Manitoba to recognize National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

A rock with the message 'Every Child Matters' painted on it sits at a memorial outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School, in Kamloops, B.C., on Thursday, July 15, 2021. (Darryl Dyck / THE CANADIAN PRESS)

The Province of Manitoba announced it will observe the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation to recognize the history and trauma caused by residential schools.

The day will be observed on Sept. 30.

Schools will be closed and no classes will be held on that day, the province said in a news release. Additionally, non-essential government services and offices will be closed. Manitoba’s public servants will also recognize the occasion.

Flags on all provincial government buildings will be lowered to half-mast.

“We all have a role to play in reconciliation,” said Alan Lagimodiere, Minister of Indigenous Reconciliation and Northern Relations, in a statement. “We can all listen, learn, and support the healing needed to address the intergenerational trauma caused by the residential school system. Reflecting on our tragic history by recognizing the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation provides an opportunity for Manitobans to learn about the ongoing legacy of residential schools. This shared understanding of our history is essential to reconciliation.”

This comes after the House of Commons unanimously passed legislation in June to make Sept. 30 a National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

Lagimodiere said the province will also support Indigenous-led events during the month to provide Indigenous and non-Indigenous people an opportunity to advance reconciliation, and to listen and learn about Indigenous stories and experiences.