The Saskatchewan Federation of Labour is asking the provincial government to recognize the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on September 30 as a provincial statutory holiday.
Currently National Day for Truth and Reconciliation has been proclaimed a federal statutory holiday and several provinces have indicated they would follow suit, but Saskatchewan isn’t one of those provinces. That’s something the SFL would like to see change, according to President Lori Johb. “Making September 30th a provincial statutory holiday will provide working people with the opportunity to use the day to learn, quietly reflect or participate in reconciliation events in their communities.
Johb explains why it’s important to take time recognize September 30 as a provincial statutory holiday in light of the discoveries of the graves of the residential school victims and survivors including the ones found at the Cowessess First Nation. “The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is an opportunity for all us to reflect upon the tragedy of the residential school system to honour the victims and survivors of residential schools and to commit to reconciliation. This year’s discovery of thousand of graves at residential school sites across the country, including the 751 unmarked graves at the Cowessess First Nation has been a wakeup call for all of us and has caused Canadians to face head-on the horrifying legacy of the residential school system in this country.”
The SFL president has written a letter to the Minister of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety Don Morgan urging the government to honour their own commitments to reconciliation and pass legislation to recognize September 30th as a provincial holiday.