You've probably already heard about the talks of a new holiday coming to the country this year, and if you hadn't, surprise! You now have one more day off of work this year, which no one is ever going to complain about.
We typically see our federal holidays as something positive, a day to possibly celebrate or enjoy totally care-free. This isn't the case with the new holiday added to our calendars, which will be a day to honour the survivors of residential schools in Canada.
Known as the "National Day for Truth and Reconciliation" the holiday ensures that Indigenous peoples dark past with Canada is acknowledged, and that the history of residential schools is not forgotten.
This holiday truly needed to be made official many years ago. There has always been some controversy that Canada takes it dark past and often "brushes it under the rug." It's a chapter in our National history that we often don't like addressing. But, it's so valuable to be able to acknowledge the past and agree it will never happen again, as well as honour and celebrate the lives of the Indigenous peoples that survived the atrocious residential school system.
Organizations have been pushing for the National holiday for almost the last decade, so needless to say many people are finally taking a breath of relief after a long and hard fight for recognition.
As for the exact day of the new holiday, that's still under debate, but it's between two potential dates. June 21, which is already National Indigenous Peoples day, and September 30, which is known as "Orange Shirt Day" - named after a shirt given to a young girl by her grandmother, right before she was sent off to a residential school.
The Liberal government is currently consulting with Indigenous peoples to ensure the perfect date for the holiday is chosen, but we can expect to hear an announcement from Ottawa pretty soon.
Although the holiday, and recognition of residential schools in Canada, definitely needed to be introduced to the country a long time ago, it's better later than never at all. At least in the future Canadians will become more aware of our entire past, and honour the lives of all those that suffered in the residential school system.