Two Indigenous OPSEU members, Cristine Rego and Jo Jo Van Hooser participated in a Guatemala solidarity tour on February 7-17, 2020 that is part of an exchange program between Indigenous heath care practitioners in Canada and Maya Ki’Che midwives in Guatemala. The exchange program is a partnership between the OPSEU Indigenous Circle and Horizons of Friendship.
The partnership included a knowledge exchange in Toronto on November 1, 2019 hosted by the Indigenous Circle and a visit with Maya Ki’Che midwives at the OPSEU Head Office in March 2017 hosted by the OPSEU Social Justice Fund. In February 2017, Region 7 member Geri Kakeeway met with Mayan partners during a trip to Guatemala. Subsequent to the trip, Maya Ki’Ché women from the communities there joined the OPSEU Indigenous Water Ceremony and symposium on March 2, 2017 at George Brown University on UN World Water Day. Some of the women partnered with the OPSEU Indigenous Circle and Wikwemkoong Unceded First Nation for the Indigenous Conference on Manitoulin Island on June 22-24, 2018. The most recent activity of this partnership was sending OPSEU Indigenous members to Guatemala. The members are health care practitioners and work with Indigenous women who have experienced violence.
The OPSEU Social Justice Fund provides regular support for the Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health: Transforming Indigenous Lives (MNCH) program in Guatemala.