We call upon the federal government, in collaboration with Aboriginal peoples, to establish, as a statutory holiday, a National Day for Truth and Reconciliation to honour Survivors, their families, and communities, and ensure that public commemoration of the history and legacy of residential schools remains a vital component of the reconciliation process.

Indigenous Watchdog Status Update

Current StatusAug. 17, 2020 STALLED
Previous StatusJune 15, 2020STALLED

Why “Stalled”?

No mention of plans to re-introduce legislation to replace Bill C-369 “An Act to amend the Bills of Exchange Act, the Interpretation Act and the Canada Labour Code (National Day for Truth and Reconciliation)” that died in the Senate after the Conservatives stalled debate on any private member’s bills.

The “National Day for Truth and Reconciliation” is proposed for Sept. 30 — also known as Orange Shirt Day which commemorates generations of children who attended residential schools”. CBC

March 4, 2020 – Canadian Heritage: Commemorating the History and Legacy of Residential Schools program funding deadline for projects under $5,000 extended

Significant Deletion

  • Sept. 5, 2019 – Deleted reference to Bill C-369An Act to amend the Bills of Exchange Act, the Interpretation Act and the Canada Labour Code (National Day for Truth and Reconciliation)”.  

Timelines for Bill C-369

June 15, 2017 – Bill C-361 “An Act to amend the Bills of Exchange Act, the Interpretation Act and the Canada Labour Code (National Aboriginal Day)” introduced for First reading. The Bill when – and if – passed will make National Aboriginal Day a statutory holiday.

June 21, 2017 – Officially changed National Aboriginal Day to National Indigenous People’s Day.

April 16, 2018 – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that the federal government would create a statutory holiday dedicated to reconciliation with Indigenous People.

Aug. 16, 2018 – The federal government will move forward to create a statutory holiday dedicated to reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Thursday. The holiday will be aimed at remembering the legacy of residential schools and reflecting on a path toward reconciliation (Globe and Mail)

Sept. 26, 2018 – Bill C-361 passed second reading with a vote of 202 in favour and 79 against. It will now be studied by the federal heritage committee.

Feb. 9, 2019 – “Bill C-369 An Act to amend the Bills of Exchange Act, the Interpretation Act and the Canada Labour Code (National Day for Truth and Reconciliation)”. This enactment amends certain Acts to make National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, observed on September 30, a holiday.

Purpose
0.‍1 The purpose of this Act is to fulfill the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Call to Action # 80 by creating a federal holiday called the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation which seeks to honour Survivors, their families, and communities, and ensure that public commemoration of the history and legacy of residential schools, and other atrocities committed against First Nation, Inuit and Metis people, remains a vital component of the reconciliation process.

Mar. 20, 2019 – Bill C-369 passed through its final reading in the House of Commons last Wednesday. It will now go before the Senate before it becomes law. National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is proposed for Sept. 30 — also known as Orange Shirt Day which commemorates generations of children who attended residential schools. (CBC)

April 2, 2019 – In 2nd reading in the Senate

June 21, 2019 – Bill C – 369 died in the Senate after the Conservatives stalled debate on any private member’s bill. “Any bill that hasn’t passed by the time the election is called —whether a private members’ bill or government legislation—would have to be reintroduced in the next Parliament by whoever forms government.” “Canadian Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez’ office says instead of having the stat holiday, the government will fund “local Indigenous events” that day, but gave no indication this is a proposal they’ll push to revive in the future”. (CTV News).

Official Federal Government Response: Sept. 5, 2019

To enable communities to recognize and commemorate the legacy of residential schools on the proposed National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and to celebrate the unique heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples on National Indigenous Peoples Day, Budget 2019 announced $10 million over 2 years, starting in fiscal year 2019 to 2020, to support non-governmental and community organizations holding events in communities across Canada, through Canadian Heritage’s Celebration and Commemoration Program

Significant Deletion

  • Sept. 5, 2019 – Deleted reference to Bill C-369An Act to amend the Bills of Exchange Act, the Interpretation Act and the Canada Labour Code (National Day for Truth and Reconciliation)”.