The First Nations Leadership Council is calling on the provincial government to recognize the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation as a statutory holiday.
Now in its second year as a federal holiday, the majority of B.C.’s workforce is on the job today.
“It’s been nearly three years since the BC government adopted the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as a shared framework for reconciliation,” said regional Chief Terry Teegee of the BC Assembly of First Nations.
“However, the Province’s continued failure to designate the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation as a statutory holiday is a grave impediment to this progress. September 30th is a day to honour residential school survivors, their families, and their communities. As First Nations, we have been grieving and processing the history and ongoing legacy of Canada’s horrific residential school system for many generations.”
Teegee says one day out of the year is not too much to ask.
“If the Province of British Columbia is genuinely committed to reconciliation, they must prioritize public commemoration of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation as a vital part of our society’s reconciliation process.”
The provincial government was in consultations with businesses over the summer over whether to make Sept. 30 a full statutory holiday in 2023. The results of those consultations have not been revealed.
The leadership of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs and First Nations Summit also issued statements on Friday urging the B.C. government to recognize the day.