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New federal holiday for residential school survivors expected

New federal holiday for residential school survivors expected

OTTAWA – Ottawa has announced plans to create a new statutory holiday in recognition of residential school survivors. Indigenous groups are working with the federal government to choose the day – which has not been finalized. Reports that the existing Indigenous People’s Day on June 21 or Orange Shirt Day on September 30 are being

OTTAWA – Ottawa has announced plans to create a new statutory holiday in recognition of residential school survivors.

Indigenous groups are working with the federal government to choose the day – which has not been finalized.

Reports that the existing Indigenous People’s Day on June 21 or Orange Shirt Day on September 30 are being considered.

There has been pressure in Ottawa by MPs, the AFN and the TRC to make June 21 a federally recognized statutory holiday.

Orange Shirt Day has emerged out of survivor accounts being brought to the forefront of indigenous storytelling. It recognizes the experience of one survivor, Phyllis Webstad — who remembered as a child staff of a residential school took away a beloved orange shirt on the first day of residential school.

Ottawa now only recognizes five holidays nationally: Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, Canada Day, Labour Day, and Good Friday. Additional holidays very between provinces.

Nahnda Garlow

Nahnda Garlow

Nahnda Garlow, Onondaga under the wing of the Beaver Clan of Six Nations, is Outreach Editor for the Two Row Times. Her popular column, Scone Dogs and Seed Beads brings weekly thoughts on current day indigenous identity. Nahnda has been a journalist with the Two Row Times since it's founding in 2013. She studied Journalism, Human Rights and Indigenous Studies at Laurier University. She is a self-proclaimed "rez girl" who also brings to the Two Row Times years of experience as a Haudenosaunee cultural interpreter, traditional dancer and beadwork aficionado. Nahnda is a member of the Canadian Association of Journalists and the Native American Journalists Association.

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