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A Statement Regarding the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation Observance

A Nation remains divided regarding the effects of the Residential Schools Program perpetrated on our neighbours in the Indigenous community, but it appears that we may have turned a corner on this subject.

 

The Residential Schools Program remains a black-mark on our Nation’s history. The Government of Canada, in tandem with some religious organizations, was responsible for removing Indigenous children from their families and attempting to strip their Native Culture from them at several Residential Schools around the Nation.  It has been called a form of “cultural genocide”.

 

Adding to the injustice, it has been told for many decades that terrible abuses occurred at these facilities and, until the recent horrific discoveries of unmarked graves at the site of a former Residential School in Kamloops, the victims and their families have not been believed.

 

The tragic note is that it took the recent discovery in Kamloops, followed by similar discoveries across Canada, before many started to pay attention to the issue.  In tandem with the concerns regarding the murdered and missing Indigenous women in BC, it is time for all Canadians to open up to the plight of the Indigenous peoples of Canada.

 

Since 2013, September 30th has been recognized and commemorated across Canada as Orange Shirt Day.  This year the Government of Canada has proclaimed September 30th as a National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, not only a day to memorialize the lost children, victims and survivors of the Residential Schools, but also a day to hear their stories, know their truths and to help foster understanding and allow the process of healing to begin.

 

We here at Teamsters Local 464 would like to express our support for all Indigenous peoples across Canada on this first day of observance.

 

 

Paul Barton

Secretary-Treasurer

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Testimonial

For 35 years I have been a Teamster and a Dairyworker, I was a young kid needing a job in tough economic times. I found a place to work and make a living, I learned to work together with others having varying and different backgrounds than my own.

Much has changed for me personally and professionally, I got married to my beautiful wife of almost 25 years and we have raised two amazing children, both of whom are presently studying abroad. Both of my children were recipients of Hoffa Memorial Scholarship Funding.

So much of my success I can credit to having a well paying union job. The Teamsters have been a great union for me, negotiating strong collective agreements that held good wage and benefit packages as well as the cornerstone beliefs of seniority and workers’ rights. The Teamsters gave me a good wage and a voice.

I have always been an active Teamster, and now I sit on Local 464's Executive Board.

There can be a great degree of personal feelings when the word union is mentioned, but so often I look at professional associations and realize the name may be different, but the thought is the same...strength in numbers.

As I get toward the end of my career, I look forward to the thought of receiving the Teamsters Canada Pension Plan, and I am so grateful for the belief others had before me that Teamsters deserved a good and decent retirement...thank you.

Drew


- Drew Speirs

"I was employed for many years at a Teamster company that was shut down due to the economy. Because of my age, I was worried about starting over. Bobby, Bob and Paul not only negotiated a much better severance package than was in the contract, but they also went the extra mile and got me on at one of their other companies with an even better contract.They continued to help me even though it wasn't their job to."

- Armando Borean
- Dave S