Proposed new statutory holiday: National Truth and Reconciliation Day

A new statutory holiday is proposed by the government to commemorate the legacy of residential schools fulfilling a recommendation made by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

If the bill is passed, the National Truth and Reconciliation Day will be on September 30. At this point it's unclear if this is going to be national statutory holiday or up to provinces and territories to adopt it and if it will apply only to federal employees or everyone. It is also not known what year will the first observation take place.

Indigenous communities oppose to using September 30 for this new proposed holiday because September 30 is when Orange Shirt Day is currently observed and the indigenous leaders feel that combining a day of celebration with a day of reconciliation is "inappropriate and disrespectful".

June 21 was considered as the alternate day for this new holiday, which is currently the National Indigenous Peoples Day. This is only ten days away from Canada Day and would make the two stat holidays too close together.

What do you think? Is it a good or bad idea to create this new statutory holiday? Is this the best way to keep alive the legacy of residential schools? Share your comments below.

It's already hard to keep track of which holiday is celebrated in what region. The National Truth and Reconciliation Day may not be adopted by every province and territory, which will add confusion to the already convoluted holiday system. Also, what rules will apply when September 30 falls on a weekend is yet to be seen.

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Recent comments
Posted by Rita Quaw:

It would be a blessing to have truth and reconciliation as a holiday. It will symbolize the relationship between non natives

Posted by Mary-Kay Perris:

I concur with Donald N Paul - Remembrance Day is only a holiday - most people dont know what is being commemorated - bring back the minutes of silence and remind people why they are being reminded about that tragic time in history - same with the residential schools - be aware and move forward to a future with more compassion and understanding of all peoples, races and religions.

Posted by Treena Brown:

If indigenous communities oppose the proposed date of Sept 30 due to what they see as inappropriate then I believe this must be respected. As mentioned, June 21 Is 10 days away from Canada Day, however Sept 30 Is 14 days away from Thanksgiving Day. Seeing that March, June and November are the months without a stat holiday...So June or November would be highly suitable months for a statutory holiday.

Posted by Theodore Tugboat:

I didn't steal any land. I didn't put anyone in a residential school. I live in the present and plan for the future. I'll take the holiday and I'll be paid for it. And to those reserves who decide that they don't want to do anything more than ask for more handouts, I suggest that you talk to the reserves who have money, make their own reality and plan for the future. If you don't, you simply victimize yourselves and I'm not to blame for that either.

Posted by Pitawanakwat:

For all of you people who disagree with this "Holiday", and say enough is enough. Why don't you go to a reserve and stay there for at least one week! I doubt you could even last one weekend! Then come back and tell me we are all Canadians... I'm not. The British gave us that label. We are Nishnabek who were forced to give up our language, traditions, and customs. Why don't you try and learn our language like we did yours. Miigwech.

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