Program to increase understanding of Indigenous culture and foster inclusivity
TORONTO, ONTARIO – Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 113, which represents 12,000 Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) workers, launched its first-ever Indigenous History Month program to honour Peoples of the First Nations, Metis, Inuit and diverse Indigenous Peoples across the continent.
The inaugural program, developed by ATU Local 113 and Indigenous culture educators, aims to raise the level of understanding of Indigenous culture while fostering more inclusivity and belonging for union members.
The comprehensive month-long program includes videos, resources and virtual workshops for ATU Local 113 members through a new webpage.
Along with education and resources, the program showcases some of the personal experiences of Indigenous TTC workers.
“As part of ATU Local 113’s Social Justice Framework launched earlier this year, the Indigenous History Month is another important step to fostering a culture of equality and inclusion in our union and beyond. We are unequivocally committed to the dismantling of institutional discrimination against Indigenous peoples,” said Carlos Santos, ATU Local 113 President.
ATU Local 113 has partnered with renowned Indigenous cultural educators to lead educational workshops including Paul Nadjiwan, a Spiritual Elder and former elected chief of the Nawash First Nation of Cape Croker on the Bruce Peninsula, Eric Johnston from the Native Canadian Centre Toronto and EJ Kwandibens, a Northern Woodland Anishinawbe artist who has also provided educational videos for members. The Indigenous History Month program will be highlighting Indigenous ATU Local 113 members’ stories.
The launch of ATU Local 113’s program follows this weekend’s discovery of an unmarked mass grave containing the remains of 215 children from the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc territory near a Kamloops residential school. All ATU local 113 members are distraught and heartbroken by the news.
“Together, we can fight to remove the barriers placed in front of our Indigenous sisters and brothers and move toward a more equal future for all. To our Indigenous ATU Local 113 members directly impacted and forced to relive the realities of their personal and intergenerational traumas through last weekend’s news, we are not only deeply sorry, but we are also with you, shoulder-to-shoulder,” said Carlos Santos.