NDP Call on PCs to Advance Reconciliation by Making Orange Shirt Day a Statutory Holiday

September 30, 2021

Treaty 1 and Dakota Territory, Homeland of the Métis Nation, Winnipeg MB— On the first nationally recognized day to acknowledge and reflect on the truth of residential schools, Wab Kinew and the NDP called on the PC government to advance reconciliation by declaring the day a provincial statutory holiday.

“Manitobans want this day to be a time to reflect on Canada’s past and honour Survivors and the children who never made it home. Having the day off work to learn and connect with communities is an important part of our path to reconciliation,” said Manitoba NDP Leader, Wab Kinew. “That’s why we’re asking the PCs to make Orange Shirt Day a provincial statutory holiday. Every Manitoban has inherited the legacy of Residential Schools so every Manitoban should have time to learn and to heal as we move forward together.”

In 2017, Kinew passed a bill to recognize Orange Shirt Day in Manitoba. Since then, schools, workplaces and communities across the province have observed the day. One of the calls of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission was to establish a statutory holiday to honour Survivors and reflect on the legacy of residential schools in Canada. This year the Federal government made September 30th a National Day of Observance but left it up to provinces to declare it a statutory holiday. While schools and government offices across Manitoba are closed, many workplaces remain open and childcare centers are making independent decisions.

“Orange Shirt Day is about honouring the children who were taken from their families. That's why I hope all Manitobans can spend this day with their loved ones,” said Kinew. “The PCs need to take the next step to ensure everyone in our province -- from Hydro workers to retail clerks -- can spend Orange Shirt Day with their families, committing to reconciliation.”