As we all celebrate Canada Day in our own personal way, I urge all NEU Members to consider marking this July 1st by wearing something orange – in addition to or in place of – the traditional red and white. I ask our Members to do this in recognition of and respect to the recent findings of more than 1200 unmarked graves at former residential school sites in our country. How can we mark the history of our country while ignoring the parts of it that still scar the lives and well being of the original inhabitants of what we have called Canada for the past 150+ years? While people might be tempted so say things like let the past be the past, how can we move on while so many families throughout Canada struggle with the thought that it might be one or their relations laying in an unmarked grave? If we truly want to celebrate Canada, we must first and foremost recognize our successes and failures as a Nation. Let’s start with our historic and current failure to treat our Indigenous peoples – living and passed - with the respect and care they deserve.
William (Bill) Fennell
President – Nunavut Employees Union