In observance of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, September 30 will now be a statutory holiday. This day coincides with Orange Shirt Day, which began in 2013, and involves wearing orange shirts to honour Indigenous children who were forced to leave their families to attend residential schools.

The holiday comes in the wake of discovering the remains of more than 1,300 Indigenous children in unmarked graves at former residential schools since May of this year. The whole country watched with sadness and grief as these unmarked graves of thousands of residential school victims were discovered. This stark, irrefutable evidence of the shameful treatment of Canada’s Indigenous Peoples is another chapter in the story of injustice that they continue to face today.Reconciliation requires more than a National Day of Reflection. Indigenous peoples continue to suffer from ongoing practices. In solidarity with them, it is our duty to work towards dismantling the ways of the past in the country and help repair the damage done. Our task is to learn about the injustices of the past and take seriously the 94 calls to action emanating from the Truth and Reconciliation report.

Now is the time to thoughtfully reflect on the people in our communities and across the country who deserve to have their voices heard, and their cultures and perspectives respected, celebrated, and integrated into Canada’s future.

 As a gesture of our commitment to see this positive change, CMC’s offices will be closed on Thursday, September 30 to allow our team members to observe this important Truth and Reconciliation Day.

Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada