June 18, 2019
National Indigenous Peoples’ Day, June 21, recognizes and celebrates the unique and diverse cultures and the ongoing and outstanding contributions of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples in Canada.
“It is important that we reflect on the systems that create the challenges that Indigenous peoples face. Our actions should grow from those reflections,” said Ontario Federation of Labour President Chris Buckley. “We each must take action in our unions and communities to implement the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation commission and the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.”
“Each and every person has a role to play in Reconcilation,” said Ontario Federation of Labour Secretary-Treasurer Patty Coates. “From installing land acknowledgements in our offices, to standing in solidarity with First Nations for clean water and the right of Indigenous women to live in safety, there is something each of us can do.”
The OFL has pledged to work for Truth and Reconciliation, and stands in support of Six Nations, their continuing legal struggle, and their current legal action against Nestlé’s continued pumping and bottling of waters in Six Nations territories.
There are opportunities to work for Truth and Reconciliation in all that the labour movement does. The OFL encourages all labour activists to do the following:
- Participate in June 21, Indigenous Peoples’ Day, and actively continue to call on the government to have June 21 proclaimed a statutory holiday.
- Post a plaque acknowledging the territory on which they live and work.
- Recognize Orange Shirt Day, September 30, commemorating the thousands of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit children who were removed from their homes and forced to attend residential schools.
In 2018, the OFL Aboriginal Circle produced a series of documents to better enable unions and labour activists to integrate First Nations, Métis, and Inuit perspectives into planning and programming. You can download the tools here:
- 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.
For more information, please contact:
Director of Communications
Ontario Federation of Labour