Today, Saturday, September 30, marks the third anniversary of National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, and for the very first time, British Columbia is recognizing it as a statutory holiday. Our UFCW 1518 Indigenous Committee used its collective union power to successfully advocate for this change from the Government of BC. This is a small but significant step toward meaningful recognition of the atrocities that Indigenous people have suffered in the Residential and Day School System across generations.
Many Indigenous people in BC can now have time off to participate in healing ceremonies within their communities, addressing the trauma endured by survivors, their families, and communities, while also remembering those who did not return home. It is an opportunity for UFCW 1518 members and others in the community to reflect and educate themselves about the history of Indigenous peoples and the genocidal legacy of settler colonialism.
In recognition of National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, we ask all of our members and the community to show their support by wearing orange this weekend to commemorate the experiences of Indigenous children who were removed from their families and forced to attend residential schools where they were abused and their language and culture were repressed.
UFCW 1518 has sent out “Every Child Matters” buttons to all units—members can ask their Shop Steward if they would like a button. We also encourage members to wear the “Every Child Matters” T-shirts designed by Bear (Doug) Horne that were distributed last year.
Now is the time to listen to the stories of survivors and their families and to learn from them, so that these mistakes are not repeated. We share in this history and trauma and we must reflect on how we can support our Indigenous communities as we move forward.