In the spirit of truth and reconciliation, we honour and acknowledge the children who never returned home and the Survivors of residential schools, as well as their families and communities.

I encourage you to take this day to pause and reflect on the history of Canada and its relationship with Indigenous Peoples. Take time to consider ways we can work toward a different and brighter future, one that respects and acknowledges the unique and independent roles of Inuit, Métis and First Nations communities. We encourage you to challenge yourself to find your role in building a harmonious relationship with the original people of this land.

This day is an opportunity to create meaningful discussions about the painful legacy of residential schools; an opportunity for people in Canada to educate themselves on the ways colonialism continues to harm Indigenous Peoples; and a day for Survivors to be reaffirmed that they, their families, and their communities are deserving of truth, justice, and action. Every Child Matters, even if they are an adult, from now on.

As our union continues on a path of truth and reconciliation, we are finding new ways to invite members to take part in that journey in ways that are engaging, thought-provoking and that spark conversations. I would be pleased to have you share your ideas on how you would like to see your union work toward reconciliation. You can email me directly at

One recent action took place at this year’s SGEU convention, where delegates and guests were invited to place their handprints on one of three large canvases as an homage to the children who didn’t come home from residential schools and the survivors who did. These canvases filled with orange handprints will be displayed in each of our offices to remind us of our ongoing commitment to creating a better future.

Art is a powerful tool to prompt conversations that build knowledge. It can inspire action and change. Our hope is that when members and guests visit our offices and see these canvases, they will be inspired to learn the truth and to act on reconciliation each day.

SGEU will continue to lobby the provincial government to proclaim September 30 as a statutory holiday in Saskatchewan and are committed to continue including the issue in contract negotiations.

Our union continues down a path of reconciliation, and I am looking forward to what’s to come.

In solidarity,

Hali Topinka's signature

Hali Topinka

Indigenous Vice President

I am honoured to work and live on Treaty 4 Territory and in the homeland of the Métis Nation. I am grateful for the opportunity to work and live here and I am committed to advancing truth and reconciliation.