new holiday

Canada might get a new statutory holiday

The Canadian government is reportedly getting ready to declare a new, nation-wide statutory holiday — but this one won't be a cause for celebration. 

The Globe and Mail reports that federal leaders are currently consulting with Indigenous groups to create a national holiday commemorating what is often described as the darkest chapter in Canada's history.

Details have yet to be released about when the statutory holiday will fall in the year, but it is expected to be called the 'National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.'

The holiday will serve to honour victims of Canada's residential school system — an aggressive 19th century assimilation project that saw at least 150,000 aboriginal children removed from their families to live in government-funded, church-run boarding schools.

At least 6,000 of these children died as a result of the residential school experience, with countless more suffering through horrendous cases of neglect and abuse, some of which was documented by Canada's Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC).

The creation of a National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is one of 94 calls to action laid out in a 2015 TRC report that officially deemed Canada's residential school system an act of "cultural genocide."

Once it becomes a statutory holiday, the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation will amount to a day off work for federal employees. 

Provinces and territories would have to amend their own labour codes, according to the Globe, if they choose to commemorate the troubling and tragic legacy of residential schools in Canada.

Lead photo by

Affar Images


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