United Steelworkers Statement of Principles on Aboriginal Issues

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USW is expanding outreach to members who are First Nations, Inuit, and Métis and expanding action on issues of importance to Aboriginal peoples in Canada. Delegates at the 2016 USW National Policy Conference adopted this Statement of Principles to guide our union’s work.

The United Steelworkers are proud to have Aboriginal members as part of our union. Aboriginal members are proud to be Steelworkers. We have a lot to offer Aboriginal members. Further engaging our Aboriginal members in the union, and drawing on the pride, knowledge, and experience of Aboriginal members and Aboriginal values and culture will enrich our union and make us stronger.

The United Steelworkers recognize Canada’s shameful history in dealing with Aboriginal peoples and the abuse suffered by First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples.  As a union we must and will be part of processes of reconciliation and healing.  At all levels of our union we renew our commitment to building relationship of mutual support and respect with Aboriginal leaders, activists, organizations and communities.

The United Steelworkers support reconciliation and socio-economic justice based on Aboriginal rights, honouring treaties, and meeting the principles and standards of the United Nations’ Declaration on  the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

“Recognize, Accept, and Support” are key concepts that will guide our union’s engagement on Aboriginal issues.  There are many ways to be a proud Steelworker; welcoming and respecting Aboriginal members means engagement on their terms, consistent with their cultures and history. Putting into practice our commitments to  inclusion, reconciliation and healing will mean that our union itself has to continue to change and take concrete actions.

The Steelworkers’ commitment to represent and support our Aboriginal members and their communities is part of our commitment to a democratic, inclusive, and diverse union that builds power and creates a bright future for us all.

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