Ottawa funds truth and reconciliation day events in 4 Nunavut hamlets
Federal government providing $4M for 278 community projects across Canada
Four Nunavut communities will receive $10,000 each from the federal government to help commemorate the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on Sept. 30, a government news release states.
Events in Coral Harbour, Gjoa Haven, Pond Inlet and Cambridge Bay are on the list of 278 community projects across Canada that will split a total of $4 million, the government announced Monday.
No Nunavik communities were on the list of projects in Quebec to receive funding.
Those projects also include two national events — a commemorative gathering and an educational week for students across Canada.
“Commemorating the tragic history and impact of residential schools is essential to the healing and reconciliation process,” the news release states.
This will be the second time Canada has observed the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, after the federal government passed a law to designate the day — also known as Orange Shirt Day — as a holiday to reflect on the abuse thousands of Indigenous people suffered in Canada’s residential schools system.
Across the country, the status of the holiday varies. In its first year — 2021 — it was a public holiday for federal government employees only. It was left to each province and territory to decide whether to make it a public holiday.
In Nunavut, only government employees got the first-ever truth and reconciliation day off because the Government of Nunavut said it didn’t have enough time in 2021 to practise Aajiiqatigiinniq — the making of decisions by consensus and consultation with businesses, Inuit organizations and municipalities.
Nunavut’s Justice Department began that process in March this year and in June passed a law extending the holiday to everyone in Nunavut.
The residential school system was a government policy from the late 1800s until the 1990s to separate young Indigenous students from their family, language and culture by making them attend residential schools, often hundreds of kilometres from their home communities.