Local 401 members learn more about truth and reconciliation, endorse action from their union

President Hesse and Kory Wilson with local union staff and activists after our October 2 telephone town hall meeting.

On Saturday, September 30, we commemorated the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

Although it is recognized as a statutory holiday for reflection federally and in some provinces, Alberta has yet to adopt it formally. Nevertheless, your union has successfully negotiated the inclusion of the Day into a number of our collective agreements.

Indigenous communities face high unemployment rates and various socioeconomic challenges due to a variety of factors, including systemic racism, the residential school system’s lasting impact, and the impacts of colonialism in Canada.

The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation aims to encourage all Canadians to face the realities of these challenges and consider how we can all play an active role in addressing and overcoming them.

While many Canadians support reconciliation, they often feel uncertain about how to take meaningful action. Education and learning are crucial to fostering change.

In aid of that need for learning, your union was honoured to have Kory Wilson as a special guest for our October 2 Telephone Townhall Meeting reflecting on the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, the challenges facing Indigenous peoples, and how our local union can play an active role in truth and reconciliation.

As an Indigenous woman with over 20 years of experience in education, law, and Indigenous issues, Kory is dedicated to transforming reconciliation into tangible action.

The meeting presented a unique opportunity to learn from a highly respected and committed Indigenous Canadian activist. President Thomas Hesse and Kory spent an hour and a half discussing a variety of topics and taking questions from our members.

“I cannot tell you how much I appreciated our time with Kory,” reflected President Thomas Hesse. “Kory’s passion and wisdom are evident in every comment she made throughout our discussion. I learned so much from the time we spent discussing this crucial issue, and I hope that our members did as well.”

Let’s all learn how to make a difference in the pursuit of truth and reconciliation together.

Additionally, your union would like to offer a special congratulations to newly elected Manitoba Premier Wab Kinew, who became the first First Nations premier in Canadian history after leading the NDP to victory in the Manitoba election on Tuesday, October 3, 2023!