The Canadian government passed legislation in June to make Sept. 30 a statutory holiday for federally regulated workers.
The City of Saskatoon is now recognizing the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation as a paid statutory holiday for all city employees.
“Elders, survivors and members of the Indigenous community have been reaching out to non-Indigenous members about building a better future together, based on truth and reconciliation,” said Saskatoon Mayor Charlie Clark.
“By marking the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, we are recognizing how important this is in continuing our journey forward.”
The statutory holiday was created by the federal government in response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s call to action number 80.
It called for a holiday to honour survivors, families and communities, and to ensure the history and legacy of residential schools remains a vital component of reconciliation.
City officials said they are working with community partners to ensure the city contributes to the movement.
They said they are working with Reconciliation Saskatoon and other Indigenous organizations to develop tools and messaging to encourage people to take up their own calls to action.
“It is important that we show leadership in this area, to honour what we’ve heard from Survivors in our community about the impact of Indian Residential Schools,” Clark said.
Sept. 30 is also known as Orange Shirt Day.
Officials said wearing orange that day will continue to be a way honour residential school survivors, their families and those who didn’t make it home.
The Indian Residential Schools Crisis Line (1-866-925-4419) is available 24 hours a day for anyone experiencing pain or distress as a result of their residential school experience.