VANCOUVER – CUPE proudly celebrated National Aboriginal Day as a sponsor and organizer of the annual Downtown Eastside Aboriginal Festival at Oppenheimer Park. The six hour festival featured performances from diverse Aboriginal performers, including Cree signer Art Napolean, the Vancouver Nisga’a Dance Troupe, Hobbema School of Rock and many more. There was a bannock and salmon chowder feast, organizational tents and presentations, and a children’s entertainment area featuring story tellers.
Hundreds of people came to the event, many who stopped by CUPE’s tent to chat and sign a petition for clean water as well as a petition against the Enbridge pipeline.
Paul Faoro, general VP of CUPE BC and the President of CUPE Local 15, was on hand to address the crowd. “We represent workers that earn their living in this community, workers who live in this community. We love this community, and we love being part of this event,” said Faoro.
Dale Whitford, Chair of CUPE BC’s Aboriginal Working Group also spoke about the work that the working group does on an ongoing basis: “Our working group is active on many issues. We are fighting for clean drinking water in northern Aboriginal communities. We are fighting against the Enbridge pipeline. These issues matter to Aboriginal People, and they matter to CUPE. We need to stand together and raise our voices to government.”
To view photos from the day’s events, please see our gallery