Since 2013, Indigenous peoples, allies, and activists have worn orange shirts on September 30th to honour Indigenous children, challenge settler-colonialism and educate Canadians about the effects of residential schools.
The NFU joins these efforts. We recognize September 30th as Orange Shirt Day and the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
This new federal statutory holiday was one of the Calls to Action of the 2015 Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). After six years, only 13 of the 94 TRC Calls to Action have been fully implemented by the federal government. This is tragic and unacceptable. This year especially, justice and reconciliation require immediate action on the TRC’s demands for the systematic recording and analysis of the deaths of Indigenous children at residential schools. Investigations are continuing and true reconciliation is needed now more than ever.
Five provinces—Alberta, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick, Quebec, and Ontario—have chosen not to recognize Sept. 30th as a statutory holiday. We see this as a callous disparagement of the reconciliation process and a reminder of the need for settler education and political action.
The NFU believes the new federal statutory holiday should be a solemn day of reflection, anti-colonial action, and meaningful reconciliation. Indigenous Peoples receive no holiday from colonialism.
We must all do our part. We commit to raising awareness, educating ourselves, and taking action in solidarity with Indigenous communities. We ask our members to wear an orange shirt. Also, check out local Indigenous-led actions happening in your area, and participate in the National Truth and Reconciliation week presented by the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation.