The Liberal government is reviving its effort to create a new statutory holiday to commemorate the victims and survivors of Indigenous residential schools.
Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault introduced legislation in the House of Commons today to establish Sept. 30 as a National Day for Truth and Reconciliation for federally regulated workers.
That date is already known as Orange Shirt Day, an occasion to commemorate the experiences of First Nations, Metis and Inuit children in residential schools.
It is so named in memory of a piece of clothing one First Nations girl in British Columbia had taken away from her on her first day at a residential school in 1973.
Creating such a statutory holiday was one of the 94 recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which probed the history and legacy of residential schools.The Liberal government introduced similar legislation in February 2019 but the bill died in the Senate when the last federal election was called.
Dan Levy and Tara Slone are some of the celebrities taking to social media to pay tribute on Orange Shirt Day:
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Today I wear an orange shirt to honour and remember the experiences and loss of the thousands of children who were stolen from their families and placed in Indian Residential Schools. If you are not versed on the history of the Residential School system please spend some time today learning about it and sign up for the Indigenous Canada course offered through the @uanativestudies if you haven’t already. It’s free and an absolute necessity for every Canadian. #orangeshirtday
Today we wear orange to honour and remember the survivors of Residential Schools, and those who never made it home. The 150 thousand children, whose culture and dignity was stolen from them. To move forward, we must never forget.
🧡 #OrangeShirtDay #EveryChildMatters #TRC pic.twitter.com/Zw4lOTH18B
— Tara Slone (@TaraSlone) September 30, 2020
Thinking of my grandmother, aunties and uncles today who attended residential schools.
Thinking of how the violence they faced is still alive and well, even in the systems meant to support our health and on presidential debate stages.
Think about that.#OrangeShirtDay2020
— Jesse Wente (@jessewente) September 30, 2020
This is where St. Joseph’s Indian Residential School once stood in Thunder Bay. The @NANComms tipi, with a a sacred fire inside, burned for days. Was honoured to feel the fire, remember the resiliency of our people. We are still here, descendants of survivors. #OrangeShirtDay2020 pic.twitter.com/liguiq68p0
— Tanya Talaga (@TanyaTalaga) September 30, 2020
Orange shirt day is a movement that officially began in 2013, designed to educate people and promote awareness on the Residential School system that was designed to assimilate First Nation children into “dominant culture”.
— Brigette Lacquette (@briglacquette) September 30, 2020
🧡 #OrangeShirtDay was launched in 2013 to call attention to 165 years of residential school experiences (1831-1996). On Sept. 30, we acknowledge the harms of the past & help weave new threads of reconciliation.
Learn more with this topical playlist → https://t.co/A8D0nckTeT pic.twitter.com/NVkVxFJ7Ei
— National Film Board of Canada (@thenfb) September 30, 2020
— John Tory (@JohnTory) September 30, 2020
Yesterday, we introduced legislation to make September 30th a National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. And together in partnership with Indigenous peoples, we will continue to advance reconciliation and right the wrongs from this dark and shameful chapter. #OrangeShirtDay
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) September 30, 2020
Today is #OrangeShirtDay, where we recognize the harm that residential schools inflicted on Indigenous communities and honour those impacted. We also join together in the spirit of reconciliation and commit to ensuring that Indigenous children matter. 🧡 #EveryChildMatters pic.twitter.com/FdBMZSsT8Z
— Human Rights Canada (@CdnHumanRights) September 30, 2020