Lib­er­als eye day to mark res­i­den­tial schools

PressReader - Tke Channel - Lib­er­als eye day to mark res­i­den­tial schools
OT­TAWA • The fed­eral gov­ern­ment wants to es­tab­lish a hol­i­day to ac­knowl­edge the dark legacy of Canada’s res­i­den­tial school sys­tem.The gov­ern­ment has been con­sult­ing with In­dige­nous or­ga­ni­za­tions about cre­at­ing a hol­i­day to hon­our for­mer stu­dents and raise aware­ness about the gov­ern­ment­backed schools — one of the 94 rec­om­men­da­tions of the Truth and Rec­on­cil­i­a­tion Com­mis­sion.A gov­ern­ment of­fi­cial, speak­ing on con­di­tion of anonymity, says In­dige­nous lead­ers still haven’t set­tled on whether the day should be a full-blown statu­tory hol­i­day or a day of trib­ute that would of­fer some form of sym­bolic recog­ni­tion.The Lib­er­als plan to move the be­hind-the-scenes dis­cus­sion into a par­lia­men­tary fo­rum, al­low­ing In­dige­nous groups, lead­ers and res­i­den­tial school sur­vivors to de­bate the idea with par­lia­men­tar­i­ans.The gov­ern­ment in­tends to back a pri­vate mem­ber’s bill in­tro­duced by NDP MP Ge­orgina Joli­bois that cur­rently pro­poses es­tab­lish­ing a statu­tory hol­i­day on June 21, which is Na­tional In­dige­nous Peo­ples Day.A spokesman for Her­itage Min­is­ter Pablo Ro­driguez says the gov­ern­ment has com­mit­ted to ful­fill­ing the TRC’s calls to ac­tion, and plans to do just that.“Call to Ac­tion 80 asks the gov­ern­ment of Canada to es­tab­lish a Na­tional Day for Truth and Rec­on­cil­i­a­tion to hon­our the sur­vivors of res­i­den­tial schools,” said spokesman Si­mon Ross.“That’s ex­actly what we will do, and we will do that in part­ner­ship with In­dige­nous Peo­ples.”The Assem­bly of First Na­tions did not im­me­di­ately re­spond to a re­quest for com­ment on Wed­nes­day.(WOULD BOOST) PUB­LIC UN­DER­STAND­ING OF OUR SHARED HIS­TORY AND BUILD A BET­TER COUN­TRY FOR ALL OF US.On Twit­ter, AFN Na­tional Chief Perry Bellegarde said a day to “rec­og­nize the painful legacy of res­i­den­tial schools” would boost “pub­lic un­der­stand­ing of our shared his­tory and build a bet­ter coun­try for all of us.”If Par­lia­ment did ap­prove a Na­tional Day for Truth and Rec­on­cil­i­a­tion as a statu­tory hol­i­day, it would only ap­ply to fed­er­ally reg­u­lated work­places — the civil ser­vice, marine ports, air­ports, air­lines and telecommunications com­pa­nies.Prov­inces and ter­ri­to­ries would have to amend their labour codes to es­tab­lish any ad­di­tional day off.

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