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June 21, 2018

(TORONTO, ON) – The Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) is marking National Indigenous Peoples’ Day with the launch of new resources for understanding and action, and the permanent installation of a land acknowledgement plaque at the OFL building in Toronto.

National Indigenous Peoples’ Day, June 21, recognizes and celebrates the unique heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples in Canada.

“As we celebrate, we must also reflect on the many challenges Indigenous peoples face and what each of us can do to move forward to Truth and Reconciliation,” said Ontario Federation of Labour President Chris Buckley. “The OFL will continue to support ongoing work for Indigenous peoples on issues from missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, to environmental degradation, to the need for major public investments in education, health care, water, and housing infrastructure.”

The OFL encourages all affiliated unions across Ontario to incorporate a land acknowledgement in their offices.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to work and live on this land, and this plaque of acknowledgement is a recognition of respect for Indigenous peoples and our commitment to use and protect this land together,” said OFL Secretary-Treasurer Patty Coates.

The resources for understanding, launched by the OFL, will better enable unions and labour activists to integrate First Nations, Métis and Inuit perspectives into planning and programming. Affiliates can now access the following tools:

·     An Indigenous Solidarity Guideline;
·     Guidelines for Working with First Nations, Inuit and Métis Elders;
·     A Tobacco Offering Protocol;
·     Guidelines for Indigenous Smudge Ceremony; and
·     Updated: Traditional Territory Acknowledgements in Ontario.

The OFL encourages affiliates to support the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) recommendation 80, which calls for a statutory holiday for Truth and Reconciliation. Please sign the Petition to Proclaim June 21 as a Statutory Holiday in Ontario.

Upcoming events on Indigenous issues include a roundtable hosted by the OFL Aboriginal Circle, Honouring Reconciliation: Labour’s RoleFriday, September 28, 2018 in Toronto. The gathering will identify and mobilize actions the labour movement can take for Truth and Reconciliation. To RSVP click here.

The OFL represents 54 unions and one million workers in Ontario. For information, visit www.OFL.ca and follow @OFLabour on Facebook and Twitter.

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For more information, please contact:

Meagan Perry,
Director of Communications,
Ontario Federation of Labour
mperry@ofl.cal 416-894-3456

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