Prior to establishing the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation as a provincial statutory holiday on September 30 in British Columbia, government engaged Indigenous Peoples, as well as employers and workers, on their thoughts about how best to observe the day.
Read the news release.
Engagement with Indigenous Peoples
In Spring 2002, the Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation met with Indigenous leaders, partners, residential school survivors and communities. This included meetings with representatives from the First Nations Leadership Council and Métis Nation BC as well as other Indigenous organizations who work with residential school survivors and their families.
This engagement found strong support amongst Indigenous Peoples and leaders for creating a new statutory holiday on the basis that it:
- Provides public recognition of the individual, intergenerational, and multigenerational impacts of the residential school system
- Provides a predictable, recurring means to focus public attention on reconciliation and issues related to the residential school system
- Provides the opportunity for British Columbians to participate in commemorative events on the day in a similar manner to Remembrance Day
- Encourages a public dialogue and deeper reflection on the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in British Columbia consistent with government’s broader reconciliation goals
Engagement with employers and workers
In Fall 2022, the Ministry of Labour conducted an online survey to understand the views of employers and workers. There were 7,301 valid responses.
- 61% (4,437) came from employees and 39% (2,818) came from employers (46 did not answer this question)
- 74% came from employers and employees in the private sector, 19% from the public-sector, and 6% were involved in the non-profit sector
- 75% of all respondents supported establishing a new statutory holiday
- 53% of employers and 91% of workers support a new statutory holiday
- 45% of employers opposed establishing a new statutory holiday
- 37% of employers indicate additional costs would be difficult to manage
The greatest concern regarding cost impacts were reported by private sector and small employers. Overall, workers strongly supported the creation of a new statutory holiday.