National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, also known as Orange Shirt Day, will be celebrated with an event at the Canada Games Plaza and Lheidli T’enneh Memorial Park.
On Saturday September 30, there will be a ‘Walk and Talk’ from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Canada Games Plaza and the event will start and end at the same location.
It will begin with an opening prayer at 10 a.m. followed by speeches by community leaders including MPs, MLAs, Mayor Yu, and SD57 Acting Superintendent Pam Spooner.
The UHNBC Traditional Drummers will perform before Walk and Talk which will be followed by more live performances including pow wow dancers, Marcel Gagnon and more guest speakers.
Lheildi T’enneh First Nation will be holding a private healing gathering at the House of Ancestors from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. for all residential school survivors, inter-generational survivors and their families.
Then there will be a public ceremony at Lheidli T’enneh Memorial Park from 2 to 3 p.m. featuring speakers like Lheidli T'enneh Elder and residential school survivor Clifford Quaw and drummers.
In February British Columbia introduced legislation to make the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation a statutory holiday, which was passed on March 9.
British Columbia now joins the federal government, Prince Edward Island, the Northwest Territories, Nunavut and the Yukon as jurisdictions that have designated September 30 as a statutory holiday.
The province said that enshrining National Day for Truth and Reconciliation in B.C. law gives more people the chance to commemorate the history and legacy of the residential school system on September 30 each year.
Having a provincial statutory holiday means eligible B.C. workers are able to observe September 30 with a paid day off or receive payment at premium rates if required to work.
More British Columbians will be able to take part in the day such as attending local events, reading, watching and listening to Indigenous-created content, supporting an Indigenous-owned business, talking to family, friends and coworkers about reconciliation, and wearing an orange shirt.
Last year saw over 1,000 people attended a National Truth and Reconciliation Day event at Lheidli T’enneh Memorial Park.