National Day for Truth and Reconciliation: Resources for Action and Reflection
Circulated on Behalf of VDLC
September 30 is Canada’s National Day of Truth and Reconciliation. VDLC acknowledges the underlying title and inherent rights of self-determination of Indigenous peoples, and our presence as uninvited guests in the traditional and unceded territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Peoples. The truth is that we must learn from and work alongside Indigenous peoples in order to make things right.
September 30 was chosen as “Orange Shirt Day” by Indigenous people in 2013 to commemorate and honor the survivors of The Indian Residential School System (IRSS) and those who never returned home. At this time of year, over the course of more than 100 years, Indigenous children were forced to return to IRSS institutions where they were targeted for indoctrination and torture organized by the Canadian state to weaken and destroy Indigenous nations. In 2015, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) recommended that the Canadian government establish a statutory holiday so that Canadians may never forget the history and ongoing legacy of the IRSS. September 30 is now also Canada’s National Day of Truth and Reconciliation.
In solidarity with Indigenous Peoples, we mourn the loss of the children who did not make it home and honor the courageous survivors and their allies who worked for decades to break the walls of silence and denial surrounding the IRSS. On this day of solemn reflection, we acknowledge that racism and religious persecution were used to dispossess Indigenous peoples of their territories, and that we must educate ourselves about the ongoing and current impacts of colonization and genocide on Indigenous peoples. We recognize that the labour movement in Canada has not been the ally it needs to be to Indigenous peoples. We must do the urgent work of ending systemic racism by engaging in a meaningful process of reconciliation with Indigenous peoples that leads to decolonization.
Many Indigenous leaders have warned that “reconciliation” has stalled and that Indigenous perspectives must be employed to understand the critical issues impacting Indigenous peoples. Canadians must ask ourselves how we are holding our governments, associations, and ourselves accountable and transform our talk into action.
On September 30, we encourage workers across BC to learn, reflect, and act. Here are some resources that you may find useful:
Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: 94 Calls to Action
Calls to Action Accountability: A 2022 Status Update on Reconciliation https://yellowheadinstitute.org/trc/
Indigenous Watchdog: https://www.indigenouswatchdog.org/
Orange Shirt Society: https://orangeshirtday.org/
Sign CLC’s petition “Justice for First Nations’, Inuit, and Metis is Long Overdue”
C̓əsnaʔəm: The City Before the City: Discover Musqueam’s Ancient Landscape and Living Culture https://museumofvancouver.ca/csnam-the-city-before-the-city
National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation: Lunch and Learn Webinars, Sept 25 – 29. Register online at https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/truth-and-reconciliation-week-2023-public-lunch-and-learns-tickets-704876573807?aff=oddtdtcreator
BCFED Reconciliation Plan Framework: https://mcusercontent.com/ca056b1a01009092002205b95/files/e3106f56-5dda-b3f3-1253-32bf1ee2cc80/reconciliation_plan_bcfed_Final_version_sm.01.pdf
TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION: CUPE TAKING ACTION THROUGH COLLECTIVE BARGAINING: https://cupe.ca/sites/cupe/files/truth_and_reconciliation_indigenous_bargaining_guide_en_0.pdf
UFCW: Indigenous Rights and the Workplace Bargaining Guide: https://www.ufcw.ca/templates/ufcwcanada/images/media/pdfs/IRW-Bargaining-Guide/Indigenous-Rights-and-the-Workplace-Bargaining-Guide-EN_V8-email.pdf
Support Services and Resources:
Indian Residential School Survivors’ Society: Toll-Free Line 1 800 721 0066
Indian Residential School Crisis Line: (604) 985-4464
Hope For Wellness: Toll-Free Line 1 (855) 242-3310
Metis Crisis Line: 1 (833) 638-4722
KUU-US Crisis Line: 1 800 588 8717
Tsow-Tun-Le Lum: 1 866 925 4419
Collective Action Makes Change: BCGEU Win
Shared on behalf of BCGEU
Breaking news – RainCity has agreed to release the retro pay their workers are owed on September 28, making Lookout the last major organization to be withholding retro pay.
As many of you know, six months after ratification of the collective agreement, Lookout Housing Society had still not paid their workers the retro wages they were owed. Lookout members decided to do something about it and started organizing a rally for next week.
Within hours of our union announcing that we intended to rally outside Lookout headquarters to demand transparency and the immediate payment of retroactive wages and benefits, the Employer provided clear dates for payment in the coming weeks.
This is a huge victory for our members and a direct result of your willingness to take action. To everyone who said they would attend and stand together, thank you!
A special thank you goes out to the Masoud Aminzavvar (Local 803 Chair), Shelley Einarson (Local 804 Acting Chair), Charmaine Fines (Local 802 Chair), Parm Deol (Component Executive 804), and Sandu Constantinescu (Component Executive 803).
These Executive members volunteered many hours to organize the rally that was planned.
This victory proves once again that when we fight, we win.
In Solidarity, Component 8 Executive
Wear Orange on September 30
Re-circulated by the New Westminster & District Labour Council
Both the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and Orange Shirt Day take place on September 30.
Orange Shirt Day is an Indigenous-led grassroots commemorative day intended to raise awareness of the individual, family and community inter-generational impacts of residential schools, and to promote the concept of “Every Child Matters”.
The orange shirt is a symbol of the stripping away of culture, freedom and self-esteem experienced by Indigenous children over generations.
On September 30, all Canadians are encouraged to wear orange to honour the thousands of Survivors of residential schools.
Red Dress Gathering, September 24
Shared on behalf of Hospital Employees Union
Tri-Cities Pride Society: Support Needed for September 20
Shared on behalf of TriCities Pride
Tri-Cities Pride Society to hold counter protest, amplifying support for the LGBTQ2AIS+ community, and to combat SOGI misinformation.
Determined to stand up against hate, and combat misinformation on SOGI (Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity), the Tri-Cities Pride Society plans to counter-protest the misinformed “Hands off Our Kids” group.
“Anti-SOGI protests are dangerous” says the Tri-Cities Pride Society. “By opposing policies and initiatives that promote inclusive education and protection of LGBTQ2AIS+ rights, they are promoting the increased stigmatization and marginalization of our communities. It also causes direct harm to LGBTQ2AIS+ youth when they see public opposition to the protection of their emotional wellbeing in schools.”
The Society is also very worried that groups like “Hands off Our Kids” target vulnerable parents with misinformation, spreading falsehoods about what is happening in our schools.
“Our education system plays a crucial role in ensuring that all students feel safe and included. SOGI-inclusive education is about students having conversations about the SOGI diversity in society and the importance of treating everyone with dignity and respect.”
Accurate information on what SOGI is and how is used in our schools can be found on this website: https://www.sogieducation.org/parents
The Tri-Cities Pride Society expects our community to be safe, accurately informed, and inclusive for all regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
“We will be present on September 20th, raising our Pride Flags proudly, providing SOGI pamphlets in a variety of languages, demonstrating to the LGBTQ2AIS+ community (especially youth) that they are loved, they belong, and we will always stand up for them!”
For more information on the Tri-Cities Pride Society: https://tricitiespride.ca/
FPSE Webinar Series: Advocating for Ethics and Equity in the Age of Artificial Intelligence – Wednesday, September 20, 2023
CHAT-GPT was released as a generative artificial intelligence (AI) system at the end of 2022. In post-secondary education, we’ve moved past the initial reactions and are now beginning to see guidance documents for teaching and learning, as well as policy & procedure formation on the use of AI systems in PSE. FPSE invites Local Presidents and Local Executive team members to join us for this one-hour dive into the ethical and practical implications of AI for education, to help inform your positions on academic labour, equity, diversity, inclusion, ethical decision-making and academic integrity.
Topic: FPSE Webinar Series: Advocating for Ethics and Equity in the Age of Artificial Intelligence
Date & Time: Wednesday September 20, 2023 @ 4:00 PM (PST) via Zoom
Registration Link: Advocating for Ethics and Equity in the Age of Artificial Intelligence
Welcome! You are invited to join a webinar: FPSE Webinar Series: Advocating for Ethics and Equity in the Age of Artificial Intelligence. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email about joining the webinar.
Session Description: Teaching and assessing writing have become increasingly complex with the emergence of artificial intelligence (AI) apps and tools that students can access freely or at a low cost. In this keynote, Sarah Elaine Eaton provides insights into how Large Language Models (LLMs) such as ChatGPT and similar apps are impacting teaching, learning, and assessment. Dr. Eaton will share insights from a recent research project she is leading at the University of Calgary in which the team is asking the question: What are the ethical implications of artificial intelligence technologies for teaching, learning, and assessment?
This session is not about how to use specific tools. Instead, we will delve into the broad ethical and practical implications of AI for education. Considerations for academic labour, equity, diversity, and inclusion and advocacy will be addressed. A key takeaway is that a comprehensive and holistic view of academic integrity is about more than preventing plagiarism or cheating; it is about ethical decision-making in and beyond the classroom. In a multi-stakeholder approach to academic integrity, everyone within the educational system holds a responsibility for ethical conduct, including how we use technology today and into the future.
Presenter: Sarah Elaine Eaton
Associate Professor – University of Calgary
Sarah Elaine Eaton, PhD, is a multi-award-winning associate professor at the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary, Canada, who holds a concurrent appointment as an Honorary Associate Professor, Deakin University, Australia. Dr. Eaton has written and presented extensively on academic integrity and ethics in higher education and is regularly invited as a media guest to talk about academic and research misconduct.
Urgent Action in Support of a Permanent Legislative Policy for Black Canadians Today!
Urgent Action in Support of a Permanent Legislative Policy for Black Canadians Today! Help the Black Community have a seat at the table in our government finally & permanently.
UNDPAD, What happens now?
In 2014, the UN General Assembly proclaimed 2015-2024 as the International Decade for People of African Descent (UNDPAD). The main objectives of the International Decade were to implement national and international legal frameworks, policies and programmes to combat racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance faced by people of African descent, taking into account the particular situation of women, girls and young males.
In 2018, Canada finally endorsed UNDPAD. However, it – and the temporary programs set up by the government for the Black community – are set to end next year in 2024.
To support this unified voice of Black Canadians for change, please SIGN THIS PETITION and help us spread the word!
Who can sign this petition? EVERYONE CAN! Sign today to support your Black friends, family, neighbours and fellow Canadians.
Yes we, and YOU can!
Save Our HandyDART! – Virtual Townhall
Are you concerned about Translink’s increasing use of taxis to perform HandyDART trips? Are you worried about the service’s lack of public accountability?
Join our Save Our HandyDART! Virtual Townhall
DATE: Wednesday, September 20th
TIME: 5:00 PM – 6:30 PM PDT
LOCATION: Online, via Zoom
Townhall, hosted by the Founder of the Live Educate Transform Society, Heather McCain!
Organized by the Save Our HandyDART coalition.
CART caption and ASL interpretation will be available.
This virtual event will be hosted from the ancestral and unceded homelands of the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ and Sḵwx̱wú7mesh speaking peoples.
Save Our Sailors!
-Circulated on behalf of ILWU Local 400-
The Port of Vancouver is awarding contracts to companies that are lowering wages across the board, leaving ILWU tugboat workers out-to-dry.
CEO Robin Silvester has stepped down and we need to make sure interim President and CEO Victor Pang steps up for tugboat workers and our BC communities. Now, after longshore workers showed the Port executives how much they depend on workers, we have an opportunity to make sure tugboat workers aren’t left behind either.
The new CEO needs public support. The executive team isn’t accountable to shareholders, they are accountable to the Ministry of Transportation – and ultimately, that means us. If we can build enough momentum and support from people like you, we can show them they’ll lose public support unless they step up for workers.
Metro Vancouver Labour Day Celebration
Circulated on behalf of VDLC
Metro Vancouver Labour Day Celebration!
September 04, 2023 at
11:30 AM – 2:30 PMEdmonds Park7433 Edmonds StreetBurnaby, BC
We’re excited to co-host the Metro Vancouver Labour Day Celebration this year, with our neighbours at New Westminster & District Labour Council!
Join us in Edmonds Park on Monday, September 4th between 11:30am and 2:30pm for a free, fun, family friendly celebration.
There will be exciting speakers (starting at 11:30am), bouncy castles, games and entertainment for kids, live music, food, union and community organization booths, and more!
Speakers will include Sam & Les George, NWDLC President Louella Vincent & VDLC President Stephen von Sychowski, Mayor of Burnaby Mike Hurley, Premier David Eby, BC Federation of Labour President Sussanne Skidmore, Member of Parliament Peter Julian, and Canadian Labour Congress Executive Vice President Siobhán Vipond.
More details available here: https://vdlc.ca/events/metro-vancouver-labour-day-celebration/