Ernest Bishop is the Teamsters Canada Indigenous Persons Liaison and a business agent for Teamsters Local Union 879.
My name is Ernest Bishop. I am Six Nations Upper Mohawk. I also carry the title of Indigenous Persons Liaison for my great union, Teamsters Canada.
I would like to take this opportunity to speak on the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. I have lost a family member to the residential school system. Many other members of my family were also snatched up and forcibly put in these schools.
It is my belief that non-indigenous people need to take the time to truly understand the plight of my people. Many young lives have been changed and destroyed forever, never really understanding why or how in a country like Canada this can take place. I can only hope that all can learn from this terrible tragedy.
I know my great union recognizes indigenous people and that is proven by my appointment to my position. It gives me the chance to help my people integrate and make a good living. I also know that Teamsters do not tolerate racism or abusive behaviour.
We all have a responsibility not to let anything like this happens again. I’m proud to be a second-generation Teamster. I ask that everyone on September 30th take a moment of silence for all the lost souls and please never forget.
Teamsters Canada Indigenous Persons Liaison
Business Agent, Teamsters Local Union 879
Mental health supports available
Former residential school students can call 1-866-925-4419 for emotional crisis referral services and information on other health supports from the Government of Canada.
Indigenous peoples across Canada can also go to The Hope for Wellness Help Line 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for counselling and crisis intervention.
Call the toll-free Help Line at 1-855-242-3310 or connect to the online chat (Please use Google Chrome).