Dear Sisters, Brothers and Friends,
This has been a National Indigenous History Month like no other. The June 24 announcement of the confirmation of the remains of 751 children at the former residential school site on Cowessess territory in Saskatchewan has further amplified the calls for searches at other sites across the country.
Unifor locals are asking what they can do to support grieving members and nearby Indigenous communities.
While there are no easy answers to undoing cultural genocide and intergenerational pain and trauma it causes to this day, Unifor is part of the movement for truth, justice, and reconciliation. Keeping this on the national political agenda is a top priority.
We’re asking Unifor members to translate anger into action:
- Wear orange on Canada Day. Started by residential school survivor Phyllis Jack Webstad in 2013, orange shirts have become a symbol to honour survivors of residential schools.
- Share these 24/7 helplines:
- National Indian Residential School Crisis Line: 1-866-925-4419
- Missing and murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Support Line: 1-844-413-6649
- Hope for Wellness Help Line and Chat: 1-855-242-3310
- Unifor supports the 94 recommendations issued by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. They are an urgent call to action for government and organizations to take meaningful action on a many outstanding issues, ranging from protecting language and culture to education to ensuring justice for the victims of residential school violence. Contact your Member of Parliament and demand they be a vocal supporter of the 94 Calls to Action within their caucus and to government.
- Unifor’s Education Department has a relationship with San’yas Indigenous Cultural Safety Training. This training fosters a climate that recognizes and respects the unique history of Indigenous peoples to provide appropriate care and services in an equitable and safe way, without discrimination. To find out how your local can participate, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
- Donate to the Indian Residential School Survivors Society.
- Encourage support for local and regional organizations, programs or initiatives to engage in active reconciliation with Indigenous people.
With all your efforts, please amplify Indigenous voices in your community.
Whichever action you take, please share your work with the National Office and on social media so others can follow our example to do their part in reconciliation.