The Indigenous Circle collected over 1,000 signatures during the 2017 OPSEU Convention and they continue to collect petitions that are being introduced at Queen’s Park.
Toronto (19 April 2017 — Members of the Indigenous Circle of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU/NUPGE) is hosting a legislative breakfast and lobby day at Queen’s Park on May 9. A team of Indigenous activists from the community and from OPSEU/NUPGE have formed a committee to support of a private member’s bill sponsored by MPP Teresa Armstrong (London-Fanshawe) to make June 21 a statutory holiday in Ontario.
Linda Broer, Chair of the June 21 committee is convinced that “it is way past time that we set aside a day to recognize and celebrate the contributions of Indigenous communities in Ontario and to recommit ourselves to removing all vestiges of colonialism that remain in Canada.”
OPSEU/NUPGE promotes reconciliation of labour and Indigenous people
A team of Indigenous activists will join parliamentarians at a breakfast at Queen’s Park and then meet some MPPs in their offices to build support for the bill. Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President, is a strong supporter of making June 21 a statutory holiday and is pleased that OPSEU/NUPGE is taking action to make this a reality. “This is a continuation of OPSEU/NUPGE's efforts to promote labour-Indigenous reconciliation. What better way for a labour union to do this than to fight for a day and to walk with Indigenous communities on their journey toward healing.”
The Indigenous Circle collected over 1,000 signatures during the 2017 OPSEU Convention and they continue to collect petitions that are being introduced at Queen’s Park. Krista Maracle, Chair of the Indigenous Circle “invites all OPSEU/NUPGE members to assist in this effort by bringing the petition to their locals and getting it signed. It's one small step toward Labour-Indigenous reconciliation.” The team also suggests that if people are unable to participate in the lobby day, they can contact their MPP in support of the bill on May 9. The Queen’s Park contact information for all MPPs is included below.
Text of petition
Therefore, we the undersigned, petition the Legislative Assembly of Ontario as follows:
"To designate June 21 of each year as a legal statutory holiday to be kept and observed throughout Ontario. This day should serve to create and strengthen opportunities for Reconciliation and cultural exchange among Ontarians. The day should facilitate connections between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Ontarians in positive and meaningful ways. This day should solidify the original intent of National Aboriginal Day as a day for Ontarians to recognize and celebrate the unique heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples."
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 370,000 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