Unifor supports Indigenous Games
Posted on Jul 21, 2017 by Brad McCabe

It’s not just some games to Unifor.

The union says its sponsorship of the 2017 North American Indigenous Games, currently underway in Toronto, is part of its long-standing commitment to these communities.

“It’s important for Aboriginal youth to be involved with the Games – it certainly builds their self-confidence and it, quite frankly, helps them later on in life make decisions that are... wise and...helps them with their careers,” Deb Tveit, an assistant to Unifor President Jerry Dias, said Monday. “It acknowledges that Aboriginal Games are as important as any other Games that are held.”

Mohamed Alsadi, director of Unifor’s human rights and international department, said the union already provides funding to support Indigenous women and youth through programs that give out bursaries and scholarships and also dig wells for clean water in remote communities.

“We think we have an obligation to support the Aboriginal community and especially the youth in light of the fact that they’ve been having lots of issues,” Alsadi said. “We feel strongly that the Indigenous youth are entitled to opportunities, they’re entitled to be treated like everybody else and that’s why we’re there.”

The Indigenous Games will be held throughout the GTA and Hamilton until July 23.

“Our sponsorship will help to ensure the broader community can celebrate the achievements of the athletes, and showcase the rich diversity of Indigenous culture,” Dias said in a statement after participating in the official medal unveiling.

Unifor is a social justice organization, and bargains with employers for funds to carry out its mission, Tveit said.

And working with Aboriginal communities in Canada acknowledges the “truth and reconciliation” that needs to be done, she said.

The Games also serve to remind all Canadians that the stereotype of Aboriginal people is just that, a stereotype, Tveit said.

“Their children can be athletes as well as anyone else’s...whatever it is in society that everyone hopes their kid can excel at, Aboriginal children can do it too,” Tveit said. “And I think it shows that.”

Join the #1 platform for brand partnerships

Find the right partners that match your audience

Connect with partners and manage your conversations all in one place

Gain meaningful insights into the success of your partnerships