Toronto – August 31, 2020 – Activists from UFCW Canada’s Indigenous Sub-Committee recently gathered in fellowship and friendship through a virtual meeting with Traditional Indigenous Elder Dr. Duke Redbird, as part of the Myseum of Toronto’s “Ask an Elder” series.
Elder Redbird is a respected poet, painter, broadcaster, filmmaker, and keynote speaker on Indigenous knowledge. During the virtual gathering, he offered the committee members an opportunity to explore topics of their choice through an Indigenous perspective.
Elder Redbird also shared a teaching on how the food chain introduced the Seven Grandfather Teachings from the forest, explaining, “we could point to nature and show how nature in her ultimate omnipotent wisdom created a world in the blink of an eye where all the sustenance we needed to live a good life were all there, and all the lessons we needed to carry us forward were all there as well.”
These lessons were a powerful reminder of how interconnected our food system is to Indigenous culture, Indigenous rights, environmental justice, and workers’ rights. UFCW Canada members, including members of the Indigenous Sub-Committee, work in all aspects of the food chain, from farm fields to food manufacturing plants to grocery stores, and the teachings of this session resonated with many of the participants.
“The lessons of this special gathering have reinforced our union’s commitment to carry out our work on behalf of the membership within a Reconciliation framework,” says Emmanuelle Lopez, UFCW Canada’s Human Rights, Equity, and Diversity Co-ordinator. “Our thanks to Elder Redbird and to the Myseum of Toronto for holding such a memorable community event,” she adds.
A video recording of the “Ask an Elder” session is available for viewing below.
As Canada’s leading union, UFCW is committed to achieving Indigenous justice and advancing Indigenous rights in Canada. To learn more about our union’s work in this area, visit UFCW Canada’s Indigenous Rights and Reconciliation webpage.