OPSEU/SEFPO commemorates National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

Reconciliation requires constructive action. To build a stronger, more just Ontario for all, no one can be left behind.

Commemoration is an important part of reconciliation and redressing past harms. So is truth-telling. On the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, we must all create space for both.

On this day, we stand with the survivors of residential schools and their loved ones; acknowledge the intergenerational trauma that has been inflicted upon Indigenous communities as a result of children never making it back home; and we renew our commitment to taking action towards justice.

After hundreds of years of colonizers working to eradicate Indigenous communities – and the colonialism that still exists today – there is great power in bearing witness to the lived experiences of Indigenous people; saying, ‘I see you, I hear you, and I stand with you.’

But reconciliation also requires more than words of acknowledgement – it requires constructive action. To build a stronger, more just Ontario for all, no one can be left behind. We can’t move the bar of progress forward if we don’t build power collectively.

It’s why we are working to dismantle systemic racism within all our union structures – because we recognize that white supremacy is embedded in how we have done things for decades and we must make an active, conscious effort to change that.

We must build power in the work we do by organizing for high participation from ALL workers. And we must continue to fight for access to clean water, justice for Missing and Murdered Indigenous women and children, Indigenous peoples’ rights to self-governance, and reconciliation.

OPSEU/SEFPO continues to stand in solidarity with labour leaders, families and First Nations communities in Manitoba and across Canada to demand action from the Manitoba government, the federal government and the City of Winnipeg in the search for three Indigenous women who are believed to be buried at the Prairie Green and Brady Road landfills. The lives of Indigenous women and girls must not be ignored.

We stand in solidarity with the Land Back movement for Indigenous sovereignty, and we must also fight to protect Indigenous land from mining – land that the Ford government is freely allowing mining companies to stake claims on without gaining consent from the Indigenous people who live on it.

This week, OPSEU/SEFPO was proud to join five First Nations from Northern Ontario and more than 6,000 community members and activists in the March for the Land rally, calling on Premier Ford to end the unwanted mining activity on their territories.

We are all up against a Conservative government whose interests lie solely in the highest bidder, and we will not let Ontario’s public services or protected lands be sold off.

Those fights are all of ours.

We have a long way to go to achieve justice and reconciliation, but let’s walk this path together, in love and solidarity.


In solidarity,

JP and Laurie