Nova Scotia will officially recognize Sept. 30 as annual Truth and Reconciliation Day beginning in 2021.
In a release, the province said provincial government offices, public schools and regulated child care will be closed on that day. Businesses will have the choice to remain open, as they do on other holidays.
“We are taking this step to recognize the importance of honouring First Nations, Inuit and Métis residential school survivors and their families and communities,” said the recently-elected Premier Tim Houston in the release.
“We encourage all Nova Scotians, whether you are working or in school, to make time on September 30 for important discussions about Canada’s history of residential schools.”
In June, Ottawa declared it a federal statutory holiday that is meant to give public servants an opportunity to recognize the legacy of residential schools.
The designated paid holiday for federal employees also addresses one of the 94 calls to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission: “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.”
— with files from Allison Bamford