September 30, 2020
TORONTO—Unifor members from coast to coast are participating in Orange Shirt Day today, the annual event to honour and acknowledge the survivors of Canada’s shameful residential school system.
“Unifor is deeply committed to reconciliation,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “We’re proud to work with our Indigenous partners to both heal and fight for justice and put an end to systemic racism.”
As part of the day’s events, Unifor members wore orange shirts and shared messages of solidarity on social media under the hashtag #OrangeShirtDay and #EveryChildMatters.
The 2020 events come on the heels of the Government of Canada’s official recognition of the national historic significance of the residential school system as a tragic and defining event in Canadian history. Also announced was the designation of the residential school in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba and the site of the Shubenacadie residential school in Nova Scotia as national historic sites.
The Unifor Social Justice fund will be making a donation to the Manitoba museum as part of this year’s Orange Shirt Day.
Unifor’s Atlantic, Quebec, Ontario, Prairie, and B.C. Regional Councils will make donations to Indigenous school meal programs. It is a symbolic response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report’s descriptions of inadequate nutrition and underfunding at residential schools.
Unifor’s combined donations will exceed $20,000.
For the mobilization component of Unifor’s Orange Shirt Day efforts, the union is calling on Canadians to use the online tool to write to the federal government calling for an end to the inequalities in public services for Indigenous children, youth and families.
For more information on Orange Shirt Day events, visit unifor.org/orangeshirtday.
Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.
For media inquiries or to arrange interviews via Facetime, Zoom, or Skype please contact Unifor Communications Representative Ian Boyko at email@example.com or 778-903-6549 (cell).