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HomeNews100 Mile HouseSept. 30 may become National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

Sept. 30 may become National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

Canada’s next statutory holiday could be September 30th.

A bill for a National Truth and Reconciliation Day to honour residential school survivors and recognize the healing that needs to take place with Canada’s Indigenous peoples passed third reading Wednesday in the House of Commons.

Witnessing the historic day in Ottawa was St. Joseph’s Mission Residential School survivor Phyllis Webstad.

“I’m speechless, tired, I’m humbled, I am somewhat scared too,” Webstad told MyCaribooNow Wednesday evening.

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“I don’t know what’s next for me or what this means or for myself or the Orange Shirt Society, but can guarantee that some good things are going to start happening. I’m ready and I know the Orange Society board members are ready as well.”

Webstad was joined with the treasurer of the Orange Shirt Society, Joan Sorley and said they entered the parliamentary buildings about 1 pm Ontario time and did not come out until 7 pm.

“We met the President of the National Women’s Association of Canada-Francyne Joe, she’s actually from B.C. from Merritt,” Webstad said.

“I was on that board with her for a while so she was there to support and she took us out to dinner to celebrate.”

NStQ Spokesperson Chief Patrick Harry said in a news release they are very proud of Webstad and that National Truth and Reconciliation Day will be another important step on the path to healing.

“A national day of recognition was one of the 94 recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission,” said Canim Lake Band Chief Helen Henderson.

“It is important to keep the conversation about residential schools going and to honour the victims.”

Webstad says she will be meeting the illustrator of her book-The Orange Shirt Story today before she and Sorley return to Williams Lake Friday afternoon.

“The illustrator is Brock Nicol. I have never met him so I’m doing that in the morning and then we’re heading over to the Assembly of First Nations,” she says.

“It’s not clear whether I’m meeting the national chief or not but we have an appointment there at 1:30 just to meet a couple of people.”

NDP MP Georgina Jolibois who authored the bill said Bill C-369 will now move to the Senate before becoming law.

“With Justice Murray Sinclair who chaired the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in the Senate, I would expect this bill to go ahead without much opposition,” Jolibois said in a news release.

“I’m proud of the work we did to get this done. We heard from many First Nations, Métis, and Inuit people across the country who wanted this done. This is a big day for all of us.”

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