Indigenous stat holiday inching closer to reality

NDP Member of Parliament Georgina Joilbois is wanting to make September 30 a statutory holiday for a national Day of Truth and Reconciliation. (Georgina Jolibois, MP Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill River/Facebook)

Canada is one step closer to having a statutory holiday to mark National Indigenous Peoples Day.

This is after the bill, started by NDP Critic for Indigenous Services Georgina Jolibois, was passed to the next stage on Wednesday.

According to Jolibois, the holiday would dedicate time for Indigenous people across the country to embrace their worth and uniqueness.

“It was in the spirit of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action that I proposed my Bill. I believe people in Canada are capable of mourning the legacy of residential schools while also thinking optimistically about the future,” she said.

Jolibois served as Mayor of La Loche until 2015, when she was elected MP for Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River.

“If we are truly committed to Reconciliation, it is our duty to think about the time of celebration Indigenous people have created for themselves. We remember the historical wrongs and build relationships between people in Canada. I look forward to seeing my bill studied at committee and to reach third reading,” she said.

National Indigenous Peoples Day is celebrated annually on June 21, which is also the summer solstice.