The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation in Canada is a day for honouring the resilience of residential school survivors and their families, and publically recognizing the harm done to Indigenous communities across the country. While BC does not yet observe the day as a statutory holiday, the provincial government has officially introduced new legislation that would change that.
On Tuesday, February 7th, BC announced that it will formally recognize the day in response to a call to action by the Truth Reconciliation Commission. If passed, BC will join Canada, Prince Edward Island, the Northwest Territories, Nunavut and the Yukon as jurisdictions that have designated September 30th as a stat holiday, as per the release.
“Many British Columbians have been marking Orange Shirt Day with humility, respect and reflection in their own ways for years,” said Premier David Eby. “Today, we are taking the important step to enshrine this day in law to acknowledge the wrongdoings of the past, and to take meaningful action toward reconciliation.”
The #NationalDayForTruthAndReconciliation on Sept 30 is a day to acknowledge the wrongdoings of the past as we strengthen our relationship with Indigenous people & take action toward reconciliation. Starting this year, it will be recognized as a provincial stat holiday. #NDTR pic.twitter.com/sGIplQTOHX
— BC Government News (@BCGovNews) February 7, 2023
Once passed, British Columbians will be able to observe the day without work or school on their minds, and become more involved with local reconciliation efforts. From supporting local Indigenous-owned businesses to trying authentic bannock, there are plenty of ways to support the community in BC and beyond, as well as learn more about the history and legacy of residential schools.