National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on Sept. 30 has become a statutory holiday after Bill C-369 passed in the House of Commons. (Black Press file photo)

Truth and Reconciliation Day becomes holiday

National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on Sept. 30 has become a statutory holiday after the House of Commons in Ottawa passed a bill on March 20.

The day was previously known as Orange Shirt Day and served as a time to commemorate the experiences of First Nations children in residential schools.

Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen praised the move in a tweet.

“A National Day of Truth and Reconciliation, a new bill promoted by my dear friend and colleague ⁦@GeorginaNDP [Georgina Jolibois]⁩, has passed third reading in the House of Commons. Congratulations to Georgina and her amazing team to create this national stat holiday!”

Bill C-369 was originally authored by Georgina Jolibois, an NDP MP for Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River in Saskatchewan.

“Passing Bill C-369 allows for a national opportunity, not only to reflect on our history but also to celebrate indigenous culture. My bill would create time for all Canadians to reflect on our treaty relationships and other agreements with indigenous nations. It creates a platform for us all to gather and involve ourselves in the conversation that leads to a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within indigenous communities. Only when we work together can we make progress toward reconciliation. After all, we are stronger when we are together,” Jolibois said in the House on March 20.

After passing the third reading, the bill will next head into the Senate.

Blair McBride
Multimedia reporter
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