USJE Recognizes National Indigenous Peoples Day

Today, June 21, 2021, is the 25th national anniversary of celebrating the heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding achievements of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples.

For as far back as oral histories can tell us, Indigenous people around the world have marked the summer and winter solstices in ceremony, ritual and celebration. Here in North America, or on Turtle Island, most Indigenous communities mark the longest day of the year by reminding ourselves of all the good things in our lives and by giving thanks for all that the earth has shared with us.

The Union of Safety and Justice Employees wishes to take this opportunity to recognize our many indigenous members.

USJE also recognizes that the leadership of the public sector is not as representative or diverse as the public service population at large. Given that many of USJE’s members work for agencies or departments, including the Correctional Service of Canada, and the RCMP, that serve disproportionately high indigenous populations, we urge the Treasury Board to ensure that the pathways to leadership are fully accessible to indigenous employees.

USJE also recognizes that within every department and agency, racism is a persistent phenomenon and that these agencies and organizations, like most, are profoundly imperfect in their capacity to deliver justice.

With this in mind, USJE also calls on the Canadian government to accelerate its implementation of the Recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

USJE also encourages all of its members to take the opportunity to review the TRC recommendations.

National Aboriginal Day (now National Indigenous Peoples Day) was announced in 1996 by then Governor General of Canada, Roméo LeBlanc, through the Proclamation Declaring June 21 of Each Year as National Aboriginal Day. This was the result of consultations and statements of support for such a day made by various Indigenous groups.