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Speaking in your own voice was a theme that emerged from a gathering of aboriginal CUPE members last week in Terrace, BC. So was speaking out against the Liberal government in Victoria.

Closeness to family, sisterhood, language, culture and caring for others were also among the comments from about 30 aboriginal CUPE and HEU members from across BC’s northwest region.

The members, from as far away as Masset on the Queen Charlottes, were in Terrace for a three-day workshop on how to use their union’s democratic tools to address aboriginal issues.

We have deep concerns for what the Campbell Liberals are doing and how it will affect aboriginal communities,” said guest speaker Larry Guno, from the Nisga’a government administrative review body. He also noted the historical involvement of aboriginal workers in the unions of the north.

Randy St. Denis, a CUPE national diversity vice-president, brought greetings to the gathering and stressed the need to build mechanisms such as the aboriginal council founded by CUPE aboriginal workers in Saskatchewan.