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Montreal – March 10, 2020 – UFCW Canada activists recently participated in the Canadian Roots Exchange 8th Annual Youth Gathering held at Concordia University.
The conference brought together over 300 Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth and allies for fresh perspectives on Indigenous justice, solidarity, culture, tradition and ceremony, and featured a keynote presentation by NDP MP Mumilaaq Qaqqaq (Nunavut).
One of the themes of the event was the importance of Indigenous sovereignty and keeping Indigenous culture and traditions alive. Executive Director of the Canadian Roots Exchange (CRE), Max FineDay, greeted participants with messages of hope and reflected on the challenges currently facing Indigenous communities across Canada and the importance of working collectively in reconciliation-based initiatives.
The conference also included a number of interactive workshops including how to effectively canvass on Indigenous rights issues, as well as workshops on maximizing reach through social media and other channels. Participants also attended a special screening of the documentary “nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up,” along with a discussion on the film with Jade Tootoosis, sister of film’s subject, Colten Boushie.
“UFCW Canada reaffirms our solidarity with the important work the Canadian Roots Exchange is doing to challenge systems of oppression, and to uphold the rights of Indigenous people,” says Paul Meinema, the national president of UFCW Canada. “Gatherings like the Canadian Roots Exchange show that young people have the power to join at the forefront of advocacy on Indigenous issues,” he adds.
The Canadian Roots Exchange is a youth-led charity providing Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth with opportunities to engage in reconciliation dialogues, leadership development and educational initiatives.
As Canada’s leading union, UFCW is committed to achieving Indigenous justice and advancing Indigenous rights in Canada. To learn more about the union’s work in this area or to find out how you can advance Reconciliation in your workplace and community, visit UFCW Canada’s Reconciliation webpage.