September 30th will now be known as Truth and Reconciliation Day as the federal government implements a new statutory day.
Government officials said the day will commemorate the history and ongoing trauma caused by residential schools and honour those who were lost and the survivors, families and communities who continue to grieve.
“Over the last two months, Canadians have been coming to terms with what survivors of residential schools have always known. Indigenous peoples are bringing to light the true history of this country and the atrocities of the residential school system,” said Murray Rankin, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, and Selina Robinson, Minister of Finance in a joint statement.
In recent years, September 30th has been known as Orange Shirt Day.
“It is a day when we honour the children who suffered in the residential school system, and many residential school survivors and supporters have advocated for this to become a national day of commemoration, to respond to one of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action.”
Provincial officials said they will be working with Indigenous leaders, organizations and communities to find the best and most respectful way to mark Truth and Reconciliation Day in B.C..
“Our government is calling on all of us who deliver services to the public to use this opportunity to consider what each of us can do as individuals to advance reconciliation with Indigenous peoples and to recommit to understanding the truth of our shared history, to accept and learn from it and in doing so, help to create a better, more inclusive British Columbia.”
The national holiday will be observed this September by federal employees and workers in federally regulated workplaces.