Indigenous Circle to host Conference on Truth and Reconciliation

September 29, 2016
By Bob Peters

Cornwall Ontario – The Indigenous Circle of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) will host a conference for members this weekend to discuss the union’s response to the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC).

The conference is expected to attract over 100 delegates, and will run from Friday September 30 to Sunday October 3 at the NAV CENTRE.

“Indigenous communities already know what an effective strategy of healing and reconciliation would look like,” said Krista Maracle, Chair of the Indigenous Circle. “They just need partners to help make it a reality. This conference is about OPSEU stepping up to be such a partner.”

Senator Murray Sinclair, who was Chair of the TRC, will give the keynote address on Saturday at 9:15 a.m., in Room D214 of the Nav Centre. The conference is being organized in cooperation with elders and youth of the Mohawk Nation of Akwesasne.

Participants in the conference will be encouraged to identify recommendations of the TRC, released in June 2015, that connect to the work of OPSEU members, and to investigate ways of integrating them into that work.

“In some cases, our union can play a part in the truth and reconciliation process by negotiating TRC recommendations into our collective agreements,” said OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas.

“Indigenous people face a lot of discrimination as workers. It’s crucial for us as a union to participate fully in dismantling the barriers that keep the labour market woefully segmented by race.”

About the NAV Centre

The NAV Centre is a training and conference venue owned and operated by NAV CANADA. It offers access to 550 guest rooms, 70 state-of-the-art classrooms and meeting rooms, as well as an auditorium. Other amenities include a gymnasium and fitness facilities, as well as multiple dining options. The NAV Centre is also an accredited member of the International Association of Conference Centres (IACC), provided for adhering to globally-recognized standards in hospitality service.

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