This year will be the first observance of a new federal holiday.
The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation will be an important day to reflect on the history of Canada’s First Nations families. It will be a day to recognize and remember the impact and truth behind residential schools and the loss of thousands of First Nations children.
This holiday will be observed on September 30.
National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
This year, mass grave sites were found on the grounds of former residential schools. These were schools where tens of thousands of First Nations children were taken from their families up until the mid 1990s. They were forced to attend, and the purpose was to rid them of their Indigenous culture. The grave sites being uncovered called for a massive plan of action and a true call for change.
As a result, a day is being dedicated to reflect on these crimes. September 30 is not to be seen as a day for celebration but rather one for reflection.
Who Does The Holiday Apply To
This is a federally mandated day, as such will be a statutory holiday. This means that it will follow the same guidelines as Canada day or Labour Day. All banks, federal offices, agencies will likely be closed.
Retail stores and restaurants are free to remain open but hours will be limited and employees will be given premium pay for all hours worked on that day.
The Government of B.C. has issued the following statement:
“The national holiday will be observed this Sept. 30 by federal employees and workers in federally regulated workplaces. We have advised provincial public-sector employers to honour this day and in recognition of the obligations in the vast majority of collective agreements.
Many public services will remain open but may be operating at reduced levels. However, most schools, post-secondary institutions, some health sector workplaces, and Crown corporations will be closed.”
What To Do On September 30
In 2013, September 30 was marked as “Orange Shirt Day.” Canadians all are encouraged to wear orange as a sign of support towards Indigenous communities and rights for all children. Although no former plans have been announced, it’s expected that people may continue to wear orange in support.
More word from the provincial and federal governments may come on exact plans.
For more local updates across Metro Vancouver, check out our News section.
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