On December 1994, the United Nations General Assembly declared August 9 as the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. This day of observance is an opportunity to bring attention to the history of colonization and the systemic barriers that Indigenous communities face here in Canada, or Turtle Island, and around the world.
There are approximately 370 million indigenous people living across 90 countries. Indigenous peoples continue to fight for the recognition of their identities, their way of life, their right to traditional lands and resources, and for Indigenous sovereignty. Despite this, Indigenous peoples around the world are among the most marginalized and vulnerable groups in society. Consequently, it is more important than ever to ensure that special measures are implemented to protect these rights and maintain the distinct cultures of Indigenous peoples globally.
The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) was adopted by the General Assembly in 2007. At the time, Canada was one of four countries that voted against its adoption, but it has since reversed its position and now supports the document. The Declaration provides a universal framework that encourages international co-operation in upholding minimum standards to ensure the survival, dignity, and well-being of Indigenous peoples around the world.
The work to re-build meaningful relationships with Indigenous peoples remains a priority for the labour movement and for UFCW Canada. With increasing representation of Indigenous peoples in our workplaces and in our unions, it is more critical than ever to support the ongoing struggles for Indigenous justice.
As Canada’s leading union, UFCW is committed to achieving Indigenous justice and advancing Indigenous rights in Canada. To learn more about our union’s work in this area, visit UFCW Canada’s Indigenous Rights and Reconciliation webpage.