Treaty Day and Mi’kmaq History Month

Official 2021 Mi'kmaq History Month Poster
Official 2021 Mi’kmaq History Month Poster

October 1 is Treaty Day in Mi’kma’ki. The purpose of Treaty Day is to promote the public awareness of Mi’kmaq history and culture for all Nova Scotians, and to recognize the continued importance of these treaties. 

History

In 1986, Grand Chief of the Mi’kmaq nation, Donald Marshall Sr., invited all Mi’kmaw to “observe October 1, 1986, and every year thereafter as Treaty Day to commemorate the unique and special relationship that exists between the Mi’kmaq and her Majesty.” Since then, on this day, all people in Nova Scotia are invited to remember and reaffirm the treaties signed between Mi’kmaq People and the British Crown. 

Similarly, since 1993, October has been recognized as Mi’kmaq History Month. This is a month to celebrate Mi’kmaq culture and history. Across the provinces there are events that showcase this history.

Mi’kma’ki and the Treaties

CUPE 3912 members work in institutions that are in Mi’kma’ki, the ancestral and unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq People. This land is covered by the Treaties of Peace and Friendship, which Mi’kmaq, Wolastoqiyik, and Passamaquoddy Peoples first signed with the British Crown in 1726, and were reaffirmed in subsequent treaties. 

The Treaties of Peace and Friendship did not deal with the surrender of land and resources, but in fact recognized Mi’kmaq and Wolastoqiyik title, and established rules for what was to be an ongoing relationship between nations. 

Exploring Treaties and Treaty Relationships

On Treaty Day and throughout Mi’kmaq History Month, take some time to learn about treaties, decolonization, and Mi’kmaq culture and heritage. As educators, we can incorporate this knowledge into our teaching. This year’s theme for Mi’kmaq History Month is “Exploring Treaties and Treaty Relationships.” 

More information on the subject:

We are all treaty people. 

 

National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

Kent Monkman’s The Scream (2017)

Thursday, September 30, 2021, marks the first time the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is a federal statutory holiday. This day coincides with Orange Shirt Day, which has been recognized since 2013 to honour Indigenous children forced to attend residential schools in Canada. The day is also a provincial holiday in Nova Scotia, PEI, and Manitoba. 

Dalhousie, MSVU and SMU will all be closed on Thursday, and no classes will be held.  

Events and Activities

There are a variety of events this week, both online and in-person, that provide opportunities for “sombre reflection,” to acknowledge and commemorate the legacy of residential schools, and to further commit ourselves to undertaking the work of reconciliation.

History

Establishing a federal holiday “to honour Survivors, their families, and communities, and ensure that public commemoration of the history and legacy of residential schools remains a vital component of the reconciliation process” was proposed in 2015 as the 80th call to action by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission

 

CUPE Safe Union Spaces – Online Focus Groups

Members are invited to participate in a series of online focus groups with CUPE’s National Safe Union Spaces Working Group. The sessions are with external consultants to review existing tools and processes and identify gaps where changes or additional resources are needed to ensure safer union spaces for all members.

Some of the sessions are being held specifically for members of our equity-seeking groups. Members are welcome to attend the session for any group that they identify as a member of, and all members are welcome in the general sessions.

To see the schedule and register for a session visit: https://cupe.ca/safe-union-spaces-focus-groups

 

General Meeting and Online Social – September 10 at 4 pm

We are having another online special general meeting on Friday September 10 at 4 pm.

This special general meeting will feature a by-election for Communications Officer. If you are interested in running for Communications Officer you can be nominated at the meeting, or put your name forward to Karen Harper, CUPE 3912 president.

Following the meeting members are invited to stay for an online start-of-term social.

To RSVP for the meeting, contact our Membership Officer, Kim Robinson by September 8.  

A link will be sent to those who have RSVP’d prior to the meeting.

CUPE National Occupational Health and Safety Resources

As we prepare for the fall term and the return to campus, members may be interested in these CUPE National resources on COVID and occupational health and safety. This information is specifically focused on workers rights and maintaining safe work spaces. 
 
All of CUPE’s COVID resources are here: https://cupe.ca/covid-19.
 
The Health and Safety information can be found here: https://cupe.ca/covid-19-health-and-safety-practices-0
 
An important tool they have provided is a risk reassessment checklist: 
 
There is information on emerging variants here: https://cupe.ca/variants-concern-what-are-they-and-why-are-they-important
 
They have compiled a list of Frequently Asked Questions regarding the COVID vaccine here: https://cupe.ca/covid-19-vaccines-frequently-asked-questions

General Meeting – August 10, 12 pm

Our next general meeting will be on Tuesday August 10 at 12 pm, online.

This special general meeting will focus on health and safety issues for the return to campus. Bargaining updates, mobilization and the 2019 audit will also be on the agenda.

We will be joined by Jenna Brookfield, CUPE Atlantic’s Health and Safety Representative, who will speak and take questions.

To RSVP for the meeting, contact our Membership Officer, Kim Robinson August 9:  

A link will be sent to those who have RSVP’d prior to the meeting.

 

Letter from CUPE NS Executive re. provincial election

Calling all members of CUPE! 

An election campaign is underway in Nova Scotia, and as members we all know how important  it is to have representation in government that values unions and looks out for union  members. So much is on the line when it comes to the outcome of this election. 

We need to be seen showing up for the community and have a presence of members out in the  NS NDP leader’s riding of Halifax-Chebucto. 

A perfect demonstration of what a difference the NDP can make for us is seen in the parties’  attitudes toward sick days. The Liberals have provided only a temporary coverage of four sick  days. The NDP plan understands that sick days are not a detriment to our work. Gary Burrill will  add 10 permanent paid sick days to the Labour Standards Code and make it illegal for  employers to require a doctor’s note when taking time off for illness – and this is just one  example. 

As members we must stand together and make sure that our government represents us, and is  not undermining our quality of life. 

Halifax-Chebucto – Gary Burrill’s home riding – needs YOU to help get the word out to the public  and make sure that he can keep representing us in the government of Nova Scotia. Their  campaign office is located at 6440 Quinpool Road and have invited us to drop by and help get  the word out. Please give them a call at 902-706-5111 and ask how you can help! 

We also need volunteers to help our CUPE members who are candidates, canvas. We have five CUPE members running, our National President Mark Hancock will be joining them on the  campaign trail from August 4th to August 6th (more info to follow on social media). if you would  like to come out and help we would love to see you. If there is no CUPE member running in your  area, stop by the local NDP candidates campaign office and lend a hand. 

Joy Polley Pictou East 

Sean Foley Colchester North 

Tammy Jakeman Eastern Passage 

Jason Langille Kings West 

Cheryl Burbidge Annapolis 

It’s time we support the party that supports the work we do in public service. 

If you are interested, please feel free to reach out and we can help you find the campaign office  in your area. 

In solidarity, 

CUPE NS Executive 

902-759-3231

 

General Meeting — July 12, 4 pm

Our next general meeting will by Monday July 12 at 4 pm, online. This meeting will focus on mobilization and the return to campus.

Nan McFadgen, CUPE Nova Scotia president, will speak at the meeting.

To register to receive the Zoom link for the meeting, please contact our membership officer, Kim Robinson, by July 9.