Bill proposing National Indigenous Peoples Day be a stat holiday is moving forward

A Saskatchewan MP's private member's bill on making National Indigenous Peoples Day a statutory holiday is moving forward.

Bill passed 1st reading in the House of Commons last week

An inter-tribal powwow was part of celebrations at Wanuskewin Heritage Park in Saskatoon on June 21. MP Georgina Jolibois has tabled a private member's bill to declare National Indigenous People's Day a statutory holiday nationwide. (Don Somers/CBC)

A Saskatchewan MP's private member's bill on making National Indigenous Peoples Day a holiday is moving forward.

Georgina Jolibois represents the riding of Desnethe-Missinippi-Churchill River.

Her bill proposes making June 21 — which is National Indigenous Peoples Day — a statutory holiday, which means it would be celebrated nationwide and would be a paid day off for employees.

The day is already a statutory holiday in the Northwest Territories and Yukon.

The bill had first reading in the House of Commons on Oct. 24.

Jolibois, who is an NDP MP, hopes her bill will be passed in the spirit of reconciliation.

The bill is scheduled for second reading and debate in the House on Dec. 8.

 "The prime minister says that the most important relationship to him is the relationship with the First Nations, Métis and Indigenous peoples across Canada. And certainly when the TRC [Truth and Reconciliation Commission] calls for it as a national holiday, I'm pretty optimistic that it stands a good chance," said Jolibois.

"There is an excellent opportunity here to think about what it really means when we talk about nation-to-nation."

Corrections

  • A previous version of this story said the bill passed second reading. In fact, the bill has only had first reading.
    Nov 01, 2017 10:18 AM CT