National Aboriginal Day is a time to celebrate the culture and contributions of Indigenous peoples in Canada. On this day, the Canadian Labour Congress wishes to express its support and solidarity by demanding that the federal, provincial and territorial governments work together to provide adequate funding to Aboriginal communities in order to address inadequate education support, existing social inequities, high youth suicide rates and access to decent housing and clean water.
For far too long, governments have failed to ensure that young Indigenous peoples’ education needs are funded at least at the same level as other public education programs through the country. The federal government shouldn’t be telling First Nations children and students that they must wait longer for the quality of their schools and education to improve – greater investment is needed immediately, and it must respect First Nations rights, Treaties, titles and control over education.
The CLC also calls on the federal government to establish a National Public Inquiry to address the scale and severity of violence faced by indigenous women and girls. The federal government’s refusal to acknowledge this profound injustice is inexcusable. We call on governments to work with indigenous women and their representative organizations, including the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC), to bring justice to the families and communities affected.
The Canadian Labour Movement continues to be inspired by the strength and commitment of First Nations, Inuit and Métis activists who stand up to injustice and demand recognition and respect.