Tomorrow, I will proudly represent the 77,000 members of the BCGEU at the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous women and girls. We are the only union in Canada to have legal standing at the Inquiry and I'll be sharing your recommendations directly with the commissioners.
My journey here to Ottawa began on the convention floor in 2014 when a resolution was passed to call for a national inquiry and then reaffirmed in 2017 with a number of resolutions that guided your union to participate and to ensure that the Inquiry is extensive, authentic, complete.
Since 2016, the Inquiry has heard from hundreds of families and loved ones of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, national and grassroots organizations, experts and researchers. Tomorrow, they will hear from you and the thousands of working people in our province that work every day to provide support and services to Indigenous women and girls.
I am humbled and honoured to share our report Naut'sa mawt sqwaluwun: Working together with one mind and one heart, which I will be presenting as part of your union's recommendations to the National Inquiry.
In 2018, we held a series of facilitated dialogues in Victoria, Prince George and Vancouver with members from diverse sectors who shared their experiences, wisdom and their hopes for the future. I wanted to hear about what is working, what is not working in our workplaces and our communities to inform this report and our recommendations to the commissioners.
We heard stories from communities that have faced heartbreak and front-line workers that are stretched to the brink. But we also heard of emerging solutions and innovative work that is happening on the ground to find solutions to uplift Indigenous women and girls.
Naut'sa mawt sqwaluwun: Working together with one mind and one heart, is a direct result of those dialogues with members. Every page of this report is filled with your courage and commitment.
I want to also give a special acknowledgement to Keith Cameron, the union's Aboriginal Liaison, who has built relationships with Indigenous allies and friends that are so critical to continue the hard work of reconciliation.
You can watch my presentation to the National Inquiry live on CPAC tomorrow, December 11th at 12:30 PT.
I will be bringing all of you with me to the inquiry and as we continue together on this journey of understanding, healing, hope and reconciliation.
Your union is committed to building a better future for Indigenous communities in British Columbia. As part of this commitment, we support:
- the full and immediate implementation of all 94 calls to action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and
- the full and immediate implementation of all recommendations of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
Illustration by Avril Orloff