At least $10 million is budgeted for the new statutory holiday on Sept. 30 the National Truth and Reconciliation Day.
The new holiday was announced in late March.
The $10 million will go towards community events to acknowledge the experiences of First Nations children who were sent to residential schools, Canadian Heritage spokeswoman Martine Courage told Black Press.
“We need to recognize the harm residential schools have done to Indigenous peoples. To move our country toward true reconciliation, the Government of Canada is implementing another Call to Action and intends to make Sept. 30 the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation to honour the survivors of residential schools. This is reconciliation in action.”
The new holiday is Call to Action 80 – one of the 94 calls to action under the Truth and Reconciliation Commission related to residential schools.
“To enable communities to recognize and commemorate the legacy of residential schools on the proposed National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, and to celebrate the unique heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples on National Indigenous Peoples Day, Budget 2019 proposes to provide $10 million over two years, starting in 2019–20, to support non-governmental and community organizations holding events in communities across Canada, through Canadian Heritage’s Celebration and Commemoration Program.”
Chapter 3 of this year’s budget – “Advancing Reconciliation” – focuses on justice, improving standards of living and educational outcomes for Indigenous people.
A new statutory holiday also brings costs to government and private company employers in the form of holiday pay for employees.
What became National Truth and Reconciliation Day started as Bill C-369, authored in the House of Commons by Saskatchewan NDP MP Georgina Jolibois.
It passed third reading on March 20 and was sent on to the Senate.