Orange Shirt Day should be a stat holiday


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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 26/10/2022 (216 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

The fall session of the Legislature resumed at the end of September. During the summer break, I had the chance to be out in the community, on doorsteps across St. Vital.

Many community members in St. Vital and around our province have expressed the importance of acknowledging how devastating the impacts of residential schools were and still are, as well as how important it is to implement the calls to action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

In one of those calls to action, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission called for Sept. 30 to be marked as a day to honour residential school survivors and reflect on reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.

In 2017, Opposition leader Wab Kinew introduced and helped pass a bill to proclaim Orange Shirt Day in Manitoba. In 2021, the federal government proclaimed Sept. 30 a National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and made it a statutory holiday for federal workers.

Unfortunately, when we returned to the Legislature this September, the Progressive Conservative government was unwilling to pass Bill 200 and make Orange Shirt Day a statutory holiday for Manitoban workers. This bill would have given Manitobans an opportunity to mark Orange Shirt Day with their families and their communities.

Bill 200 would have also advanced our province’s reconciliation journey. The PC government’s refusal to accept this bill was incredibly disappointing, considering the overwhelming support it received from families in our community, labour and the business sector.

Nevertheless, I was proud to see schools across the province were supportive of Orange Shirt Day, including our schools here in St. Vital. I had the opportunity to join the Windsor School community as they recognized the need for and committed to reconciliation as part of their 100th anniversary on Sept. 29.

On Sept. 30, I was also honoured to participate in the Orange Shirt Day Survivors walk, when thousands of Manitobans walked from The Forks through downtown Winnipeg to the RBC Convention Centre. There, together with my NDP caucus colleagues, I participated in the grand entry of the powwow.

I want to thank all who marked Orange Shirt Day, because it shows our support for the survivors of residential schools and those who didn’t make it home. This moves us further, as a community, along our path to truth and reconciliation.

If you have questions or concerns, please feel free to get in touch with me by email at or by phone at 204-219-5407.

Jamie Moses

Jamie Moses
St. Vital constituency report

Jamie Moses is the NDP MLA for St. Vital.

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