M1 Executive statement on Truth and Reconciliation Day
We encourage everybody today to reflect and recognize the on-going impact of residential schools and the multi-generational harm it inflicted on Indigenous families and communities. September 30, 2021 marks the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation to honour those who survived and those who were never able to return home.
The creation of the federal holiday was a result of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in 2015. Although many provinces have chosen not to recognize it as a statutory holiday, there are many ways to educate and engage in the conversation as Canadians.
September 30 is also Orange Shirt Day, which was created in 2013 to continue the process of reconciliation and to share and encourage the healing of Indigenous survivors and their families. Every Child Matters, even if they are now adults.
Unifor commissioned Haisla artist Nathan Wilson to create a design for today. This design represents the past, present and future. The main figure is an Elder who has the teachings and knowledge of the ancestors. A child within the Copper Shield is holding their hands in the same position as the Elder, this is to represent the importance of teaching and intergenerational knowledge.
Several shirts were distributed to local units so please inquire with your representatives.
You can also still purchase the shirts and an 'Every Child Matters' orange pin on our Unifor Store. Even though they won't arrive in time, they can still be a reminder to all of us to be an advocate and ally beyond this day.
We also encourage everybody to consider signing up for a special Unifor webinar taking place on October 27, 2021 called 'Reporting in Indigenous Communities.' Award-winning journalist and journalism educator Duncan McCue will be leading the session. You can click here for more information or to register
The M1 Executive has decided to donate $2,500 to the First Nations Child & Family Caring Society, an organization dedicated to empowering, celebrating, and supporting Indigenous youth.
We hope you will take today as an opportunity to learn, acknowledge and give back.
And to our Indigenous colleagues, we support you and stand with you today and every day.