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Ken Neumann’s statement on the occasion of June 21, National Aboriginal Day

On National Aboriginal Day 2017, we are less than a month away from our second National Workshop for Aboriginal Steelworkers. Led by USW’s National Aboriginal Committee, this gathering in Edmonton July 5-6 will be an opportunity for Steelworkers of Aboriginal ancestry to continue directing our union’s efforts on reconciliation and on creating inclusive workplaces with collective agreements that respect Aboriginal rights. I encourage local unions to send members of Aboriginal ancestry to this important event.

Celebrating the first peoples of this land means acting to fix on-going injustices. Steelworkers joined our voices with organizations like the Native Women’s Association of Canada to call for a national inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women. Now, months after the launch of that inquiry, there are concerns about pace and process. It is essential that the voices of Aboriginal women and families be heard, in the design of the hearings, in the hearings themselves, and finally in the inquiry’s recommendations for swift and effective action. A national inquiry must take place, and USW calls on the federal government to ensure that the inquiry has adequate resources and sufficient time for its work.  

I am proud that our union has made available funding support to Steelworkers of Aboriginal ancestry who have suffered the loss of a family member and want to attend or give testimony at a hearing of the national inquiry.

This funding support and our National Workshop for Aboriginal Steelworkers are two USW contributions to reconciliation. I look forward to many more. 

In solidarity,

Ken Neumann
National Director

Information on support to attend a hearing 

Truth and Reconciliation Commission report  

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