September 30, 2022
(xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh)/Vancouver, B.C.) On the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation (NDTR), the First Nations Leadership Council (FNLC) is deeply concerned that the Province of British Columbia has so far failed to designate September 30th a statutory holiday marking the profound horrors of residential schools, and the enduring needs for healing and honour of survivors, commemoration and widespread public education.
The ongoing recoveries of missing and unidentified graves at former Residential School sites have brought to public attention the immense trauma, violence, and abuse perpetrated against Indigenous children, as well as deep rooted systemic racism across Canadian institutions and public sectors. The Province of BC committed to engage residential school survivors and Indigenous partners and communities on designating the NDTR as a statutory holiday, and how September 30th should be observed each year in BC. As directed by First Nations leadership in BC through resolutions, the FNLC calls on BC to honour that commitment and carry out the crucial work of creating a new provincial statutory holiday in BC and to fully resource Indigenous healing supports and the creation of Indigenous-led education materials in the public sector and education institutions in alignment with their obligations under the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act.