(Image / Royal BC Museum Facebook)

In observance of National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, September 30th will now be a statutory holiday in Canada.

The new national holiday will commemorate the tragic history and lasting effects of Canada’s residential school system, and to honour Indigenous survivors and their families and communities

The federal government’s Bill C-5 recognizes National Day for Truth and Reconciliation as a statutory holiday and was given royal assent on June 3rd.

Federally-regulated workplaces will be closed in order to respect the new statutory holiday.

The establishment of the national holiday is in response to the 80th call to action in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action.

Of the 94 calls to action in response to the injustices inflicted on First Nations, Inuit and the Métis Nation, this call urged the federal government to work with Indigenous people to establish such a holiday.

Stated in the calls to action report, the statutory holiday is designed “to honour Survivors, their families, and communities, and ensure that public commemoration of the history and legacy of residential schools remains a vital component of the reconciliation process.”

The establishment of the holiday comes in response to the investigation and recovery of unmarked burial sites at former residential school sites across Canada.

In fact, this morning on Tuesday July 13th, over 160 undocumented and unmarked graves were confirmed at the site of a former residential school in the Gulf Islands.