CUPE Local 3902 stands in solidarity with the community of Attawapiskat, the occupation of the INAC (Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada) Toronto office, and with the occupation of INAC offices across the country including, to date, Winnipeg and Vancouver. Attawapiskat First Nation is in the midst of horrifying crisis, with 11 suicide attempts on the Saturday before last alone, and 101 suicide attempts since September. This is a crisis that is by no means limited to Attawapiskat, a crisis that is a direct result of Canada’s historical and ongoing colonization of indigenous peoples. The youth suicide crisis cannot be separated from the harm done to these communities by the legacy of residential schools, and the crisis of missing and murdered aboriginal women.
We call upon the Liberal government to meet the demands of the protesters, which include a youth center in Attawapiskat, better mental health resources, an end to boil water advisories, and dust control. We also join the protestors in calling on Justin Trudeau to go to Attawapiskat and to listen to the youth. This cannot, however, just be a photo op; the needs of the community, expressed by themselves, must come first.
CUPE 3902 members have been present to support both rallies held in solidarity with the occupation. We encourage members to come out and support any further actions. The occupation is happening at 25 St. Clair Ave E, at Yonge and St. Clair, right next to the St. Clair subway station. Events, along with supplies needed, are being posted to the page: https://www.facebook.com/Ground-Zero-INAC-Toronto-535411180000647/