Wednesday, August 15, 2018

See Ya at the Mall Tomorrow? Sure, It's the Residential School Holiday.

According to The Globe it's only a matter of picking a day before the federal government announces a new statutory holiday. The extra day off will be to remember/venerate/celebrate Canada's residential school scandal.

The AFN is among several groups the federal government has consulted as it prepares to announce the creation of what is expected to be known as the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation – one of the 94 calls to action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), which spent years investigating the abuse of children at the church-run schools. 
The AFN initially said the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation should be on June 21, which is National Indigenous Peoples Day. But the government was concerned that would be too close to St. Jean Baptiste Day, a Quebec holiday that is celebrated on June 24, and also too close to Canada Day.

The next choice was Orange Shirt Day, Sept. 30, a date that is near the time of year when children were separated from their families to attend the residential schools. It was named after the shiny orange shirt that was given to six-year-old Phyllis Webstad by her grandmother in 1973 and taken from her and never returned when she attended the St. Joseph Mission School in Williams Lake, B.C.
...After becoming a federal statutory holiday, the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation would be a day off work for federal employees. Provinces and territories would then have to amend their own labour codes if they choose to commemorate the history of the residential schools in the same fashion.


Trailblazer said...

I have two competing visions of residential schools.
The first is a visit to a recently closed( 1976) remote residential school near Fort St James.
The school was remote by any definition, almost Hitchcock -es! especially in the midst of winter.
If memory serves me well the building was a four story red brick structure that looked more like a prison than a school.

My second thought is of two 'first nations' men at the local; pool where I overheard them discussing the possibility of claiming money from the Federal Government for no other reason that they could!
At the end of the day we should have a national reconciliation.
The truth could expose the white man to his indifference to the native culture.
At the same time it could expose the first nations to the realities of a changed world that like the white man's will never be the same.

The Mound of Sound said...

I agree that we must commemorate this disaster in a suitable manner but I can't quite see a "day off" fitting that bill. Will that inspire Canadians to revisit what happened or squeeze in an extra round of golf and a trip to the mall?