Supporting Indigenous Rights
On November 7, 2013, a historic Mutual Support Agreement was signed between UFCW Canada and the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada (The Caring Society). The document is a symbol of the strong partnership that has been generated between our union and the only national organizations serving Indigenous children and their families in Canada. The document is built on the principles of Reconciliation and demonstrates the importance of working with grassroots organizations and community partners in affecting social changes within our diverse workplaces.
UFCW Canada works diligently with our Indigenous community partners in the areas of Indigenous Child welfare, Missing and Murdered Women and in initiatives aimed at bringing an Indigenous perspective to the workplace, by way of reconciliation initiatives.
In addition to events in support of important issues in Indigenous communities, UFCW Canada is proud to collaborate with The Caring Society on a number of campaigns including the following annual initiatives:
What it is – A national campaign created by The Caring Society.
Why it exists – To raise awareness of the inadequate funding allocated by the federal government for First Nations children in Canada.
Actions tied to campaign – In Ottawa, a gathering on Parliament Hill by community partners, schools and indigenous children to call for First Nations Children’s right to grow up in safe homes, have equality in education and health services.
What it is – A national campaign created by The Caring Society that involves a walk and letter writing campaign in honour of Shannen Koostachin, a Youth Education Activist from Attawapiskat First Nations, who fought for culturally-based, safe and accessible schools for First Nations Children living on reserves.
Why it exists – To call public attention to the issues surrounding inadequate funding of First Nations schools on reserve and to support culturally-based equity in communities across the country.
Actions tied to campaign – UFCW Canada co-ordinates an annual walk, along with a letter writing campaign to the Prime Minister in support of culturally based funding for First Nations children. The campaign garners a high rate of participation from schools and an opportunity for children to learn about these issues.
What it is – In February 2007, the Assembly of First Nations and The Caring Society filed a complaint against the government of Canada for their treatment of First Nations children. The longstanding issue of inequality in the treatment of First Nations children is argued in this matter.
The final ruling, released on January 26, 2016 by the Human Rights Tribunal finds that the Federal government of Canada does discriminate against First Nations children by providing unequal and substandard services to First Nations children in relation to non-indigenous communities in Canada. Read more about this decision here.