In the last two decades, Canada has made remarkable strides toward justice for its Indigenous people.
As a country founded by settlers, Canada and its inhabitants have a responsibility to come to terms with its troubling, often violent history and make reparations.
Reconciliation between Indigenous people and communities, the Canadian government, and settlers requires continuous, critical engagement with the oppressive structures from which most Canadians continue to benefit.
TL;DR A committee in the House of Commons has decided to label September 30th "National Truth and Reconciliation Day."
Today, Canada is one step closer to marking a day dedicated to those efforts and to the memory of those who suffered because of those structures.
According to Global News, a committee of the House of Commons has officially recommended September 30th as the date to remember the survivors and victims of the residential school system.
The day is already known widely as "Orange Shirt Day," an "opportunity," according to orangeshirtday.org, "for First Nations, local governments, schools and communities to come together in the spirit of reconciliation and hope for generations of children to come."
"The date was chosen because it is the time of year in which children were taken from their homes to residential schools, and because it is an opportunity to set the stage for anti-racism and anti-bullying policies for the coming school year."
The federal committee has labelled the occasion "National Truth and Reconciliation Day" and will be coupled with another holiday in June dedicated to Indigenous cultures in Canada, the Global News report continues.
Many will surely question the value of giving settlers a day off. In addition, some have pointed out that the word "re-conciliation" implies a return to a time of cooperation and equal exchange — which never really existed.
The day is also largely a symbolic gesture.
To learn more about reconciliation efforts and what you can do to actively participate, check out Reconciliation Canada, an organization whose mission is to further a national dialogue on the issue.