The SFL Aboriginal Committee's mandate is to provide a bridge between Aboriginal people and organized labour.
View the committee's Terms of Reference.
Unifor - Executive Council Aboriginal VP & Chair of Committee - Email Me
The committee is seeking full representation from all affiliates. For further information or to appoint your affiliate representative, please call the Aboriginal Vice-President.
Unionism on Turtle Island
This course was originally developed by the SFL Aboriginal Committee in 2001. It is currently offered at the SFL Spring School and Prairie School for Union Women. SGEU has also offered this course to their members as part of the educational programs. UFCW Local 1400 is currently organizing their educational program to include this course in 2006.
This course is designed for non-Aboriginal workers who want to learn more about Aboriginal issues and who want to work in solidarity with their First Nations brothers and sister.
Participants will begin the process of understanding the shared struggles of Aboriginal People and Unions. They will deepen their understanding of the general concept of partnerships and representative workforce.
Providing factual information will dispel the current myths and misconceptions that surround Aboriginal People.
In a positive environment participants will examine the barriers to diversity in the workplace. By exploring their personal attitudes towards an inclusive work environment they will build their capacity to become instruments of change.
For solidarity to occur organized labour and Aboriginal people must work together for both to achieve their goals.
The following are some of the comments of participants when they were asked to express the highlights and strengths of the course:
- The friendly atmosphere enables participants to learn in a comfortable environment.
- The timeline was so mind blowing. Wonderful communication and participation from everyone.Oka video was soul shattering.
- It cleared up most of the myths that I heard about Aboriginal People.
- It encouraged me to look deeper into issues relating to Aboriginal People. It will help me to promote awareness within my community, workplace and in my Union.
- I benefited because I get it now. I will never again turn my back, my eyes are open.
Part of the committee's work has focused on promotion of the representative workforce strategy.
What is representative workforce? "A representative workforce is one where Aboriginal workers are represented in all occupational levels (entry level, middle and senior management) in proportion to their numbers in the province's population." (IGAA, 2003)
This does not mean that there are special privileges or quotas. "The achievement of a representative workforce requires changes in the workplace, improvements in the knowledge/skill attainment of potential Aboriginal workers, and a comprehensive and focused employment development strategy." (IGAA, 2003)
The representative workforce strategy focuses on the Aboriginal community, the unions and the workplace. A primary component is to develop partnerships between employers (private and public) and IGAA. Each partnership agreement has the following goals in common:
- work together in a bilateral or multilateral process that promotes fairness, equity, trust, respect, dignity and consistency.
- work with the aboriginal community, unions and employees
- develop programs to facilitate constructive cultural and race relations
- promote aboriginal employment and career development
- build links to the aboriginal labour force
- develop programs promoting employment opportunities for aboriginal people
- build business development initiatives for further employment opportunities
More information on the Representative Workforce Strategy can be found under Aboriginal Employment Development Program at the Government Relations and Aboriginal Affairs website: firstname.lastname@example.org