REGINA — Regina has declared that National Day for Truth and Reconciliation will indeed be a statutory holiday in the Queen City, to honour the commission’s calls to action.
“Our organization is committed to seeking guidance from Indigenous peoples on actions that will ensure that the tragic history and ongoing legacy of residential schools is never forgotten,” said city manager Chris Holden.
National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, formerly called Orange Shirt Day, will take place on Sept. 30 and will be a designated paid holiday for all city employees.
Earlier this year, the federal government declared that all federal employees and federally-regulated facilities will be recognizing National Truth and Reconciliation Day.
The holiday designation is noted as the Truth & Reconciliation Commission’s Call to Action #80, which seeks a statutory holiday to honour survivors, families and communities, and to commemorate the history of residential schools.
Regina is joining the city of Saskatoon and the University of Saskatchewan in the declaration, after the provincial government indicated it would not be making Sept. 30 a Saskatchewan-wide holiday.
A press release from the city of Regina said that the announcement holds special importance this year, following the discovery of unmarked graves in nearby Cowessess First Nation.
“Remembering those who never made it home and honouring the survivors who are our friends, neighbours and fellow citizens will help our journey forward,” said the release.
A schedule detailing the city facilities and services available during the new holiday will be shared soon.