We Must Keep Indigenous Issues on Political Agenda: Ken Neumann’s Statement for June 21, National Indigenous Peoples Day

2020 has been a momentous year on the part of Turtle Island we call Canada.

It began with open conflict on Wet’suwet’en land that raised important issues of land sovereignty and traditional forms of leadership.

And then came COVID-19. The pandemic has renewed concerns about sub-standard health services in many Indigenous communities and race-based barriers to health care. It’s also the reason given for a delay in the federal government’s plan to implement recommendations from the national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. And within the USW, the pandemic resulted in the postponement of the National Gathering for Indigenous Steelworkers.   

Let’s mark June 21, National Indigenous People’s Day, by committing to keep issues of key concern to Indigenous peoples at the top of Canada’s political agenda during and after the pandemic. Since early March, look what Canadians have accomplished when we pull together to address a critical problem like COVID-19. Imagine what we could do if we directed that kind of energy to undoing the harm of colonialism. The work of reconciliation has just started.

In solidarity,

Ken Neumann
USW National Director 

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