Nova Scotia to recognize National Day for Truth and Reconciliation starting this year

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A red dress, symbolizing missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, and orange stones symbolizing children who died at residential schools on display at a protest in downtown Halifax on July 1, 2021. (Taryn Grant/CBC - image credit)
A red dress, symbolizing missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, and orange stones symbolizing children who died at residential schools on display at a protest in downtown Halifax on July 1, 2021. (Taryn Grant/CBC - image credit)

Nova Scotia will recognize Sept. 30 as the annual National Day for Truth and Reconciliation beginning this year.

The province said Friday in a news release the day will acknowledge the legacy of Canada's residential schools and the role it plays in the reconciliation process.

"We are taking this step to recognize the importance of honouring First Nations, Inuit and Métis residential school survivors and their families and communities," Premier Tim Houston said in the release.

Provincial government offices, public schools and regulated child care will all be closed Sept. 30. Private businesses may choose to remain open.

A federal bill to create the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation was fast-tracked through both houses of Parliament and received royal assent on June 5 of this year.

The bill was passed after the Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation announced the remains of 215 children had been discovered on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School in British Columbia.

Nova Scotia joins B.C., Manitoba and the Northwest Territories in recognizing the day as a holiday.

Provinces including Alberta, New Brunswick, Quebec and Saskatchewan have said they will not be recognizing the day as a provincial statutory holiday. Other provinces have either not provided an official position on the matter or are yet to decide.

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