Truth;Reconciliation and Education Conference
On May11-13 we were invited to attend an education conference which is held once every three years for Unifor EducatIion Committees from all across Canada. The theme for the conference Indigenous people and Truth and Reconciliation.
At the opening Plenary we were very fortunate to have Jesse Wente, CBC Broadcaster ,Advocate and Pop Culture Philosopher as our keynote speaker. Jesse is also Ojibway,Producer, Film Critic and Curator who has been a lead voice for Aboriginal rights and of course Truth and Reconciliation. His insight and experience was evident during his lecture and made for an interesting and very informative evening
The course content and material focused on the historical inequities that plagued the first nations people of Canada. We learned about the loss of territory and the horrific “residential school system” that saw the Canadian government take children away from their families,stripping them of their heritage and language. Furthermore, we heard about the lack of clean drinking water in many of first nation communities. These same communities continue to lobby the government to KEEP THIER CAMPAIGN PROMISES and give them back their basic human rights. Sisters and Brothers they are not alone in this fight. We have the resources to continue to support the Indigenous people of Canada and we as Unifor members committ to improving our workplaces AND our communities through lobbying and activism. Unifor must continue to build awareness and stand together with Indigenous people in protecting the land and the water. The Truth and Reconciliation Commissions ‘ (TRC) final recommendations are a call to action. Unifor asserts that government must fully implement all of the recommendations, as well as the U.N. Declaration on the rights of Indigenous peoples We stand in solidarity with all First Nations of Canada .
When the conference ended we had a chance to reflect on all we had seen and learned. What we came away with was an informative and eye opening experience that left us convinced that we still need to hear a lot more TRUTH before we move on to Reconciliation.
Yours in Solidarity
Your Education Committee