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Pow Wow at York University and the ongoing CUPE strike

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Hello everyone,

I have been asked a few times about the upcoming All Nations Pow Wow and how attendance is figured into the ongoing strike action at York University.

For those of you who don't yet know, York University (as well as the University of Toronto) Teaching Assistants are on strike as members of CUPE 3903.

This has created some confusion online as people want to support the striking students while also attending the 13th annual All Nations Pow Wow coming up this weekend.

Mike Ormsby commented, "As much as I want to support the 13th Annual All Nations Pow Wow & Gathering: Celebrating Indigeneity & Academia, I want to also support the CUPE 3903 strike. I am not keen on crossing picket lines....and yes, I understand that the picket lines are down by Thursday's opening and all day Saturday as well....but it is the principle involved.

But even if the picket lines are 'down' the strike is still on....and I want to show my support for CUPE too. I'm sure others must feel this too. As I understand things, the male head dancer is also one of those walking the picket line. So while I understand "the show must go on"....which part of me wonders why?....the other part of me wants to go. So I'm not saying that I'm not going....I'm just not sure what I should do," he said.

Jesse Thistle posted this to their Facebook about an hour ago, letting people know about the status of the Pow Wow: "CUPE has allowed for and sanctioned Pow Wow traffic to enter university grounds only at SENTINEL ROAD from FINCH STREET. The Aboriginal Students' Association at York (ASAY) and OPIRG stand in solidarity with CUPE. All other avenues into York University grounds will cross picket lines. Those who come to Pow Wow DO NOT USE ANY OTHER ENTRANCE. As good community members please respect CUPE and ASAY's agreement."

Here you can find a map so you can orientate yourself accordingly.

Of the Pow Wow, "This year's theme, 'Breaking Intergenerational Trauma: Motivation, Inspiration, Dedication from the 7th Generation,' was established with the purposeful intention to celebrate and honour the healing, restoration and resurgence of indigenous knowledge, ceremonies, peoples, communities, nations and all their relations, and, specifically, the role that young indigenous learners play in shaping the future."

The Pow Wow runs for three days starting March 5 to March 7, 2015; with Grand Entry on Saturday March 7 at 12:00 noon.

For more information, please visit here.

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