Days after the Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation announced the discovery of 215 potential burial sites on the grounds of a former residential school in Kamloops, BC in July 2021, the Government of Canada named September 30 as a federal statutory holiday called the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
This past Spring, the Province of BC began consultations with various Indigenous partners and communities on whether the Province should also establish September 30 as a statutory holiday under the Employment Standards Act, beginning in 2023.
For now, only those who are normally entitled to federal and provincial statutory holidays will have the day off, such as government employees or those who work in federally-regulated workplaces, and the province has left the decision to private sector employers on how to recognize and observe the day.
To help your day go a little smoother, here is what's open and what's closed in BC, and what you can do to properly observe Truth and Reconciliation Day.
Truth & Reconciliation Day in BC: What's Closed
- Government offices
- Crown corporations
- Canada Post offices
- Public schools
- Public libraries
Truth & Reconciliation Day in BC: What's Open
- Public transit
- Community centres (some)
- Park Board facilities
- Grocery stores
- Medical facilities
- Fitness centres (most)
The National Day of Truth and Reconciliation is a day to honour those who have been impacted by Canada's residential school system and learn about our country's history with Indigenous people. Here are a few ways you can do that:
- Attend educational events, such as those hosted at UBC or SFU
- Read the historical and modern reports published by the National Centre of Truth and Reconciliation
- Buy an orange t-shirt from a retailer where the proceeds go towards Indigenous organizations
- Learn about Vancouver's history at the Museum of Vancouver, where admission is free today for anybody wearing an orange shirt
- March with the Tsleil-Waututh Community and retrace the 8.5 kms from a former residential school site to their reserve in North Vancouver