Most British Columbians will be at work on Sept. 30, but that may change next year

No long weekend for most

Government employees and students will be getting the day off on Friday, Sept. 30, for the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

The federal holiday, for now, applies only to federally regulated workplaces, such as banks, airlines and the post office. Government offices and the school system will also be closed.

In Kelowna, for example, city hall will be closed and the Parkinson Recreation Centre will be open on holiday hours, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Most, if not all city halls will be closed for the day.

Now in its second year as a federal holiday, the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is intended to commemorate the history and legacy of the residential school system. Orange Shirt Day had been recognized informally on September 30 since 2013.

The provincial government announced consultations with employers and employees in August on whether September 30 should be established as a statutory holiday in 2023 under the Employment Standards Act — meaning that it would be recognized and treated like any other major statutory holiday.

The government has not yet revealed the results of those consultations.

There are a number of events taking place in the Okanagan this week to mark the day.

The Ki-Low-Na Friendship Society is holding an event at their Leon Avenue location in Kelowna on Sept. 29 from 1 to 4 p.m.

“We will be hosting ourselves as well as a few collaborators to spread awareness and encourage the general population to care for Indigenous rights by offering education, information, ways to support our cause, and wellness,” said an event description.

Okanagan Nation Alliance is hosting Walk for the Children on Sept. 30 in Penticton, a 5 km walk to mark the day.

The West Kelowna Warriors hit the ice for the first time at home on Truth and Reconciliation Day to take on the Wenatchee Wild. The team will be wearing special "Every Child Matters" jerseys for the game with the threads being auctioned off with a silent auction during the game with proceeds benefitting the Residential School Survivors Society.

Okanagan College is also hosting a number of events this week, culminating in a brief ceremony at 2:15 p.m. at the Kelowna campus.

The Westbank First Nation is recommending orange "Every Child Matters" shirts be purchased at any London Drugs location, the Sncewips Museum in Westbank or Spirit of the Lake Native Boutique (1960 Nancee Way, Westbank).

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