Left to Right: Sara Jane Souliere (Hydro One Local), Michelle Johnston (Executive Vice President Policy), Pat Oakes (OPG Local), Sharon McGuire (OPG Local).
About the Indigenous Relations Committee
The Society of United Professionals is committed to addressing and advancing the economic and social conditions of Canada’s Indigenous Peoples (First Nations, Metis and Inuit). As a union, we have taken this position for two important reasons. First, alleviating the poverty, social disconnection and historical disadvantages to ensure that all Indigenous people are given appropriate opportunities and resources for advancement is simply the right thing to do. Second, we know that there are many members within the Society who identify as Indigenous (First Nations, Metis and Inuit).
The Society’s Indigenous relations policy commits the union to “take a leadership role in encouraging, supporting and partnering with its members’ employers“ to develop “mutually beneficial relationships with Indigenous Peoples.”
The policy also commits the Society to encourage, support, and partner with Society employers in their efforts to develop and maintain relationships with Indigenous Peoples, based on a respect for and recognition of the distinct legal, historical and cultural status of Indigenous Peoples in Canada and the Indigenous and treaty rights of Indigenous Peoples as recognized and affirmed in the Constitution Act, 1982.
Our Indigenous (First Nations, Metis and Inuit) members, having achieved a good measure of success through the pursuit of education and good jobs, are in a unique position to act as guides, resources and role models as the Society seeks to develop partnerships between our union, our employers, governments and Indigenous organizations such Indspire and the Assembly of First Nations (AFN). We are currently having discussions with all of the above parties to help develop programs to help and encourage Indigenous schoolchildren to pursue excellence in math and science. We believe that, given appropriate opportunities and resources, these children and their communities can have access to the kind of good jobs we all enjoy, and have a much brighter future as a result.
In order to be successful, such an important project requires the efforts of as many of our members as possible, but in particular it requires us to identify and work with as many of our Indigenous (First Nations, Metis and Inuit) members as possible through our Indigenous Relations Committee. If you are an Indigenous person, the Indigenous Relations Committee are requesting your cooperation to identify yourself to us as either First Nations, Metis or Inuit (no proof required). Please note that this does not imply a commitment to join the committee or participate in our activities, although we hope that you will consider this. At this point we are simply trying to get a better understanding of our Indigenous Peoples membership.
Please note that all information collected is confidential and will not be shared with any outside organizations other than the Society of United Professionals.