Tomorrow is the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, and our union encourages all members to take the day to reflect and take steps toward reconciliation in our communities.
For several years, September 30 has been recognized as Orange Shirt Day -- a day to bring attention to the legacy and ongoing impacts of the residential school system on Indigenous communities. It commemorated the story of residential school survivor Phyllis Webstad who had her beloved orange shirt taken from her on the day she arrived at the St. Joseph Mission Residential School in Williams Lake, BC – click here to read more about the origin of Orange Shirt Day. Following the revelations of mass graves at former residential schools earlier this year, the federal government recognized September 30 as a federal statutory holiday, in accordance with call to action #80 from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.
The path of reconciliation is full of hard truths that may be uncomfortable for non-Indigenous people, but it is essential to engage in this process and take guidance from Indigenous members and community members.
How can I take action?
Events - Around the province and online, events will be taking place to recognize the impacts that Canada’s colonial history has had on Indigenous communities. Given the state of the COVID-19 pandemic, members are encouraged to join events at a level that is comfortable to them, be that online or in-person.
Education - Reconciliation is an ongoing process, and in addition to the events that are occurring tomorrow, our union has gathered a variety of resources including suggestions of some Indigenous businesses to support, Indigenous social media thought leaders to follow, and links for non-Indigenous people to better understand Canada’s painful colonial legacy and its impact on Indigenous peoples.
The BCGEU is committed to reconciliation and breaking down barriers to participation for Indigenous members in our union. The labour movement is founded on the principles of justice, dignity and respect. We must be leaders in supporting the rights of Indigenous peoples both in society and in the workplace.
Your BCGEU Provincial Executive
Do you like this post?