UFCW Canada supports Indigenous community members

An architectural rendering of the new Anishnawbe Health Toronto health centre and community hub that will soon be constructed in the West Don Lands area of Toronto.

Toronto – June 22, 2020 – This time last year, UFCW Canada Indigenous members from across the country came together to participate in the National Indigenous Peoples Day Conference in Toronto. At that time, UFCW Canada made a $25,000 donation towards the construction of the soon-to-be-built Anishnawbe Health Centre. This establishment will provide a range of services to Indigenous community members in the Greater Toronto Area and will also assist Indigenous persons who seek support throughout Ontario.   

The demand for this type of holistic and client-centered approach to health is integral to the new centre build, which will accommodate roughly 27,000 visitors per year. The building design represents a Star Blanket Shawl, which in addition to providing warmth and comfort, is often used in ceremonies and at pow wows. Historically, it was also used to gather medicines.

Currently spread across three centres in the city of Toronto, Anishnawbe Health provides a health-focused approach to Indigenous persons coming from over 60 First Nations across Canada.

With the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Anishnawbe Health Toronto has diversified its services to ensure that Indigenous community members and clients remain connected with the organization’s services, equipped with mental health supports, and able to receive housing, food, and other needed services during the ongoing health crisis.

“UFCW Canada is proud to support Anishnawbe Health Toronto, as our union is committed to working with community partners to ensure that Indigenous persons are afforded access to needed services across the country,” says Emmanuelle Lopez-Bastos, UFCW Canada’s Coordinator for Human Rights, Equity, and Diversity.

Recently, UFCW Canada spoke with Julie Cookson, Executive Director of Anishnawbe Health Toronto, to discuss the organization’s integral work and the construction of the new health centre. You can watch the full video below.

As Canada’s leading union, UFCW is committed to achieving Indigenous justice in Canada. To learn more about our union’s work in this area, and to find out how you can advance Indigenous rights and reconciliation in your workplace and community, visit UFCW Canada’s Indigenous Rights and Reconciliation webpage.