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Calls for the Day for Truth and Reconciliation to be a provincial holiday in Sask.

A man shows off an orange shirt at an event to mark Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Day in 2021. Cole Burston/The Canadian Press

The Saskatchewan Federation of Labour (SFL) is calling for the provincial government to make the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on Sept. 30 a provincial statutory holiday.

The organization said it wants the government to honour a call to action by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) to recognize the day as a provincial holiday.

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“The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is an opportunity for all of us to reflect upon the tragedy of the residential school system, to honour the victims and survivors of residential schools, and recognize the trauma it continues to inflict upon families and communities, as well as to commit to true and meaningful reconciliation,” said Lori Johb, SFL president.

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“We encourage all workers and community members to sign onto our petition and call on the government to honour the TRC and make September 30 a provincial statutory holiday.”

The day is already recognized as a statutory holiday for all federally regulated employees.

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SFL said the Saskatchewan Party government had said it has no plans to legislate Sept. 30 as a provincial statutory holiday for all workers, but added many provinces and provincial organizations recognize the holiday.

“The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is an important day for workers to be able to take the opportunity to learn, quietly reflect, or participate in reconciliation events in their communities,” Johb said.

“The Saskatchewan Federation of Labour is committed to reconciliation and justice for Indigenous peoples. The provincial government must recognize the role they play in reconciliation and the importance of this day, and legislate September 30 as a provincial holiday.”

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