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June 21, 2017

The Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) is pleased to celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day, June 21, and pledge to work for Truth and Reconciliation. Today is an important day to recognize the many contributions of the Indigenous Peoples of this land and is an occasion to reflect on the many challenges Indigenous Peoples still face.

The OFL urges its 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 21st as a Statutory Holiday in Ontario.

Additionally, acknowledging territory shows recognition of and respect for Aboriginal peoples. It is recognition of their presence both in the past and the present. Recognition and respect are essential elements of establishing healthy, reciprocal relations. These relationships are the key to reconciliation, a process to which the Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) is committed.

However, acknowledging territory is only the beginning of cultivating strong relationships with Canada’s First Peoples. The OFL encourages our affiliates to reach out to local Aboriginal communities to open pathways for dialogue. We will continue to be an active partner with our Indigenous allies across Canada, supporting their crucial work on the issue of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, environmental degradation due to resource development policies, and the need for major public investments in Indigenous education, health care, social services, water infrastructure and housing.

The ‘Traditional Territory Acknowledgements in Ontario‘ document provides information on how to acknowledge Aboriginal Territory at events across Ontario. The goal of this guide is to encourage the acknowledgement of the First Peoples on whose traditional territories we live and work.

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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