Nunavut eyes truth and reconciliation day holiday
Justice Department consults businesses and other organizations on effect a new holiday would have
Nunavut’s Justice Department is consulting businesses and other organizations on the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, in a step towards making the day a statutory holiday in the territory.
The department is “looking to introduce new legislation” to make Sept. 30 an official holiday in Nunavut, according to a news release issued Tuesday.
It’s asking businesses and organizations if they would support truth and reconciliation day as a statutory holiday and what negative financial or other effects they might face as a result of adding a new holiday to the calendar.
Last August, the federal government responded to a six-year-old call to action by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada and created the first-ever National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. Designating the day was meant to give people a day to remember the history of Canada’s residential schools program and to reflect on its legacy.
That move gave federal public service employees a paid holiday but left each province and territory to decide for itself whether the new day would be a paid holiday for other workers.
In September, Nunavut’s then-minister of human resources, David Akeeagok, said the government didn’t have enough time before Sept. 30 to make it a holiday for everyone.
Instead, only Nunavut government workers were given the day off.
Akeeagok said making a decision like that had to use Aajiqatigiinniq, which is making decisions with input from other stakeholders.
The deadline to send feedback on the Justice Department’s consultation is April 8.