On June 11, 2008, Prime Minister Stephen Harper stood up in the House of Commons and apologized for Canada's notorious residential schools system. The system removed young Aboriginal children from their families and sent them to schools often far from their communities — to strip them of their heritage and to force them to assimilate into the dominant culture. As the Prime Minister stated in his apology, "There is no place in Canada for the attitudes that inspired the Indian residential schools system to ever again prevail."
Each year since, June 11 has been commemorated as the National Day of Reconciliation: a day to remember a tragic chapter for First Nations people and the government's pledge to work with First Nations to undo the damage left by a cruel and inadequate school system.
In commemoration of June 11, UFCW Canada is supporting the Our Dreams Matter Too campaign. The campaign is led by the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada (FNCFCS) to bring culturally based equity for First Nations children.
HOW YOU CAN HELP:
Send a Letter to the Prime Minister to show your support for the campaign.
Post a button on your organization’s website to link to the FNCFCS / Our Dreams Matter Too webpage.
Participate in the Our Dreams Matter Too walk taking place in Ottawa on June 11, with your organization’s banners raised high in support of this initiative. You can also join one of the walks already planned for these communities: Regina, SK; Winnipeg, MB; Owen Sound, ON; Toronto, ON; and Halifax, NS.
Organize your own walk on June 11, at your workplace, or host a walk in support of the Our Dreams Matter Too Campaign. There are no rules. It can be big or small, long or short, over a lunch hour or a walk in a nearby park either on June 11, or choose a convenient date that works for you.
Join the UFCW Canada National walk on June 11 to support the Our Dreams Matter Too campaign. All are welcome to participate in this Toronto-area event. The walk commences at the UFCW Canada National Office , 61 International Boulevard, Toronto, Ontario, at 12:30 p.m. Participants will first have an opportunity to sign a letter to Prime Minister Harper asking for justice to be restored to First Nations Children. If you can, then join us for a 40-minute walk, with refreshments and snacks back at the starting point.
By walking with your fellow union members, neighbours, and community partners on June 11, or by participating in other June 11 walks in your area, you will be showing support for First Nations children to be afforded every right to succeed while respecting their cultures and languages.
Also donate and show your support for other FNCFS campaigns including Shannen’s Dream, Jordan’s Principle, and the I Am a Witness campaign.