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COVID-19 and Indigenous peoples’ resilience on the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples

Indigenous Circle
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We reflect on the challenges COVID-19 has placed on Canada’s Indigenous population as we mark the UN International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples on Sunday, August 9.   

The OPSEU Indigenous Circle encourages all OPSEU members to take part in a webinar planned for August 10, 9 am to 11 am on the theme “COVID-19 and indigenous peoples’ resilience.” 

Webinar access and information available here: https://www.un.org/development/desa/indigenouspeoples/international-day-of-the-worlds-indigenous-peoples/2020-2.html

OPSEU President Smokey (Warren) Thomas says the solidarity union members show every day can help the world’s Indigenous communities cope with COVID-19. 

“COVID-19 has a devastating impact on more than 476 million indigenous people around the world, but showing solidarity can bolster Indigenous resistance,” said Thomas. “OPSEU stands with Indigenous communities as they battle the effects of the pandemic.” 

The OPSEU Indigenous Circle and the OPSEU Social Justice Fund have a strong track record on global Indigenous solidarity that includes:

Indigenous Circle Chair Krista Maracle says more needs to be done to protect vulnerable Indigenous communities throughout the world and that “this effort begins at home by demanding that the Government of Canada move beyond lip service and revise all its laws to reflect the U.N.  Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, especially respecting the right to free, prior and informed consent.”