The OPSEU Indigenous Circle June 21 Campaign is hosting a legislative breakfast and lobby day at Queen’s Park on Tuesday, May 9, 2017. A team of community and OPSEU Indigenous activists are pressing for support of a private member’s bill sponsored by MPP Teresa Armstrong (London-Fanshawe) to make June 21 a statutory holiday in Ontario.
Linda Broer, Chair of the June 21 committee is convinced that “It is way past time that we set aside a day to recognize and celebrate the contributions of Indigenous communities in Ontario and to recommit ourselves to removing all vestiges of colonialism that remain in Canada.” A team of Indigenous activists will join Parliamentarians at a breakfast at Queen’s Park and then meet some MPPs in their offices to build support for the bill. OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas is a strong supporter of making June 21 a statutory holiday and is pleased that OPSEU is taking action to make this a reality. “This is a continuation of OPSEU’s efforts to promote labour-Indigenous reconciliation. What better way for a labour union to do this than to fight for a day off and to walk with Indigenous communities on their journey toward healing.”
The Indigenous Circle collected over 1,000 signatures during the 2017 OPSEU Convention and they continue to collect petitions that are being introduced at Queen’s Park. Krista Maracle, Chair of the Indigenous Circle “invites all OPSEU members to assist in this effort by bringing the petition to their locals and getting them signed. It's one small step toward Labour-Indigenous reconciliation.” The team also requests that if you are unable to join us for the lobby day, please contact your MPP in support of the Bill on May 9. The Queen’s Park contact information for all MPPs is included below.
Therefore, we the undersigned, petition the Legislative Assembly of Ontario as follows:
To designate June 21 of each year as a legal statutory holiday to be kept and observed throughout Ontario. This day should serve to create and strengthen opportunities for Reconciliation and cultural exchange among Ontarians. The day should facilitate connections between indigenous and non-Indigenous Ontarians in positive and meaningful ways. This day should solidify the original intent of National Aboriginal Day as a day for Ontarians to recognize and celebrate the unique heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples.
For more information or to get involved in the June 21 campaign, contact one of the committee members: