OTTAWA | The federal government is considering a new statutory holiday in Canada to commemorate the tragedy of residential schools.
The idea of a holiday commemorating residential schools is one of the 94 calls for action put forward in the final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
Ottawa is to hold talks with various Aboriginal groups to decide on a date, Heritage Minister confirmed Wednesday.
“Call to Action 80 asks us to establish a National Truth and Reconciliation Day to honor the survivors of residential schools. That’s exactly what we’re going to do, and we’re going to do it in collaboration with aboriginal people, “said Simon Ross, press secretary to Minister Pablo Rodriguez.
Two dates are under consideration, according to The Globe and Mail, which spoke with the leader of the Assembly of First Nations of Canada, Perry Bellegarde.
This is June 21, National Aboriginal Peoples Day, or September 30, Orange Sweater Day, named in memory of a young aboriginal woman forced to leave her new sweater when she arrives at a residential school in Colombia. British, in the early 1970s.
From the 19th century to the end of the 20th century, thousands of Aboriginal children in Canada were ransacked from their families for residential schools, where, in addition to losing their language and culture, many young people suffered physical, sexual and psychological abuse.
The system has been labeled “cultural genocide” by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
If the federal government proclaims a National Day of Truth and Reconciliation, the provinces will then have to decide whether to amend their labor code to follow suit.
For example, last March, Remembrance Day became official leave in Canada, but four provinces, including Quebec and Ontario, do not observe it.