National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations Perry Bellegarde holds up an Orange Shirt Day T-shirt as he speaks during the Honouring National Day for Truth and Reconciliation ceremony in Gatineau, Quebec on Sept. 30, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations Perry Bellegarde holds up an Orange Shirt Day T-shirt as he speaks during the Honouring National Day for Truth and Reconciliation ceremony in Gatineau, Quebec on Sept. 30, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Liberals revive efforts to make Sept. 30 holiday for Indigenous reconciliation

Orange Shirt Day commemorates the experiences of Indigenous children in residential schools

The Liberal government is reviving its effort to create a new statutory holiday to commemorate the victims and survivors of Indigenous residential schools.

Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault introduced legislation in the House of Commons today to establish Sept. 30 as a National Day for Truth and Reconciliation for federally regulated workers.

That date is already known as Orange Shirt Day, an occasion to commemorate the experiences of First Nations, Métis and Inuit children in residential schools.

It is so named in memory of a piece of clothing one First Nations girl in British Columbia had taken away from her on her first day at a residential school in 1973.

Creating such a statutory holiday was one of the 94 recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which probed the history and legacy of residential schools.

The Liberal government introduced similar legislation in February 2019 but the bill died in the Senate when the last federal election was called.

The Canadian Press

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