“It’s critical that we show our solidarity with Aboriginal people though action and justice. This is the only way our nation will be able to truly move beyond shame to reconciliation.” — James Clancy, National President
Ottawa (18 June 2015) – The 360,000-member National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) urges members to join with Aboriginal peoples in Canada to celebrate National Aboriginal Day on June 21, and use it as an opportunity to encourage our country’s political leadership to take action and justice to lead Canadians on the path of reconciliation.
Proclaimed in 1996
Three main groups compose the Aboriginal population of about 1.4 million across Canada: First Nations (North American Indian), Métis and Inuit — each having distinct heritage, languages, cultural practices and spiritual beliefs.
First proclaimed by Canada’s Governor General in 1996, National Aboriginal Day provides an opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate the unique heritage, traditions and contributions of First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples. June 21 was chosen as National Aboriginal Day because it is also the summer solstice — the longest day of the year — a day on which many generations of Aboriginal peoples have celebrated their culture and heritage.
This year has special significance
NUPGE National President, James Clancy, says the day takes on significant meaning this year with the release earlier this month of the landmark report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and its 94 recommendations. The day after the release of the report, the National Union released a Statement on the Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, in support of the 94 recommendations and calling on the Prime Minister to immediately act upon five of the major recommendations in the report.
“NUPGE has a proud history of fighting racism and intolerance, promoting justice and self-determination for Aboriginal communities in Canada,” noted Clancy. “It has been NUPGE policy for the past 25 years to support aboriginal peoples’ inherent right to self-government and to have that right acknowledged in our Constitution.”
Clancy added, “It’s critical that we show our solidarity with Aboriginal people though action and justice. This is the only way our nation will be able to truly move beyond shame to reconciliation.”
NUPGE members are encouraged to take the following actions:
- Take the time to read the report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and its 94 recommendations.
- Read and give wide distribution to NUPGE’s Statement on the Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
- Write to the Harper government and your local MP to demand the immediate implementation of the five major recommendations noted in NUPGE’s Statement on the Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission wide distribution.
- Raise the issues noted in NUPGE’s statement in your community, workplace, union, and other organizations your involved in to build support and solidarity for action.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 360,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE