BC will soon recognize the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation Day on September 30th as a paid statutory holiday in the province.
First introduced in 2021, National Day for Truth and Reconciliation Day was already considered a federal holiday, a bill introduced in the legislature by Labour Minister Harry Bains will make it a provincial one as well.
“This will give more people the chance to honour the strength and resilience of residential school survivors, and remember the children who never came home,” Bains said.
If the legislation passes as expected, BC will join Prince Edward Island, the Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Yukon in designating September 30th as a statutory holiday starting this year.
“It makes my heart feel good to know and witness the people on the lands pushing each other to reach out to begin speaking of reconciliation and making it happen. We need to find our way together,” said Eddy Charlie, Orange Shirt Day Victoria founder.
Charlie said the lands and the people need to react to each other in kind ways for reconciliation to take root.
“What we need to understand is, you cannot ask people to coexist by having one side bend their wills and give up their freedoms and rely on a solution that is only good for one side. What we need from each other is to stop blaming each other and engage in meaningful conversations with one person at a time.”
Prior to September 30th being recognized as a holiday by the federal government in 2021, it was known as Orange Shirt Day.
Many people still wear orange shirts on that day to honour the victims of the residential school system.