City of Calgary to observe National Day for Truth and Reconciliation as statutory holiday

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After having conversations with community members and its Indigenous Relations Office, the City of Calgary will observe Sept. 30 -- the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation – as a statutory holiday for civic employees.

"We believe this decision is consistent with the Spirit of Reconciliation and aligns with actions outlined in our White Goose Flying Report," said city manager David Duckworth in a statement.  

The 2016 White Goose Flying Report is named after Jack White Goose Flying, who was a 17-year-old from the Piikani Nation and died at a Calgary residential school. The report looked at the 94 calls to action from the Truth & Reconciliations Commission and how those could be addressed by The City of Calgary.

City staff will be encouraged to use the day to learn about Canada’s assimilation policies, including Indian residential schools and the resulting inter-generational trauma caused to Indigenous people.

 "This National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is incredibly important to reflect on a relevant issue in our society," said Duckworth. "It’s an opportunity for us to understand, grow and to build bridges with Indigenous people."

The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is a new federal statutory holiday that will be marked for the first time this year and is dedicated to reflecting on the history of the residential school system – and the discoveries of many unmarked graves.

The city will post a list of events on its website and city operations and services will be on a reduced schedule on Sept. 30.