AMC Commends Provincial Decision to Make National Day for Truth and Reconciliation a Statutory Holiday
November 29, 2023
Treaty One Territory, Manitoba
Treaty One Territory – The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) commends the provincial decision to make the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation a statutory holiday. The bill was introduced into legislation on November 27 and is expected to receive royal assent next week.
“More progress has been made in the past month to make this province a kinder and more inclusive place for First Nations and all Manitobans than within the past seven years,” said AMC Grand Chief Cathy Merrick. “For two years, First Nations Leadership in this province advocated for this specific day to be a day for all First Nations to spend the time with their families that the Indian Residential School System had stolen from them. Making the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation a statutory holiday is a fundamental step forward for this province and this country because there can be no reconciliation without truth.”
The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation provides First Nations and Manitobans the opportunity to reflect and pay tribute to the survivors of these institutions. The day is also known as Orange Shirt Day to honour Phyllis Webstad. Her family gave her a new orange shirt to wear on her first day of school, and it was taken away by the nun when she arrived at St. Joseph’s Mission Residential School in 1973 at the age of six.
The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is recognized as a holiday for employees under federal jurisdiction and in various provinces, including British Columbia. “Manitoba boasts one of the nation’s largest First Nations populations, which tells us there is a significant presence of Residential School Survivors – it also means that this is a province where many of our children did not come home. Acknowledging and nurturing this understanding empowers First Nations to speak their truths as we rewrite the narrative for our people in this country,” concluded Grand Chief Merrick.
For more information, please contact:
Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs
About the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs
The AMC was formed in 1988 by the Chiefs in Manitoba to advocate on issues that commonly affect First Nations in Manitoba. AMC is an authorized representative of 62 of the 63 First Nations in Manitoba with a total of more than 151,000 First Nation citizens in the province, accounting for approximately 12 percent of the provincial population. AMC represents a diversity of Anishinaabe (Ojibway), Nehetho / Ininew (Cree), Anishininew (Ojibwe-Cree), Denesuline (Dene) and Dakota Oyate (Dakota) peoples.