Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug (KI) 6 Toronto rally, April 30, 2008 - NAC member, Sister Melanie Poulin spoke at a rally in Queen’s Park to free the 6 KI First Nations Band members who were jailed for contempt of court for the drilling by Plantinex Mining Company. A letter from the officers initiated by Council members to the Government for the release of these prisoners was sent and we are pleased to note that they have been released and are awaiting court proceedings. 

OFL Workers of Colour and Aboriginal Conference, Toronto, May 3, 2008 - Ontario members on the Council attended this one day conference and found it useful in networking and sharing information with like minded participants at this event. 

CUPE National presentation to the House of Common Standing Committee on Health, May 13, 2008 - Brother Paul Moist presented a brief addressing the federal government’s lack of leadership on health care and its failure to ensure the transfers to the provinces under the 10-Year Plan. NAC members provided input for his presentation. 

Gathering of Mother Earth Protectors, Queen’s Park, Toronto, May 26, 2008 - Indigenous communities and supporters including environmental and social justice groups planned a four-day encampment on the grounds of Queen’s Park leading up to the National Day of Action, May 29. CUPE National contributed financial support to ensure participation of members of the KI community. Some of our members attending the CLC convention participated in this very successful event. 

National Day of Action, May 29, 2008 - A statement signed by the Officers supporting and commemorating this historic day was issued. Many NAC members joined the activities across the country including: Brian Baron, Leo Cheverie, Joanne Webb and Melanie Poulin in Ottawa, Glen Leblanc who was recognized by Chief Stan Beardy and the Nishnawbe Aski Nation represented CUPE proudly at the microphone in Thunder Bay. Gerri Harris made a presentation at the weeklong school in Waskesiu, Saskatchewan and Brother Martin MacKenzie attended a rally in Vancouver. 

National Rainbow Committee and National Aboriginal Council Joint Meeting - In late April, both groups met for one day during the Equality Committee meetings to discuss common issues and had a lengthy discussion on the upcoming Trainee Representative Program. Recommendations stemming from the discussions are outlined in the Rainbow Committee’s report to the NEB - monitor future programs. 

NAC Meeting, Ottawa, April 2008 - The committee welcomed several new members. The committee discussed their plan of action for the next two years and identified the following: 

  • National Aboriginal Partnership Agreement - ongoing  
  • Aboriginal Education for all - NAC recommends an extra day to meet and discuss this with the Union Development Department (UDD)
  • Terms of Reference - NAC recommends adding a Youth member to the Council  
  • Organizing/Networking/Communications - ongoing  
  • Diversity vice-president selection process for the National Convention  
  • Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women - Walk for Justice - NAC recommends a donation from the NEB of $500 for Highway of Tears - Walk for Justice  
  • 9th Annual Women in Leadership Training Conference - Vancouver, October 8-10, 2008 - NAC recommends NAC members’ participation 
  • Diversity vice-president Plan of Action - ongoing review  
  • 2009 Aboriginal Peoples Aids Conference in Ottawa - NAC recommends sending delegates from the Council

Next NAC Meeting - The next meeting of the National Rainbow Committee and the National Aboriginal Council is being planned for mid-September 2008 to coincide with the Walk for Justice. 

CUPE PEI’s 1st Human Rights Conference - In late April, PEI hosted a successful conference on Human Rights. NAC member, Leo Cheverie, assisted in planning this conference and made a presentation on behalf of the work of the National Aboriginal Council. 

2008 CLC National Convention - Diversity Vice-President, Brian Baron, conducted The Vice-president Elections for the Aboriginals as well as chaired the Aboriginal workers caucus. Sister Joanne Webb was elected as the alternate to the CLC Aboriginal Vice-President’s position. Council members in attendance spoke on resolutions as well as participated in the tent rally at Queen’s Park in Toronto. 

Residential School Apology, June 9, 2008 - With the recent announcement on an apology forthcoming from the Government to the victims of the Residential Schools - NAC recommends a letter from the Officers to the Prime Minister, listing concerns with the apology.

National Aboriginal Day, June 21, 2008 - A statement on the National Aboriginal Day signed by the Officers went to our membership through the general mailing and posted on our website. Events to commemorate the day are being planned across the country and our council members will be actively participating. The Equality Branch is providing materials for booths. 

Respectfully submitted by:

Don Moran, Staff Advisor, NAC 

on behalf of John Thompson and Shirley Langan, Co-chairs

and Brian Baron, Diversity Vice-President