The labour movement in this country has been a friend of First Nations. There has long been an unwritten alliance between us. When few people came to our peoples’ defence, we knew that the labour movement would be there without conditions. In this country, labour has taken it upon itself to understand our people, our issues and our struggle. It has done so with respect, compassion and empathy. You are a powerful ally to us.

Today I want to acknowledge your continued support for our struggle for legal, social, political and economic justice in our time. We have sought to tell our stories to the public, the media, to businesses, to churches and to governments – to anyone who would listen. So alliances, such as the one we have with labour, are extremely important to us.

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