“The Canadian Association of University Teachers marks the 20th National Aboriginal Day on June 21, 2016 by acknowledging the tremendous contributions of Aboriginal peoples to our universities and colleges, our academic staff associations, our communities, and our country.
National Aboriginal Day is an occasion to reflect upon past wrongs and continuing injustices affecting Aboriginal Peoples. The adoption and implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples announced in May by the federal government is a welcome step on the path to reconciliation.
But more must be done. As the Truth and Reconciliation Commission has documented, there are many pressing issues that need to be addressed: access to clean drinking water, high unemployment rates for Aboriginal youth, the lack of educational opportunities, the over-representation of Aboriginal children in the child welfare system, disproportionate levels of violence experienced by Aboriginal women, and the high incarceration rates of Aboriginal peoples. These are symptoms of the ongoing effects of colonialism, including the legacy of the residential school system.
On this year’s National Aboriginal Day, CAUT urges governments in Canada to fulfill their commitment to provide new resources to support Aboriginal students to access post-secondary education. CAUT remains committed to being an active partner with Aboriginal peoples and communities to address past wrongs and improve lives.”
Angela Regnier, Communications Officer, Canadian Association of University Teachers; 613-726-5186 (o); 613-601-6304 (cell)